We all have periods where we may get obsessed about something (or someone), and spend a good proportion of our time and money going about accummulating information/books/items/memorabilia/paraphernalia in relation to these things.
Some people develop one obsession and stick to it their entire lives. For example, my husband’s been obsessed with Tangerine Dreamand its founder, Edgar Froese, since he was a young teenager. That’s more than half his life now. He has over the years accumulated thousands of CD albums, badges, posters, backstage passes, photos, tribute albums, t-shirts etc all in relation to Tangerine Dream. Now that Edgar Froese has passed away, hubby knows the value of these items will rise and rise. But he’s not letting anything go, no way, Jose! 😄
As for myself, I’ve run through a gamut of obsessions. They range from teddy bears, to teacups, cheesemaking, angora goats (yes, really, though I did not get quite as far as purchasing my own flock), handmade handbags, handmade paper, handmade books, soapmaking, felting, needle-felting, raising worms for composting (That did not work out too well), creating recycled art, assemblage, Steampunk, just to name a few.
I believe in the principle of Total Immersion. LOL.
Lately though, I’ve had an Epiphany. And I lament the thought of all that money gone to waste feeding my obsessions. I don’t begrudge the Time and Effort spent searching for these items, but I do the Money.
For you see, now I realise one major flaw in human nature: the need for Ownership.
If you think about it, really, we never own anything. Nothing really “belongs” to us completely, it’s always temporary. You can’t take anything with you when you die. Not a single thing. Zilch. All those years of buying and hoarding stuff…nope, sorry, you won’t be able to take it with you up to Heaven.
But I can leave it to my children and my children’s children, right? Nope. You may be able to pass your stuff down to them, sure, but if they have the same attitude of hoarding them, and not being able to enjoy them right now, then it’s a wasted exercise. Plus, the time will come when They realise that it’s only Stuff, and they can’t take Stuff with them when it’s their turn to die.
The solution? Simple. Pack Lightly, Travel Far. Stop accummulating Stuff. Or, if you really have to, do it in the name of Research and Product Development (if you’re an artist like me, you may understand the need to get your hands on some tangible Art or books on artists and techniques, so you can study them in depth and learn from them).
And afterwards, Let Your Stuff Go. Do not keep them or hoard them with the hope that they will bring you lots of money later, when their value has risen. Because, I can guarantee that when that time comes, you’ll not be wanting to sell them, but instead you’ll be thinking that if you keep them just a wee bit longer, they might fetch just that little bit more later. And a little bit more even later. And then you will never be able to part with them at all. Ever.
So, with that in mind, these days I travel light. Admittedly I do have a small and growing collection of fortune telling cards – Tarot, Oracle, Lenormand and a few other esoteric oddities. Yes, it’s tempting to hold on to them and hope to sell them at a premium later on. But, the main difference between me 10 years ago and now, is that now my intention, after having studied the artwork and little instructional booklets that come with most decks, and taken inspiration and ideas from them, is to put them up for sale…Not to make any profit, but just so I have less Stuff cluttering up my home.
I don’t, and You don’t, need all that Stuff. All that food at the supermarket? Leave it there til you really need it, after all they have better fridges and bigger freezers than you at home. All those lovely clothes you could buy and wear perhaps once, maybe twice? Leave them on the shop’s mannequins, and enjoy looking at the mannequins wearing them until the fashion breeze changes 2 weeks later. All those beautiful items you’ve just seen at a home decor store? Enjoy them while they’re there on display, feast your eyes and savour the memories. Do you really want your home to be so cluttered? Next month, visit the store again, and enjoy savouring the new displays as if they belonged in your home…only you won’t have any tidying up or dusting to do.
So, pack lightly, and travel far.