Monday, April 16, 2012

Cured From Buying? Maybe?

So Tom and I have lived at Hobbit Cottage for nearly 8 whole months and do you know what I've bought for myself in all that time besides food (including strawberry plants for my garden), clothes (3 little things from a thrift shop), 2 coupon wallets and a few Christmas gifts?

Seven books. That's it. In 8 months.

Now, is that because of our meager financial situation? Well, partly, yes. But mostly? Mostly it's because of that awful, nightmarish weekend we had moving away from the farm.

Oh. My . Goodness. I only told you part of that story. Being a first-born (in the birth order thing), I didn't ask for any help that last take-what-the-movers-left day. We first-borns (as a general rule) hate to bother people. If we're out at a restaurant, we've been known to gnaw on a still-half-alive-cow steak rather than remind the (poor, over-worked, under-paid) server we asked for one medium-well

That's me to a T. A typical first-born, don't-want-to-bother-anybody person.

I've also heard not being able to ask for help is a sign of pride, but for heaven's sake, let's skip over that.  :)

Anyway, so there we were at the farm over two moving days, the second one just Tom and myself, on the hottest weekend of the whole year. Tom (still with heat-exhaustion) was outside cramming leftover stuff from the barn into the car while I worked inside the house gathering leftover stuff from all three floors, sweeping, taking down curtains and sweating like a proverbial pig. 

Also, I'd become so sick of stuff by then, (and our car was becoming impossibly full), that I began leaving a lamp here in a corner, a chair here in the attic, another chair over there in the other attic, a lovely, vintage inlaid walnut card table folded behind the front porch curtains, a new little heater on the shelf of the coat closet, a spiffy plate rack on the wall, a pair of pretty drapes still hanging in a sunny window, my favorite rug still lying on the dining room floor and ----- 

Well, you get the idea. With everything spread-out like that, the house still looked empty. Or mostly so. And let me assure you--I left no junk and I did sweep the floors and it all looked neat. We'd already told the new owners we'd be leaving things in the barn (and they sounded excited about that) so I thought, hey, they'll probably be happy, too, to come upon these few items.

 But, oh that last day, especially! I officially became Sick. Of. Stuff. Sick of it, sick of it, sick of it. I promised myself I'd never go through such a nightmare--I'd never again do this to myself.

And since then, as I told you, I've hardly bought a thing. In fact, remember how I loved the American Pickers tv show? Well, I still watch it, but it's no longer my favorite program. All those barns and sheds and houses full of rusty old junk! Now they make my stomach go all tight. I get a little dizzy, a bit panicky. And then the memory of that final day at the farm haunts me big-time.

But it's all Good. I mean, oh my! Do you know how great it is to be delivered from feeling like you must buy things? I hope you do. Really. For it feels like freedom and freedom feels mighty, mighty fine, indeed.


Yesterday Tom and I drove to the hospital in our former town to visit our friend, Donna. Please keep praying for her, ok? It looks like the stress of John's death gave her a major attack of rheumatoid arthritis, plus, a huge infection happened in her foot, plus, well, she truly needs all our prayers. She's been improving over the past two days so we're rejoicing, but she has a long way to go before she can return home--she can barely walk at this time. Thanks so much for remembering her.



Sara said...

I do indeed know that freedom! Love the feeling of being able to look, appreciate and walk away from all of the things I used to want to own. First Born here as well, And certainly, pride is no part of it. We're much too spiritual to be prideful ;)

Debra said...

Sara---heh heh heh heh heh... Oh, you do make me laugh! Thank-you. :) Blessings, Debra

Mrs. Mac said...

Yep .. a move will cure you of stuff-i-tis .. especially when moving yourself .. and downsizing.

Dolores said...

Debra I'm a first born too and I hate to ask for anything or bother anyone. Great post. I started decluttering today just before I read your post! If we had to move today hubby and I would be in big trouble. P.S. Glad the cats are getting along better.

Anonymous said...

Debra, the older I get the more I get frustrated with STUFF! Honestly, when I was "young" it never bothered me. It sure does now! And yet, my urge to shop and get "stuff" is at an all-time high because the stuff is now for the grandbabies! Now my garage sale trips will be to find something cheap and useful for the grandbabies. Maybe the grand kids is an excuse to keep on the garage sale trail??

Judy said...

I use the grandkid excuse.
But it really was ME that wanted the jumping horse.
Now I'm having fun trying to sell my finds. I'll let you know how THAT goes.
But please, don't spread around the "don't buy" message too far until I get all of my stuff sold!

Elizabeth said...

Love this post I am firstborn also,but did not know that was why I hate to ask for help, I have learned something today.

Pat said...

Second born here! I no longer need to buy either, old age does that! Actually contentment replaces that continual need to buy, I only wished I'd found that contentment sooner, before my house looked like a museum! LOL!
I will say a prayer for your dear friend.

Bonnie said...

Has it been 8 months already? Wow. It must be a maturity thing. I just hate "stuff" now. Although I'm grateful to have the means to buy what we need. I just can't pare down *enough* these last few years. Especially holiday decorations. Just don't use them much anymore since the kids are grown. Kind of nice!

Anonymous said...

Know what you mean. Pickers is like hoarders...the before show...{when the hoarders collect the stuff}.. The show is getting old for me. I know pickers sells the stiff but where they pick Those People Really Collect!! We like to go to used stores or antique stores off and on. We are though Very Selective of what we get. Mostly we like to see the clerks we know at each place. At the antique stores we like to see the toys etc we used to play with or have etc and now that our kids are 40 we see their toys there!! Going there is a walk down memory lane. We don't buy..we look. Also I love to get ideas of how they use things and display things. I always come home loving even more the things I Already Have. I find the older I get the easier it is to give things away and not buy more to replace them. Debra, how you ever come up with so many great posts is beyond me ...but I am sure glad you keep doing it!! God gave you the talent and you put it to work! Thanks!!! Sarah