It was that time of the year again.
As soon as I heard the crinkling plastic and the march of my father’s footsteps upstairs, I knew what was to come.
Roughly every year when I was a little girl and maybe even a couple times more throughout the year just because of the junk I managed to collect, my father would come upstairs armed with hefty garbage bags and a determined expression that we would bond over throwing away and giving away items to the less fortunate that I no longer needed. I cannot tell you what things I threw away. I can only tell you about the things I kept because of the memories and moments attached to them. I can especially tell you the times of being with my father when we surveyed my entire room with all these things that did not mean anything and only became something with sentimentality. I also learned that nothing and no one lasts forever (things eventually break down and people get older), and to take care of my belongings and people as best as I could while I had them for limited time only.
I actually enjoyed this ritual with my father because I got to spend time with him to realize how much I had, how much I did not need, how much others did not have, and how much others needed. I also learned that, in this grand and meandering journey of life, we do not need a lot of things in life and how sad that people treat their things better than other people. At the very end of it all, people will remember how they felt in the company of who and not the what of things.
This ritual came to an end when I tried to buy what I needed and not what I wanted. In that process of deciphering what I needed and what I wanted, I came to grips that so much in life cannot be bought with money in the long-term and for genuine but can maybe be bought in the only for a short time based on superficiality: Health, Happiness, Love, People, Relationships, and Time just to name a few are all that cannot be bought. Most of all, I realized over the years how incredibly ‘wealthy’ I am with the simple necessities that we take for granted until we no longer have them: the health of myself and my loved ones, my family, a few good and true friends who are there for me during my worst and best times, a roof over my head, food on the table, food to enjoy, a car to get me from point A to point B without any accidents, and a job to make ends meet and to give me time to enjoy life and with the people I love. There are many who want more money; I want more time. There are many who want more thigns; I want more life experiences to enjoy and savor with the people I love. In fact, I’m trying more and more to become a minimalist and get rid of things rather than take on new things—quite the challenging task.
‘Wealth’ is different for everyone based on different priorities. To me, my wealth lies in my health of myself and my loved ones, my family, a couple really true and loyal friends there for me in my worst and best times, freedom, time, and enjoying life. Tangible money has always been at the very bottom of ‘wealth’ for me because I learned long ago that money is replaceable and refundable when life and with the people we love are non-refundable. Time only goes. No way and abilities to get it back no matter how much you want to. Forever lost and no way to gain back.
What ‘things’ mean so much to you and why so? Do you want more money? What is your ‘wealth’? What is ‘wealthy’ to you?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,