Houston. We have a problem.
My son walks in and asks “Dad, where’s the measuring tape?”. I think about that for a few seconds.
“Aaaah…” I say. “I think there’s one in the tool chest. Or the big tool box. Or the smaller one. Or…” Or in that cardboard box on the shelf. Or maybe it’s in the kitchen or study drawers. Or the car glovebox. Or maybe in more than one of those places. Sigh…
We must have at least 5 or 6 measuring tapes. We pick up new ones from time, because we can’t find the other ones when we need to.
Houston, if you’re listening. We definitely have a problem.
I guess this is an example of how life can be harder than it should be. Ideally, we would have one measuring tape. When it’s required, it could be found, immediately in its place, and easily returned. So why do we have more? I’m not aware it’s a sign of my success in life. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a sign of my mindless consumption and attachment to things. What a waste of money and resources. At least one of the measuring tapes was broken and could not be repaired, so why did I have it?!
Whenever I encounter an object in my life I now ask:
- Do I need it? I mean, really need it. Is it adding value to my life, or is it just another thing that will sit unused (or unfound) gathering dust and rust.
- If I don’t need it, who else might need or want it? Can I sell it, donate it or give it away?
- If I can’t give it a new home, can I repurpose it, or recycle it? Could it become part of a piece of art?
Worst case, it goes in the trash. At least then it’s relinquished some space and reduced the stress in my life 🙂
P.S. If any of the above has resonated with you, then you might enjoy reading this great book: “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own” – by Joshua Becker