To draw upon my previous post a bit, I must admit, I love most of my “things.” I like having them, I like displaying them, and I like how they make me feel. Yes, I confess, they make me feel happy! Sometimes my mom jokingly calls me Maureen O’Hara from The Quiet Man; “but I need my things about me!” And admittedly, it’s so true.
Perhaps my upbringing forged in me a deep want to belong, to settle, and to fill my surroundings with familiar things when year after year I was uprooted, on the move to a new city, a new state, or even a new country. In this constant state of upheaval, my possessions became my home.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved my childhood. For the first 16 years of my life, I travelled more than many do in an entire lifetime. And I’m blessed to have had that experience. It instilled in me a sense of culture and love for travel…but perhaps created a bit of a paradox in the process: I’ve become a bit of a restless nester.
But I digress! Now, that I am grown and have a home of my own, my things still hold a special place in my heart. I am not materialistic by any means, but in some way, shape, or form, most of my pieces impart memories and have an inanimate life of their own. I can honestly tell you where I was and how I felt when procuring nearly every item in my home. And I love it.
Do I have too many “things?” I don’t think so….other than my current horde of vintage and refinished pieces that I hope to sell very soon! No, I definitely don’t have too many things, I have precisely the right amount and will deliberately make room for more when I find something that speaks to me.
But there is such a thing as too much, and sometimes it’s a very fine line. Per Gretchen Rubin in Happier at Home, “some research suggests that spending money on an experience brings more happiness than buying a possession, but the line between possessions and experience isn’t always simple to draw.”
Some of my things are very much derived through experience, and vice versa. In fact, some of my favorite pieces were found via flea markets – spending time with family and friends, meeting vendors, snagging business cards, feeling the incredible thrill of the hunt…those are experiences that I would never take back. Not to mention, I also gain experience from the items I procure. I am constantly learning, tweaking, and growing as I refinish and repaint, style and restyle.
Would I purchase a gorgeous chandelier or beautifully upholstered wing-back chairs over a trip to Fiji, or Paris, or even Iceland? Not a chance. But I would definitely reminisce over the lost opportunity, despite the kick-ass vacation!
In the end, my things create a comfortable home and a soothing lifestyle. Call me what you will, but I need my things about me!
They make me very happy indeed…