My husband and I didn’t know any better. We bought our first house and we began to fill it immediately. You see, we are of a generation that believed “More is More” and that your “more” must be displayed for all to behold. We believed that “more” was a symbol of great status ... acquiring more, doing more, having more, and being more. All of the things were supposed to make YOU “more."
I am unsure what changed our minds ... I believe it was initially the dust. The dusting of the “more” became a per-room daily chore ... an ALL-DAY per room daily chore. We got tired. We got tired of the dust. We got tired of the routine. We got tired of the stuff.
So we purged. We took our possessions down from a three-bedroom house with a fully packed basement to a one-bedroom apartment in less than a year. The freedom was glorious!
I am a writer of children’s poetry and wrote a little fable about this journey ... and I think many adults may benefit from it as well. It is called:
“In the Kingdom of Things”
The house was so small, with minimal space.
The walls were also quite bare.
The floor was too creaky ... like grandmother’s knees,
And graying like grandfather’s hair.
Cupboards were empty, the closets were clear,
Except for some fluffy gray dust.
“This can be cleaned and we’ll make it our own!”
And they mopped and they scrubbed until dusk.
Happy and tired, they peered ‘round the room…
It sparkled and gleamed like a jewel.
“Let’s us dance, let us sing, it’s a wondrous thing,
To lay claim to the space we now rule!”
They awoke the next morning to the sun streaming in,
For the windows were shiny and bright.
“And now we need things to fill up the room.”
So they shopped and they bought all in sight.
The house began filling with baubles and goods,
Knick-knacks and gewgaw galore.
“We shall have everything a person could want…
And possibly a little bit more!”
They collected and piled the what’s-its and stuff,
Until space was no longer a thing.
Then they sat on the stacks and pondered the scene.
An unhappy Queen and her King.
“We’ve filled every nook in our small, cozy home.”
“We’ve smothered the space that once was.”
“We have no more room to sing or to dance,
And everything’s covered in fuzz!”
So little by little, the King and the Queen,
Dismantled the towers of Greed.
A kingdom of Want, bought without thought…
And they gave it to those with true need.
The house is still small, with minimal space.
The walls are embellished with art.
The King and the Queen now know without doubt,
That the want of a home is its heart.