There’s less and less stuff in my life. And what little is left has been sitting in boxes in a storage locker for nearly two years. (If I haven’t seen, touched or used the stuff in that long, do I really need it?)

Maybe it’s a result of the meditation practice I’ve finally made into a reasonably permanent part of my life. Or maybe it’s vice versa. Anyway, it’s a joy not to have stuff to take care of. Remember that things (including houses) have a tendency to own us. Whether we use them or not, we have to take care of them. They take up space and cost us money, even if we never touch them. I’d like to think I’ve replaced things with experience. Stories and memories (and digital photos) don’t add much weight to our lives.

Surgical excision is what we do to and for other people and other people’s stuff. Our own? Let’s get real. Stuff stores our memories, our past, and our hopes and dreams of finally getting around to using these things for some future project or event. Even if the brain says it aint gonna happen, the heart [which is where ALL decisions come from] keeps on hoping. And as long as there’s a possible future – either new or a resurrected dream – we keep holding on to these talismans of our past. I didn’t downsize all at once. It’s taking a while.

While it seems easy to simply donate, sell and trash years’ worth of accumulation, it’s not. If you doubt me, replace the word accumulation with memory. Just as it’s next to impossible to forget about some of the people in our lives, no matter how hard we’d like to. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our memories of the good and bad times we associate with our things, experiences and people refuse to leave our minds, like that bit of random music from our ancient past that cycles through our head for hours or days on end. Or like Hawkeye Pierce said at the end of a M*A*S*H episode many years ago, “She went away, but she never really left.”

Are there things in my life I miss? Not really. People? A few.