It’s the season of giving.
Speaking from experience, the best gift you can give yourself is the realization that you have everything you physically need. I know it may not feel like it at times, but I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone reading this post fits this description.
Over the past several months, I pared my belongings down to what would fit in four plastic totes from Target and my Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV. To many of you, this may sound like a sparse existence. I can tell you that it’s not. I actually still feel like I have too much, and have visited Goodwill a few more times to make a deposit since my departure on October 22.
Have I had to get creative at times? Absolutely. A little ingenuity goes a long way in helping you realize that many “necessities” are even superfluous. For example, my current abode is not stocked with a colander. Should I purchase one? It’s only $10 or so, but what then? Do I take it with me? Do I leave it when I depart? How much do I use a colander anyway?
Lightbulb: I could just hold the lid of the pot slightly ajar while I drain it. I’m so smart, right? :-)
I like that I have to really think about what I acquire. This is important in ensuring ease of travel, but also to my budget. No, I do not have all the money I will ever need, but if I am wise, it will last me a while. If I work, it will last me longer and I can still pay on those darn student loans. Life is much simpler than we like to make it sometimes.
Sure, I don’t have children. I will absolutely own that my perspective would have to be slightly different if I did, and I'm clueless about all the aspects of what that entails. I know that security is important, but more than anything, I think children especially just want your time and your love. I don’t remember what I received for nearly any Christmas growing up. I know they were happy times, and that I usually was presented with what I had wanted most. What I do remember are visits to Ohio with my mom and sister, my grandmother’s warm hugs and sweet laughter, getting freezing cold and wet playing in the snow and then drinking hot chocolate with cinnamon sticks, baking cookies, and making loads of delicious mashed potatoes to enjoy at our Christmas feast. Those “things” weren’t remotely expensive, and they didn’t take up room in my home or closet.
I also realize that what we need is not just physical, but also emotional. This is obviously a more complicated equation than the acquisition or de-acquisition of stuff. What this means to each person is different, and I can only speak for myself when I say that not needing “things” has brought me opportunities for harmony and fulfillment in both realms.
In closing, I’m sending out wishes of peace to my friends, family, people I’ve met on my travels, and citizens of the world this holiday season. Savor some cocoa with a cinnamon stick or dive into a pile of mashed potatoes, and think of this crazy lady who lives out of her car. I love you all. xoxoxoxoxo
I’m very thankful to have work to do during this time of transience that helps to sustain me. It’s been lovely to have time to paint, and the interest of others in acquiring my artwork warms my heart. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to do some work to assist the amazing and empowered ladies of Sisters of St. Benedict in their efforts to continue to impact our world as they have for generations. If you are considering making a charitable gift during this holiday season, I encourage you to learn about them. Of course, you can also continue to support my all-time favorite world’s awesomest non-profit organization, Rauch, Inc., too.