Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another weakness

I brought my glass jar to school so that I can drink out of it. I could have gone with the canning jars that we have, but they have those goofy two piece lids that are great for canning, but I was envisioning spilling my water on the laptop. So I opted for the spaghetti sauce jar (Tomato Basil flavored Ragu, if you wanted to know the specifics). I'm now going to be real honest; I feel a little weird drinking from a jar. I actually hesitated several times to take the jar from my bag, fill it with water and put it on my desk. It's there now... And so far nobody has asked about it.

In the comments I had people advise on metal containers. I think they're good, but here's the thing. I already have the glass jar and the plastic. Every day I can use the jar without issue. On a relatively infrequent basis I will need something more durable, and I have the Nalgenes for that purpose until I find an innexpensive used metal bottle or my Nalgenes break (thanks Vertigo for the insight, that was funny).

Today I want to talk about stuff. I read Jill in Alaska's post on stuff the other day (again, Thanks Vertigo) and it made me want to get rid of stuff. The main thing that I could get rid of would be clothes, and I really don't have that many clothes. This is really a dilema. I feel terrible that I had to use the biggest Uhaul available to move here from Oregon. I wish I didn't have all this stuff. The problem is that when I think of the things that I would like to get rid of, it seems like a bad decision. What are the things that filled the U-haul? Beds, a set of bunk beds I made for the boys, our bed and a crib. Kitchen table. Piano. Futon. Book shelf. Bikes. Washer and Dryer. Now you see why the truck was full. Could I do without some of those things? I suppose, but I don't want to. I don't want my kids sleeping on the floor (or me for that matter). I feel very blessed to have a piano given to us by my wife's Grandma. It's a pain to move, but I really like having a piano that my wife can play for the boys while they go to sleep, it brings a different feeling into our home. As far as living room furniture, we only have a futon and a bookshelf. If my boys get much bigger, we won't all fit on our living room furniture. I'm OK with that, but I don't think I could get rid of it.

We have shelves full of paper that the boys use for art projects. Is that wasteful? Maybe, but I feel that it's worth it so that my boys know how to express themselves in art.

So here's the point of todays post. It may be that I just want to justify my weaknesses, but I think that some stuff is worth having. I try to buy (or build) stuff that will last longer than typical. I also try to repair things instead of buying new. But in the end there are big things, and I might add lots of things, that I would rather keep so that I don't have to replace them. It seems like all these people who don't have stuff are single. I could do that. I think that it's more environmentally friendly to have stuff that you use regularly and keep for a long time than it is to "minimize" by disposing of stuff before you move so that you can get new stuff on the other end. (I'm not suggesting that everyone who minimizes does that, but I'm struggling to imagine someone who lives without a bed or a couch.)


Sasquatch said...

I'd be interested in your thoughts regarding #children vs. amount of stuff as your family is growing again. I'm certain all your kids' belongings is far, far less than what ONE typical child has these days. But obviously with each child comes more stuff. (I'm definitely not questioning your personal choices here, it is just a dilema that I stuggle with.) Peace.

Steely Dan said...

Not all single people own nothing. I, myself, happen to own a futon, a bookshelf, a laptop, 8 complete bikes, enough spare parts to build 3 more, and several milk crates I use for shelves. And now, thanks to the generous donation of a close friend, I own my own bed. Single people have stuff...and we think to.