Stuff, stuff and more stuff. We all have stuff, lots of it. I knew we had a lot of stuff because with each move we added several thousand pounds, according to the moving company, and although much of it was on my waistline, the vast majority was just stuff. Now the older we get and the more kids we get the more stuff we add. The question is, how much of it is necessary? I have heard Pastor Brown deliver several messages over the years regarding people and their stuff. In fact just recently he had a great message on joy vs. happiness and used stuff as an example of temporary happiness, but it does not often bring you joy.
I find great irony in stuff. You see I remember when Tra and I were moving back home after college. We had no money, no jobs, a prospect or two and very little stuff. But that stuff was very very important to us. In fact it was so important that we borrowed $3000 from my Grandpa to buy an 18 foot dual axle trailer so that we could haul our stuff up to Alaska. We then built plywood walls 8 feet tall so that we could pile stuff high. Now, as I sit and type this there are only three items that I remember being in that trailer, a washer and dryer of the utmost cheapest variety that we had recently purchased, and a small table made from wafer board. Neither item we would need for years, neither item irreplacable, neither item that important. But at the time that was our stuff, it was all we had and it had enough value to us that we hauled it nearly 4000 miles through blizzards, mountains, wrecks, and Canada. I guarantee you it cost us more to haul or stuff than to replace it. I quickly found out the most valuable thing we brought with us from Missouri; the trailer.
Now the tides have turned. Over the last 20 plus years we have been blessed to have some decent stuff. Stuff it took us years to accumulate. Just one or two pieces of our stuff now is way more valuable, monetarily wise, than our stuff back then. It also has a lot more sentimental value; as pieces of stuff was acquired at significant moments in our live, moments that often involved kids.
But now that we have to pay around $5 a pound to ship it, it quickly loses its importance. In fact, that is a great way to see what stuff really means anything to you at all. Ask yourself, ” would I pay $5 a pound to ship this to my destination so that it could be with me forever?” If the answer is yes, then it is probably good stuff. Stuff that has true meaning and stuff that may assist in bringing you joy vs. just happiness. If not, then unlike Rambo, it is expendable. Rambo reference, for the uneducated
However, this theory is not foolproof, hence me calling it a theory. You see I can think of two pieces of stuff that I paid to ship that have very little sentimental value to me at all. They are merely critical tools that have become extremely useful in our every day life, my imac and our Keurig coffee maker. Sure I could live without that stuff, but I am definitely willing to pay to have em. Once you go mac you never go back. I think the same holds true for the Keurig.
In the end, all our stuff fit into 23 totes. Those totes are about 3 feet long and 2 feet wide. That means that we could stack those totes end to end in our 18 foot dual axle, 8 foot plywood walled trailer and nary start a second row. Contrast this with our last move from Anchorage to Soldotna, a move where we shipped in excess of 14,000 pounds of stuff. Where did it all go? Most of it went to good homes, homes that we will visit when we return, homes where we can see our stuff once again. And we can only pray that it brings those who have acquired it happiness, and even a small piece of joy at this time in their life. And when we come to visit, we can share stories about our stuff and remember when we got it and when we let it go. Because as much fun as it was to get it and have it, we are learning that letting go is extremely liberating. Just don’t touch our Keurig!