I have my old stamp collection from when I was seven. My husband has common baseball cards from the 50s.
We have scrapbooks and CDs. Who really uses CDs anymore?
We have seashells that I collected from every beach vacation that we took.
We have seven years of tax returns.
We have gardening tools that may be considered antique by now.
I have afghans and shawls that I had knitted. I have all the circular and straight knitting needles I thought I would use forever.
We have balls – baseballs, tennis balls, basketballs, bowling balls, beach balls, soccer balls, golf balls.
I have throw pillows from every decorating and redecorating phase.
I have carpets from every decorating and redecorating phase.
We have playbills from all the Broadway and off Broadway shows we have ever seen. They don’t take up much space and they tell a story of fun.
We have lived in this beach cottage of 984 sq. ft. for decades!!!! So how much stuff could we really accumulate in such a small space?
And yet there is still all this stuff!!!!!!!
So tell the truth… How many of you have looked around your house or apartment and asked yourself how much stuff do you really need?
I know that I have accumulated stuff and have gotten rid of stuff only to accumulate again and again and again.
I bought books and sold books. I bought more books.
I bought clothes and I sold and/or donated clothes. I bought more clothes.
We have had garage sales. We have sold stuff on ebay. We have packed up stuff and are storing it in the attic, the basement, and the backyard sheds. But we still have stuff.
My walls are full of paintings. Maybe yours are full of photographs.
My shelves hold things I “need.” But I collect vintage tablecloths and I do not know why.
I have lots of handmade necklaces with so called semi precious stones from my working days when I had discretionary income. I have Vera Bradley bags when everyone thought they would be the next collectible. I have a few depression and carnival glassware pieces that I inherited from my dearest aunt.
I have all sorts of vases.
I have a wooden sign that sits atop my shelves in my office that says: ACHIEVE. For the love of God, achieve what?
to be continued
ADULT CHILDREN has to be an oxymoron. And it is confusing…very confusing.
A young colleague of mine once joked that her mother would still be breastfeeding her if she could.
You want your children to be independent but you also want them to want to live nearby. You want your children to be strong but you want to help them. You want your children to be self reliant but you don’t want them to be too proud to ask for support.
It is tricky. You love to shower them with things you never had and with support you never got. But you don’t want to smother them. You don’t want them to conclude that you don’t believe in them. But it really gives you pleasure to help. And you want to be part of their life. You have so much more experience and they are working and you have the time. However, when you help, you do not want to be taken advantage of, abused, or taken for granted. And you do not want to feel that you ARE the amazon fulfillment center or THE HELP. But you do want to be appreciated and loved.
A friend of mine answered “Yes” when I asked if we are trying to buy our children’s love. And I thought – that was refreshingly honest. I felt happy: Thank Goodness, I can afford to buy a piece of my children’s love and Thank Goodness, I cannot afford to buy all of their love!!!
What if I stopped wishing that one – if not all – of my children would want to live nearby?
What if I thought ONLY about MY needs? What if I did not put anyone else’s needs before my own?
Would I want to live in my house? in the suburbs?
Would I want to move into the city? Would I want to feed on the vibrancy of city life?
Would I connect better to the NYC crowd?
Would I benefit from going to museums, attending lectures given by intellectuals? Would I participate in a vaster cultural life?
AND DARE I?
How do people know what they want to do in retirement? I knew I had to retire because I was too tired to get up at 5:00 a.m. and commute an hour each way. But I wasn’t ready to give it all up.
What if you don’t golf? What if you had melanoma so Florida is out? What if you have ALWAYS been more focused on work than on social get togethers? What if you don’t like volunteering because you still like to earn money? What if you are committed to family and want to be around for grandkids but your own daughter sees your help as a threat to her independence? What do you do with your time?
So, far, my husband and I have not made any major moves, nor any major changes.
We both tutor. We go to the gym and exercise – everyday now. And we babysit when asked. BUT…
NOW IF YOU THINK THE CHANUKAH MENORAH IS CUTE, LOOK WHAT ELSE I ORDERED…along with this book:
THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE,
I’M GONNA LET IT SHINE,
LET IT SHINE,
LET IT SHINE,
LET IT SHINE.
Ok. So what did I get my little grandson for the holidays in order to keep our culture alive? A PIC IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS!
Because I believe so passionately in education, I put it together with these books:
If you aren’t into T-Rex, you might consider this one: