My 9 year old really likes Taylor Swift and I encourage her. At the moment Taylor dresses well, and definitely wears more clothes than Rhianna or Beyonce. Also, she writes her own material and dates men like Taylor Lautner so, what's not to like?

Princess plays her non-stop somedays and this is one of her favourite songs. It's also been going around in my head a lot this week, having begun examining just why so much stuff is mine. It's almost the first word a child learns to say after names. Anybody who has watched a two year old playing with a friend who suddenly yearns to play with a best loved toy will have heard the cries of 'Mine!!!!' echoing around the room. We're biologically wired to own stuff. The top caveman had the best knife, the best rocks to stretch the leather, the biggest club for the biggest sex appeal. We can see through archaeology that ownership denotes status; Sutton Hoo being probably the best known British grave find and Tutankhamun's tomb the best international. The bumper sticker reads,'The one with the most toys wins.'

And yet..... we are so wrong with this. Ownership becomes possession very easily. Watch an Apple follower defend their phone against the Android phenomenon (it's a simple matter of money for me; I can't afford an i-phone and I can afford a smartphone that does pretty nearly everything an i-phone does) and you will sometimes see the irrational defense of possession. I can't throw out anything crafty, and have to steal myself to give away wool or material that I know I will never use. BUT I KEEP IT.

I've been trawling through my possessions the past 2 weeks. I'm trying to set up my craft area but that's on a hiatus while I prepare a spare room for a friend to stay. Anybody who has seen the pictures of my spare room in the past will know that I am a pack rat. When my German friend hinted she would like to come over, my initial thought was 'Oh God, we have no where for her to sleep.' I was prepared to leave the mountain in place rather than make space for a friend I have known for 30 years now. That's possession.

My things are not ruling my life. I will not let them. I am clearing and decorating the room (yes, it will have a cupboard filled with the fabric I want to use that doesn't fit in the study area) and I will have my old friend to stay. And afterwards I will make sure to place my priorities in the right order; people first, things a very definite second. Expect more visitors, more meals and time passed with friends, more family occasions for spurious reasons.

 I had a party for my birthday this years (first time in 13 years not counting the meal out for my 40th) and I will celebrate everything. It's been a hard couple of years for my extended family (Dad having cancer for one) and we are just lifting our heads above the parapet.  I'm ready to realign my life and my values. I'm ready to put my time to good use. When I die, I won't be rich, I won't have loads of stuff but I will have memories and relationships built on community and coherence.

These are the best things that have ever been mine.


  1. Boy, if you could figure out the secret to unwire us from all our stuff, you might be rich! Sometimes I wonder if it comes from generations that didn't have as much, and now we have too much. And then there's the old problem -- when I clean stuff out it never fails -- the thing I got rid of is the thing I end up needing, while the things I kept just sit. Which only feeds the fear of getting rid of stuff. Have fun with your clean out and redecorate -- I'm trying to do the same thing!

  2. What a great post.
    Plenty to think about.
    Stuff does get in the way sometimes you are so right.
    Memories and making them are the most precious of all.
    Lisa x

  3. As always, you say what we all think!


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