Too Much Stuff….

crayon-banner  This is going to be one of my Crayon Marks/ Wise Guy posts where I show you the wisdom I have acquired in my seven decades on this earth. It is about STUFF, STUFF, and MORE STUFF.   I think you get the idea. 🙂

Being born in 1946 I was at the very head of the Baby Boom generation. I grew up in the suburbs on Indianapolis until we moved to the country during my high school years. They make, or at least made, movies about those times that have an ounce of truth but maybe not much more. All these shows treated this era as the age of happiness and a simpler time, a time of innocence that we dream to return to. But that is kind of like “making America great again” in that it is not necessary, it has always been great.

Until my mother abandoned us for greener pastures, ours was a two-income family. Dad had numerous low skill jobs during that time and Mom worked as a receptionist in a doctor’s office for a few years. Given a combination of her narscissism and a douse of senility she later claimed to be a doctor because of that experience.  But as usual I am getting off topic here.

The point of this post is that even though we were a two income family we just didn’t have nearly the amount of stuff that most people have today. When Mom left, our lifestyle went down but it didn’t change a lot as far as stuff was concerned.  Yeah, while we could still afford it we had a 1,000 square foot 3 bedroom house in the burbs but little else.  Each closet was about three feet wide and with all our clothes there was still plenty of room for more.   We didn’t have the electronic gadgets of today, no cellphones, iPads, or even calculators or transistor radios; those would all come later. I don’t remember having even a bicycle.

Fast forward to today and it seems most teenagers have enough clothes to fill all the closets in our early home. Everyone has to have their own $300 or more cellphone and update it yearly. I hate to guess what the typical allowance is now days but I am willing to bet it is MANY times more than the $0.35 that I got weekly. When kids today become 16 you must have your own car. I didn’t own a car until I graduated college. It is no longer good enough to just have a comfortable place to live. Now you MUST have an outdoor fire pit and waterfall.

If we don’t start out wanting more stuff then it is eventually drilled into us via all the cable TV shows.  Everyone has cable now right?  If folks really want to get back to the innocence of the 1950s maybe they need to shed almost all of their stuff and try living like we did in those years. Stuff can be as much a burden as a joy, especially if you have it mainly because everyone else does.

4 thoughts on “Too Much Stuff….

  • It takes getting older to see the wiseness of your words and by then, there’s a whole crop of youth that feels entitled to it all. There’s a great peace of mind in living simply, but not everyone comes to that realization, especially in the US.

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    • Hi Mary. Our capitalist system demands more and more consumption in order to survive. That and all the media hype is what causes stuff. You are right in that it takes wisdom and a sense of nonconformity to buck that trend.

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  • I think that generation is leaving the building. Most 20- to early 30 somethings I know are very minimalist. They moved into adulthood while watching their parents drown in debt. They are the ones coming to our houses and saying, “Mom, you have way too much stuff! Why do you need all those books?” If you want to see their wake, head to your local antique store. Mine is selling $12,000 tables for $999. Those millennial don’t want that stuff!

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    • Jan, thanks for giving me a pick up for the day. I hope that trend continues into coming generations. Household debt is so high right now to consume too many families but like any other addiction it is hard to just say no to more and more.

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