Thursday, August 7, 2008

Packing it All Up

As I worked on packing today, I got a little overwhelmed by how much stuff I need to fit in my car. We leave for Canada on Monday morning and I want to enjoy the last few days with family, so I'm getting a jump on it. But man....we have a lot of stuff!

And it's more than we need, too. One thing I have learned from living for two months each summer at someone else's house is that you don't really need all that much to get by. I bring seven outfits for each of us, and then I cram in extra stuff because I worry it won't be enough. Each year I wish I hadn't done that - we never do need it and it's more to lug home again.

I think that fear is at the heart of our compulsion to accumulate things. We always want a buffer zone between us and doing without. That behavior probably served us when we were hunter/gatherers living at subsistence level, but it isn't so helpful today. Still, doing away with the surplus takes an act of courage - and faith.

It's easy for me to feel confident in my courage and faith right now, while the "doing away" part is hypothetical. It will be interesting to see how it feels next week when I'm home and starting to actually get rid of things.

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