Sunday, June 17, 2012
I'm The Richest Person
Sarah'd picked up a personal finance book for me at a yard sale by an author I liked and as I opened to read it, I saw a handwritten post-it note attached to the fly leaf that read:
The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.
I googled the phrase, and found it attributed to author unknown.
I thought about it the entire day, it's a life changing concept to me, a crystallization of all I've tried so wordily to impart.
Me, who has always stated that I just needed a bowl, a plate, a knife, a fork, a spoon, a spading fork, and a hand rake in order to fulfill my food and kitchen needs.
Gimme a TV set, a computer, and a lazy boy chair for the rest of my house.
Throw in a bed and some coat hangers so I can organize what few clothes I'm saddled with, and the rest is superfluous nonsense.
All I ever wanna do for entertainment is to dig in the dirt, knowing I'll never be caught up, nor even particularly satisfied that my garden beds are just so. I wanna divide plants and make new ones with what I have on hand, I wanna eat good from the garden, as Hazel illustrates, having come over to my house yesterday in her nightgown and running straight outside to pick and eat blueberries, just as her mom Sarah has done all her life, as have I, as has my Mom.
It's who we are.
All my books and houseplants, no matter how inexpensive, are just wants, not needs.
I've never quite understood shopping as a hobby, I felt I just wasn't woman enough maybe, or could I just be part Martian? Was I dropped on my head in a store as a baby? But now I get it.
I suppose I do need my truck still, some mason jars and canning lids, plus my canner, and a pan plus a skillet. A fridge and a freezer to put food by from the garden. A stove? Or a raw foods diet? It'd be my choice, generally I prefer raw.
And, oh yes, my cell phone.
So son of a gun, I feel thunderously struck by the major lightening bolt of having had a momentous epiphany.
That's what works for me, that of needing the least, feeling overly burdened, even literally stressed out too intensely by stuff.
Again, I emphasize Annie Leonard's very short video history of stuff that so illustrates exactly how I feel, our stuff reminds us that we suck.
No one can rob me of my education, nor of the millions of books I've read and stored in my head, no one can steal my experiences nor my relationships with other humans, nor my memories of where I've traveled, it's the whole 'keeping my treasures in Heaven' line from the Bible.
Having lived so deep within trauma, having been stolen from for so many years, fighting to be understood as simply a mother who cares, I feel deeply blessed this morning to have encountered this specific lightening bolt of a philosophy.