Don't stuff up
I rarely made time to read last year, but over the Christmas break I read a book that a friend had given me. It was called Stuffocation. Having grown up in a family of hoarders, and with hoarding grandparents as well, I have not escaped being afflicted by this terrible disease, although I am probably the only one in my family who would actually call it a disease. And believe me, my stuff has long been euphemistically referred to by even me as, variously, my collection, sentimental keepsakes, family heirlooms, the result of retail therapy, my hobby, etc etc etc....I have a million excuses for not dealing with my stuff. But now my disease has a name. I am suffering from stuffocation. I am stuffocating, drowning in stuff that I don't really need, and it's stopping me from experiencing.
In the early 21st century we find ourselves in a world at the absolute peak of materialism, and the decline has already begun. Because of the internet, many of us are now becoming hyper aware of global issues, not the least of which is the decay of the earth caused by human destruction, and as a result, the choice to turn away from materialism is edging into the mainstream.
Many of us now habitually make efforts to reduce, re-use, recycle: use recycled goods from family and friends, buy from the op-shop, avoid packaging where possible, reduce car use, fill the council recycling bin, go to the fruit shop instead of the supermarket, recycle used batteries, mobile phones and spectacles.
And the nature play movement is a part of all this. The simple act of choosing to take your children to the park instead of the shopping mall has a massive effect not just on your children's physical, mental and emotional well-being, but on the entire materialistic system that we are part of. Every time you choose to take your children outdoors to play freely and naturally with sticks, stones, water, sand, trees, dirt, bugs, sunshine and clouds, instead of buying them the latest toy, the big greedy multinational retailers lose. And you are doing your small part to bring down the materialistic world and build an experiential future where the proven joys of doing as opposed to having will ensure your children and grandchildren will have happier and more fulfilling lives.
Now that's power!
This year I intend to clear my stuff: give it away, recycle, fix it and use it, whatever. And I intend to do more, experience more, live more.
I hope you too are feeling inspired to deal with your stuff, but please don't ask me if you can borrow Stuffocation to read - I've already given it away to a family member!