Everything You Never Need

Everything You Never Need
By Laurel Droz

“…and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:10

“Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it'll
Never be enough” (Loren Allred, The Greatest Showman)

There’s something about a break in the weather that can make you want to clean house. Not just in a “open the windows and blow the dust off the place” sort of way, but in a way that makes you take inventory of all you don’t need.

For me, it started with clothes. So many clothes I never wear and don’t need. They just take up space and keep me from easily getting to what I actually use. I started bagging them up to donate and found myself letting out an audible sigh of relief as I dropped them off. I had less and it felt better. So I moved on to the next thing.

So began the great stuff purge of 2018.

It’s amazing how much extra we have. How much excess. Food we’ll never eat, clothes we’ll never wear, books we’ll never read, things we’ll never use. I started thinking of how I got it all in the first place and so much of it was about who I wanted to be or who I intended to become. I buried myself in it. A dress that would look great if I lost 20 pounds. A book that I’d read when I was finally ready to dive in the finer points of String Theory instead of endlessly scrolling through Facebook. Ingredients for a fancy meal I would probably get around to preparing. Someday. Possibly. Maybe not.

And I still wanted more. Because no matter how much, it’s never enough. And then somehow it all became too much.

So I began to strip it away. The layers of excess and want and ideas about who I might be one day—I began to give them up, give them away or throw them out. And the thing I learned was the less I had, the more me I was. It gave me room to take stock of who I was and where I was, not who I thought I should be. And in this absence of items I found myself.

For the most part, we can have very little and still have all that matters Having some of the other stuff is nice. But if you’re looking for something real, something meaningful, it can’t be bought. And you’ll just keep chasing it, thinking that hole will be filled if you can just get that better job, that bigger house, that nicer car. But it will never be enough because it’s just stuff, and if you aren’t careful you can lose yourself in it.

I’m not saying to give it all away. But try to find what enhances or enriches who you are and go sparingly with the rest.

We have so much. Maybe we are sometimes left poorer for it. It begins to own us. But spring reminds us it’s never too late to start fresh, dig deep, and bloom where we are planted. You already have what you need, no matter what the commercials and billboards and pop up ads and tell you. You are enough just as you are. And as for the rest of it, well, it’s time to clean house.