I recently wrapped up a trip to visit my family for a long weekend.
As always, it was great to see everyone for a few days even if I had to work for part of the trip. It’s a long story but my dad’s house was in disarray and he needed help going through boxes and rearranging.
He knows he has too much stuff, but comes from a generation schooled in the “you might need it someday” philosophy. We spent an entire afternoon going through boxes and moving things around to get somewhat prepared for the garage sale he was planning to have the following weekend.
I am not complaining about helping and I was glad to do it. However, it occurred to me later that this is a perfect case for not spending our lives accumulating stuff. Spending time with my sisters and my dad was still fun, but if he didn’t have so much stuff sitting around, we could have spent the day just visiting or doing something else together.
The problem with stuff is that it can get in the way of spending meaningful time with family and friends.
Instead of playing a board game or sharing a bottle of wine over good conversation, you end up spending weekend visits sorting through boxes of old books and VHS tapes. (I’m not kidding, every time we turned around it seemed like we found another box of VHS tapes). In one box, we came across an unopened cribbage game. I’ve never played cribbage and have no idea how, but one of my sisters plays. We talked about how after we finished, we should open it and she could teach us how to play. When I headed home at the end of the weekend, the cribbage game still sat unopened.
I challenge you all to not live your life with that possibility of spending quality time with your friends and family because you’re too busy rearranging the boxes of stuff in the garage. Maybe cribbage sucks. I don’t know, but it will be a little while until I have the chance to find out and play it with my sisters.
On a positive note, we spent the following day just sitting around and visiting with family at my nephew’s graduation. Some of us even excused ourselves from the party for a little while to visit the brewery across the street. I lost a bet with my brother-in-law and had to buy but I enjoyed one of the best oatmeal stouts I’ve had in a while.
Overall, it was a great visit and I came home reinvigorated in my pursuit to get rid of the excess stuff sitting around my home and to spend more quality time with my family. I hope you will do the same.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2018
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