Tools, toys, money, memories, experiences, loves, lives. Why do some people spend years, decades, accumulating things until there is room for no more, then dump it all, just to start over?
Some people I know are purely interested in the acquisition, as though it’s a competition. One person in particular, from early childhood, would set her sights on a specific item, a doll for instance. She would beg and plead and want, until, beaten down, unable to fight any longer, her parents would give in and buy the doll. She would play with it for a couple days, then it would find its way into the toy box, or be relegated to a dusty corner in the closet, to be forgotten while she plotted on her next want. The wanting and getting of it was better than the having.
There are people that don’t care how they get it, they just like having it. The acquisition challenge means nothing to them. They keep score by how much they’ve managed to accumulate, using it as a yardstick, a measure of their worth, and are proud to display for all to see. In fact, their accumulations only have value when viewed by others.
I might be a little of both. It’s fun to get things, and to have them. Mostly it’s inconsequential items, tools, shoes, a new bike, things of that nature. But mixed in there, among all those everyday things are some possessions that take effort and time to acquire and maintain. Life experiences, jobs, relationships. How can some things, so hard to come by, such big things in our lives, be tossed aside like the doll that no longer holds our interest?
I’ve done that a few times in my life, thrown everything away. In one instance, a life that started good then turned sour and toxic, and left me screaming for escape. Another time, divesting myself of most everything because I couldn’t bear what they represented. The reminders of something that I lost, was taken from me, that meant more than all the trinkets that went along for the ride.
I’m in the process of re-accumulating now, if on a somewhat smaller scale. At this point, when picking up things from alongside the road I walk, I want to be more deliberate, focusing on the quality of my encounters. I want things that have value in and of themselves. Friends. That’s what I want to invest in going forward. The dividends last a lifetime, they never wear out, and there’s no way you can have too many.