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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Just A Little More ...Stuff

So.. I think I need to continue yesterdays post somewhat. Only because it hasn't left my head... or the one brain cell that is still functioning there.

Back in California, when I was selling off much of my stuff, I remember that in the beginning it was so really hard to part with it. I kept hoping I'd find another job and be able to stay in my little apartment, but as time went by and the money ran out, I guess I knew I wouldn't be able to stay.

I thought if I sold some of my stuff maybe a job would come my way and I'd be saved. So when I began selling it off, it pretty much tore me apart. Thoughts like: ok so I move and move all my stuff with me... but I had no where to go! So I had to try to hang on, and selling my stuff was all I had left to get by, while I continued to send out resumes and hope I'd find something.

When it became clear that staying wasn't going to happen I had to get a mindset. I had to stop being upset and feeling like I was chipping away who I was by selling stuff that I knew I could live without, since before I had it I seemed to survive.

I finally forced that "it's only stuff and I lived without it before and can do it again" into my brain, and I can say that at one point each item I looked at before putting it up for sale didn't seem as important to me anymore. But then again, when it was all gone, it did mean something.

When I was ready to move I looked around my apartment.. all that I was had dwindled down to a few odd items and boxes. I felt as if most of what I was... was gone. I actually felt as if I had disappeared.

How could I get to be this age and those few boxes were all I had of the life I had lived up until then? Would anyone know I was ever around? I have two sons, but they were and are not in a position to help... I looked at the boxes and cried. (even though I was still glad I had SOME )

I know things could be worse! And I totally expect it to be worse. I do know from the forced selling of my stuff that, of course I can go on without it. (maybe 2 brain cells work after all) And I believe the next time I get to that point, it actually will be easier for me to let go of the stuff that gave me happiness along the way.

I hope no one thinks that I put too much into how I feel about my stuff but when you have very little.. it does become more part of you than if you could afford all the stuff you could ever want. But I know there are much more important things like my health and well being involved... it just makes life more tolerable to be able to read a book and escape everyday life, and to smile when you meet new characters that you can relate to in some odd way. Every autograph I've collected is a memory of meeting or writing to that person, every statue a burst of unneeded spending to let me know I'm still somehow ahead of the game.

I can feel that way because I am cognizant of what little money I have. I keep it so that "I own no one anything!" My one charge card is paid off every month. All my bills are paid ahead of time. (thankfully there aren't many!) I do have my priorities straight!

So, when I can, I grab a book, or pop in a movie and immerse myself in it. And for whatever the reasons are (and I'm not sure I really understand it) when I look at my stuff it makes me smile.

I think the emotional value is a given of some of what it's all about.

It's not how much or how little stuff one has .. it's the memories that it keeps alive.

Be it a story you read and how you felt when you read it, a gift someone gave you that reminds you of them whenever you look at it , family photo's of a special day or family members which have left us, or even a movie you are watching for the umpteenth time ......... stuff is comforting.

Here's a few photo's that still fits the bill of.... stuff.

Above are some of my Mother's Stuff that I still have.

Below, is a ceramic "egg" painting my brother did for me before his stroke. (stuff)

This stuff is my autograph album, opened to no one in particular.. but after I put it on the computer I noticed I picked a page "I " was in and was too lazy to take the book out again and take another photo.

I'll finish this post with a particular "stuff" we all seem to have... our computer! This is one "stuff" that really is hard to give up!

....'till next time....

10 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Very touching post. You're one of the strongest women that I've met. That's a tough thing to go through, yet you came out of the situation ok and have a positive outlook today. That's great!

That egg that your brother painted is beautiful!

Nice computer! I used to have a Dell..I just traded mine in for an HP even though I swore a few years ago that I'd never buy another HP. I've had this one for about a year though and so far, so good.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I understand about stuff. I am a but if a packrat. I respect your strength.

3:09 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hey Chris: Nothing wrong with an HP..well, not that i am aware of lol. I got the Dell under the impression that the HOME repair warrenty meant just that, being female and NONtechie lol.. since then it was on the news that they don't honor going to the home UNTIL they talk you thru opening the tower and trying the repair yourself.. NOT! I want/need a laptop.. I doubt it will be a Dell!

Hi Jeff: Is Packrat the same as: I cannot get rid of this it means too much to me? lol
AS for strength, if you mean not owing anyone or bills.. well, you only have to be a 10 yr old going in to pay your mothers elect. bill a bit late and always getting looks of disgust to come out of it as someone who gets a bill one day and mails out the payment the next!

3:32 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I always loved that George Carlin routine about STUFF...it is funny and true in so very many ways...BUT, I am still very attached to me STUFF....it is such a part of me and what comforts me or serves ne, like my books...
KING LEAR says to his daughter when she said..."You don't need that army of men...!"...He said: "Reason not the need"...
I once heard a whole 45 minute lecture on this one line by the premiere SHAKESPEARE expert professor at USC, and never forgot it....Reason not the need, indeed, Pat....We have certain stuff because we "need" it....And for someone to try to figure out why YOU have Your Stuff, etc...it cannot be 'reasoned'....I feel that about my things though I certainly know there is a lot of clutter that could go...! That you had to sell off much of your stuff Pat, I know had to be terribly painful...in my own way I had to sell some things that were very dear to me and I know how painful that can be to a certain extent. I guess we all do what we have to when we have to....I am glad you still have many things that give you great comfort and pleasure...!

1:07 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

aww thanks Naomi!.. I guess one of the things I can't forget that I had to sell (because i knew it would bring a good price) was a typed letter from Kate Hepburn on her own stationary.. in the note she said she was sorry but didn't do autographs... then she signed the letter!...

5:21 PM  
Blogger Kiyotoe said...

Heeeeeeey, is that the little elf dude from The Dark Crystal on your ceramic egg?

eeewww, i remember that movie.

6:10 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

yes it is Kiyotoe! I love that movie! ppllsstt! lol

6:12 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

Even more great stuff, Deslily! Wonderful thoughts.

I think the difference between the way we feel and are describing things and those with the 'you can't take it with you' attitude is that we aren't talking about televisions and computers, etc...stuff I'd hate to live without, but we are talking about things that have a great emotional bond with us for whatever reason. Those 'things' are very much a part of who we are as much as the memories that they evoke. This is a subject that would be easy to go on and on about. Thanks for posting all this great...'stuff'..Deslily!

12:19 PM  
Blogger Asara said...

tsk tsk.. it's a GELFLING, dear Dragon, and his name was Jen. I love that movie :)

I definitely know what you mean about attachment to "stuff". I've moved a couple of times, and even clothes that I KNOW I will never fit into again.. there's still that... "but.. it's mine!" when it comes time to weed out the old "stuff".

From what I can see though, the stuff you did hang onto says SO much about you, and who you are, and what you love.. it's an autobiography anyone would be proud to have.

5:56 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Thanks Carl.. emotions sure decide what stays and what goes!

Asara: yep it's Jen! utoh.. umm, lets not discuss old clothes! LOL

6:02 PM  

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