When I saw this quote it reminded me why I no longer own my home. As a home owner of an older house I spent many days and nights painting, sanding, washing, tiling, and repairing. It became like a child, always needing attention. After I sold my home and relocated I felt free. Free to travel, to walk on the beach, to visit with friends, to explore. Not that I am saying no one should own a home, just saying in my circumstances the home owned me. I worked hard to pay the mortgage, taxes, repairs, fuel, electric, repairs, upkeep, raking, mowing, shoveling and on and on. Now take the original price mortgaged on the house, the interest, repairs, upkeep and so on. Over the life of ownership of the house which was six years on my last home I put in more than I sold the home for. All I asked was to be out from under. When you are looking at the actual value on the home don’t forget to add in all the hours you put in maintenance. Then I ask, do you own the house or does it own you?
What about the car? We purchase a car to take us to and from work, then we work to pay for the car to bring us back and forth. It seems insane but we continue. Into the cost of the car add fuel, oil, repairs, tires, regular upkeep, car washes, and possibly a garage to store it in. Today I paid $120 for two head lights. Owning a car is costly. Yes, we are in a never-ending money pit with a car and house. When you purchase a new car it loses value as you drive it off the lot. When you trade it in you never receive what you have paid out. Do we really know the true price of car ownership?
If you own more than one house or car, do you ever feel enslaved by them. We haven’t even added in things like lawn mowers, snow mobiles, boats, motorcycles or other expensive necessities and toys. Then we move into the home and start accumulating things. There is the regular upkeep of vacuuming, dusting and washing. Then the repairs, purchases that you never maybe some of those kitchen appliances, exercise equipment. We have refrigerators, stoves, washer and dryers. All need repairs and have somewhat short life spans.
When I think of my rental home and the belongings it surprises me how quickly the house filled with stuff. At first I didn’t have a couch, table and chairs, dresser, washer or dryer. This was by choice because I left many belonging behind with my ex. My first purchase was a shelf for the kitchen. My neighbor came over and shared that her friend was relocating and had a dining table to give me. When we went to pick up the table she gave me five chairs and a china cabinet. I purchased two small grey chairs and a pink cloth swivel rocker for $100 only to find a Pottery Barn knock off white sleeper sofa and love seat for $350. Now the chairs sit on my front porch. There is room however I want to feel ready to leave at any time and this is not the case. I purchased another book shelf because I own over 100 books that needed a space to sit. This is what remained after donating over fifty when I relocated. Now as I look around, it can become over whelming. I loved the empty space when I first moved in and now it is beginning to feel crowded. Not like a hoarders type of overwhelming but a”I have too much stuff” type of feeling. Next summer I will have to unload once again and I am thinking about reducing the number of books even though I love them all. They are like my inanimate friends and when I see them memories of when they were purchased, what I learned and why I kept them fill me. There is no way I can sit and read them all twice so I will choose my favorites and release the others. There is always the local library.
Getting back to the quote you can see it is quite appropriate to our daily lives, at least here in the United States. Not sure what we can do about it but we never truly own something because there is always additional repair/replacement costs and manpower needed to maintain it. Watching people on the news Black Friday shopping caused me to grimace and wonder just how this all came about. People purchasing things they don’t need just because they are on sale. For those of us who do not indulge but have family and friends who do, it can be a painful experience.
As for me, I shall release and be free. I shall learn to say NO, I don’t need that. Thank you!! Living with exactly what I need and nothing else. One day I may just fit in one of those tiny houses or even be free enough to join the Peace Corps without concern over payments or ownership of wasteful stuff that has to be left in storage sheds. There will be very little to be stored. Some Christmas ornaments left to me by my deceased mother and aunts, a few toys that belonged to my children that keep for my grandchildren, some special items from my past, and half of my books. Whatever fits in my car, that is what I will hold on to.
I would love to hear your thoughts on being enslaved by your stuff. Do you feel enslaved by your stuff?
Love and Light,