Attachment to Personal Property – Stuff

When asked to help a friend move her apartment to a storage area, I asked why she is not getting rid of all of her “stuff” since she is moving out of the country.


Her response is that she would return.  I suggested that she could start over when she returns.  She suggested that her stuff was heirloom quality.


I agreed not because I believe that it is heirloom quality, that is never the point.  I agreed because it is not my judgement call.  I am helping a friend not passing judgement on her decision.


I can help or I can decide that it is not worth my time. I love my friend and care for her very much and decided to help.


I arrive and nothing is ready or packed, never mind.


There is my  husband, two other men and my friend to help and we are fine.


As my husband and I move the pieces down the stairs, he looks at me and I ask him to please not say anything.  He smiles and knocks on the back of the heirloom chest of drawers. Particle board.  I cannot help it and smile back and nod.


We help until the truck is full of the heaviest pieces in the apartment and then bid our friend goodbye and leave.


I sit in the car wondering what just happened in the last hour.  I moved stuff that was worthless for my friend to pay hundreds of dollars to keep in a storage area, money she does not have, money she needs to live on.


Trying to make sense of it I realize that she lived with her things for so many years that separating meant almost a revulsion of who she is, it is not, but she feels it.


I remember how adamant she is to keep her things just in case she returns.  It is the last shred of herself and presence in this place.  This is her ticket to return.  Her excuse to be back, her existence.


In all honesty she can decide to come back without subterfuge, she is old enough to make her own decisions.  But to do that without guilt would take a belief that she is not tied in with her things.


Attachment to material things only weakens our freedom to live.  Rooting ourself in strength of who we are is different from deciding who we are by what we own.  Finding our identity in what we own is destructive at best since nothing lasts.


Material things are just that, depreciating, decomposing and eventually worthless.  Separating ourself from what we own is healthy and helpful.  Remembering that things can be replaced gives us the freedom to make decisions without being tied down like an anchor about our neck.


Throw over the albatross and live free.



Attention to Detail

It is not so much what you do as how you do it.

It is more important to do a thing right and accurate than to do it and realize that it was not done to your satisfaction or the satisfaction of those concerned.


Accuracy takes time and precision.  Spending time doing something however small, and doing it right, reflects positively on the person doing.


Responsibility comes in small doses until we learn to take on the larger responsibilities.


If we are faithful in the small project and do it diligently counting it as important, that will get noticed and more will be added to our plate of responsibility.


I do not want to sound ethereal here or unrealistic, I am talking about tangible things.  If I am given the task of taking the garbage out, then I should do it on time, make sure that it is neat and tidy, make sure that the ties are on and the bags are securely closed, make sure that it is where it should be on the sidewalk and make sure that the cover is on so animals would not get into it.


When all that is done, then my task is finished and I should be satisfied that I did a decent job and not a sloppy one.


Sloppiness goes hand in hand with lack of responsibility making people recognize that they should not give you anymore responsibility because you are not capable of delivering “a good product”.  Our work is a product  open to the market and when the customer recognizes sloppiness, they consider it lack of interest.  When I see lack of interest then I am not going to allow


A Positive Attitude

There is no substitute for a good attitude, no matter what the situation.  Attitude will make or break man.  Attitude will color our actions and reactions to a situation.


A positive attitude may seem naive and unwarranted at times and may be even annoying to some but the truth is, it is a far better choice than a negative one.


Dealing with people on a positive note will probably get you what you want in the end.  Certainly if you deal with people negatively then you will see them as incompetent or incapable and probably end with those results.


Attitude will allow one to relax judgment of others,  allowing for human weakness and error which in the end may be more merciful and less frustrating.


You learn kindness from the unkind, generosity from the ungenerous, quiet from the loud and positive behavior from the negative.  You may not appreciate any of those people or regard what they taught you at the time as a “positive” experience but in the end, your attitude in accepting these lessons will affect all your dealings with others.





Doing the Right Thing

When you see a weed, pick it.


Going through life we see many things in our way that need to be mended, fixed or just adjusted.  And, I do not mean people, just things.


Walking by and not even trying to care for the problem in and of itself is not  bad.  The problem lies in who’s problem is it then??


I walked into the bathroom at work and saw four paper towels on the floor.  They were “clean” in other words not used, just throw to the floor under the sink.


I wrestled with picking them up and decided not to.  I did my business and walked out.  The paper weighed on my mind so much that I found myself thinking of my nasty attitude for hours afterwards.


Having to use the bathroom after six hours, I found myself faced with the same four pieces of paper in the same place again.  I was furious that the person who dropped them did not pick them up and even more furious with myself for not wanting to do it.


The next day at home, I confessed to my husband that I was a creation for not picking it up.  He laughed and told me that he understood my dilemma but since the moment had passed that I should get over it.


I thought of my daughter and tried to imagine what she would say about my self flagellation, ” That is very honorable Mom but you did not do it.” And then after a moment’s thought she would say as kindly as she could, “You making a religion out of this?”


Doing the right thing is all fine and good but trying to turn situations into a religious right makes us prudish, blockheads and prigs.  Move on, next thing, live in the moment of your life and not in the regrets of the last few minutes.


When you are walking in the garden and see a weed, lean over and pick it.  If you do not, the moment has passed and do it next time and learn from that .  Look around you and be attentive to what needs to be done and do it with grace instead of duty.


Things done out of duty make us rigid and unconforming to the time we are in.  Move on to the next moment that you are in, the next step you have taken and leave what was not done behind.


If you dwell on what you have not done in the past, you will not allow any time for the present since you will be so preoccupied with past failures.


This does not mean that we cannot self test and search, it just means that do it and move on.


Two monks were walking and saw a beautiful woman trying to cross the river.  They carried her to the other side and walked on.   The younger monk suggested to the older one that they should not have done that.  “I have left her back at the river,” said the older monk.


Move on.  Live in the moment you are experiencing and learn from your mistakes without hindering your progress by regrets.


The Gift of Quiet Time

Stop and smell the roses is an overused expression but a true one to apply to daily life.


Slow down is a cliche that most have exhausted and yet it does apply to our daily life.


Taking time for yourself, slowing down, quiet time, all those expressions should be used and applied.


When we slow down, we have an opportunity to look into ourselves.

It is a chance to look in the mirror and reflect on who we are and what we affect around us.  Positive or negative, it is a time of honesty and reflection.


Chances are if you are too busy, you do not realize what others see in you.  Chances are if you are always on the go, you do not anchor long enough to answer for some of your deeds.


Staying busy is the way out of improvement and growth.  On the go, is the easiest way out.  Busy, busy, much to do will squash any hope of reflection or thought.  It is a rather good excuse that no one could fault or hold against a person.


A quiet time gives us the opportunity to relax the hold life has on us.  A time out of our chores allows us to see what is truly good and solid.  Slowing down gives us the opportunity to recognize the gift of life as it were.