Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What Stuff Feels Like

There used to be a Barnes and Noble in Prescott AZ. My friend and I used to go there and sit in the kids section in the back corner and sip Starbucks while our kids played at the train table. 

That B&N closed down. Now there's a black light golf place where we used to sit. Hole number 8 is probably right where Thomas the Train was constantly fought over. 

We associate places and things with experiences.  Really they are only memories.

That Barnes and Noble train center was the catalyst for my kids and my friends kids to learn to share and the table she and I sat at watching our kids was the place we bonded as we shared experiences and salted caramel hot chocolates. Once physical things that now exist only in memory.

It doesn't matter that we used to live in a single wide trailer with a leaky roof. Because what I remember now is how that same roof only leaked when it rained reaaallly hard. And I remember worrying that my toddler kids would knock over the pot that held the water. 

It doesn't matter that now I live in a brand new house, or that I'm living in Europe really. Because what I'll remember are not these things but what happens here instead, what has already happened. The trip to Vienna where David watched The World Cup in the hotel, and we shared a hot chocolate cake, our visit to Mitterweich where we rode those little cart toboggan things, or that I've never felt so close to my little family as I do now. 

I have been thinking about the trip with my parents which has kind of served as a great example of what I'm talking about. The trip was a whirlwind now that I think back. I don't feel like it was too busy to enjoy, but we did a lot of activities and I can't remember what happened where. Isn't that interesting? I remember playing the "Whose Picture is the Best" with Jackson in the van but I can't remember whether that was on our way to Munich or Frankfurt. I remember a picture taken with this amazing green background but I'm not sure whether it's in Salzburg or Flossenburg. What I remember are the feelings associated with these experiences. 

What I'm confused about in my head though, is whether this thought process aligns with my hearts desire to be a minimalist or whether this goes against it. I'm thinking it's both. Because at the core of minimalism is the idea that stuff is just not that important. So even if I have too much stuff, or an excess of it, it's not doing much for me other than providing opportunities for memories. Maybe some of those will be throwing it out. :-) 

I think it's funny I wrote this post the very night before I got a text at the store from my worried sister saying that she burned my couch. I'll always remember her and the frantic messages I received when I look at the tiny spot on the arm of my chair. Maybe that's what she was going for. 

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