Monday, May 4, 2009

Quilting Bee of Women (& Men) #7


Good morning folks! It would seem that we lucky ladies have some brave men in our midst, so I will say folks instead of ladies!! Did you enjoy the coffee and muffins last week? Today I thought it might be nice to offer you all some fresh fruit, mmmmm look at those berries!!! There is yogurt and cereal and donuts of every sort set out for you on the sideboard. There is also coffee & tea. I have racked a wonderful quilt today with little squares of delightful things. Please pull up a chair and join me!

It seems like the last 9 months have been dominated by money issues on the news. Clearly an issue in my house and I’m guessing it is on some level in yours too. Many of you know that I come from a very fortunate background, a nice way to say..I was quite well off growing up. Many of you also know that since my divorce 11 years back I have been quite not so well off. I have heard the phrase, “Do you know the difference between your wants and your needs?” thrown around a lot of late and got to thinking about what it means to me now.
I guess in this area I had gotten a bit relaxed and have not been following my own advice from the last ten years of life training. I have not contemplated my wants and needs too much for the last year or so. Given the economy and my income, which is not quite as lovely as it was a year ago, I have gone back to revisit this old friend. I have what’s called a 6 tubby rule – you know those 18 gallon plastic Rubbermaid tubs with lids. I know your scratching your head… I’ll explain.

In 2000 we were living on an amazing 40 acre ranch (rented) with a wonderful, tiny cabin. I loved it there! I had animals and a garden & my beloved woods! It was truly heaven to me. What wasn’t heaven, it was waaaaaayy out in the toolies and we had a constantly breaking 4x4. At the end of that year, everything tanked, Jim’s job, my job and..the truck gave it’s last dying gasp. We had little choice but to take up an offer from Jim’s family to move back east and find work there. The problem, we were taking the train and could only take 6 tubbies with us. I spent a month packing and unpacking those tubs, rethinking what was a want and what was a need. I must have done it twenty times. I had a lifetime of things to decide about. It was heartbreaking at the time really. I had to leave some very dear things of mine behind. But…. ultimately… I managed to narrow it down, cram those tubbies full and duck tape them like crazy. And then…. we left.

Here is the thing… to this day there are only a couple of things that I left behind that I can truly say have been missed. So…. I guess 95% of those things were not needs, but wants. I followed this “6 tubby rule” for a very long time. When I went to a garage sale, or thrift shop, Target… where ever – I remember having to choose the items to place in those tubbies. I reminded myself that not everything is a need, some things are just wants. More often than not I put things back. Until the last year or so, I kinda lost track of my tubbies. I have indulged in a bit of “want” buying – it’s a good thing sometimes – we all need treats. But… I found myself buying without consideration for my money situation, or true need – I got pretty selfish really with my attitude about money. Did I deserve a treat – sometimes yes – did I spend more than I should have on Ebay on occasion – yup. Have I gotten a grip – uhmmmmm yes. Head hanging, embarrassed, I learned this lesson already…yes.

I’m happy to say that we are not anywhere close to where we were nine years ago and the list of things I can put in those tubbies is larger and we are nowhere near where we were then. So…. what’s my point?? We all have “things” of value in our lives… our loved ones, our critters, our homes, jobs, family treasures, photos etc. . Those really important things! I look around my sweet cottage and wonder…. Could I put my life in 6 tubbies now? Twenty tubbies, one hundred tubbies? Yikes – lots of tubbies, time for me to regroup! I have become way too attached to my “things”!! Could I walk away and start over again and be ok with that? If my house burned to the ground what would I most want to have kept safe? My point is….those are the “needs”. The “wants” can be replace, every single one of them is replaceable. What is not replaceable in your life? What things would you put in your 6 tubbies?

So…. I am going to wander over to the sideboard and get a bowl full of yogurt with granola and a large cup of coffee. Yummmm. Would you like to take a break and join me? Next week we will have a selection of coffee cakes – place your order! Have a great week and thanks for pulling up a chair with me today! Namaste, Sarah

17 comments:

Audrey said...

Excellent post! I used to be such a collector of things! And then, at one point in my life, I seriously downsized, and it was then that I realized the difference between wants and needs. I live a comfortable life, but not an extravagant one. There are so many "pretty" things that I would love to possess, but I don't need them. At the end of the day, as you said, family and friends are the most important things in anyones life. Maslow was right - shelter, food, love, etc.

Great post. And you KNOW I love the coffee and muffins...um, I mean....the quilting bee!

Snap said...

Wonderful post. I've reached a time in my life where I should be giving things away instead of getting more "things". (Still hard to pass up a particularly outstanding dragon!) Things are just things ... pretties ... not what really matters. So, I'm off to clean out a chest of drawers. I sent a box of table linens to a niece who will use what was sitting around here getting dusty.

Hugs to you.

Holly said...

I absolutely adore this! And, I'd have to put it in one of my tubbies. Would have to. Your take on this topic is so much more eloquent than mine was. Here's the link if you want to read it!http://hollydietor.blogspot.com/2008/12/toilet-paper-lessons.html

Sarah, this is entry like your artwork brings a smile to my heart.

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

We all tend to forget the "needs" and "wants". A lesson we all need to review, especially myself!

JuneMoonToon said...

Very thought-provoking. Thanks for the reminder. OK, I'm off to de-clutter...

pencilportraits said...

You've hit the nail on the head with wants and needs, the problem for me are animals, I'd happily go without everything if I could keep my animals, fingers crossed the credit crunch won't be so bad our animals are on the not needed list anymore but all those other luxuries, and that's what they are, can go out of the window for me.

Sarah said...

I love my critters too!! After I had to give them all away that time - I promised myself I would only get animals again when I could afford to care and keep them!! They are part of my family.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Good post, Sarah. Both my husband and I have a tendency to be nomads to a degree. We like to renovate houses and then move on. After the first move, we started to "edit" everything we had including collections etc. We have often talked about just locking the door and walking...we really don't need anything but each other (empty nesters here). We've even asked your question about should the house burn, what would you want to take out. The only thing that came to either one of us was each other. I really like your term about the tubbies! So appropriate.

KnittingJourneyman said...

Thank you - I've been through this alot lately - the wants versus the needs - and bartering things down with myself--although I really think I can do it again, lots more and whittle off alot more stuff--but I am hanging on I know out of fear. I needed the reminder.
I've been having that thought alot lately--if the house burned down, what would I save? What would I miss?
Where's the dog? Where's the kids? And someone lend me a phone to call the bf--and I think I am good. Not that there aren't things I'd missed-like pictures and some jewelry - but overall--I could start all over and be happy--I just don't want to right now. :-)

Renee said...

I get rid of everything and now with cancer, I don't want to bog down my family with tons of shit.

xoxoxo

A Palmer said...

I'm in BIG trouble, Sarah. There is no way I can pack everything into 6 tubbies. But if it came right down to it, and I had to choose, I could select a couple pieces of furniture in addition to maybe a few more tubbies and be OK. Definitely I would sacrifice any of it for my animals. I would be homeless and still have my dogs and horses. No question. Hmmm, I should start looking around though...... Haven't had a garage sale for awhile. Thanks. Oh, BTW, exercise muse? You nut.

Hybrid J said...

Thank you Sarah for such wonderful post! I've also had my need / want lesson learn years back. Then slowly forgot all about it til last year's great financial hit. Since then, I've been practicing simple living based on one single word - necessity. And the first thing to go is stop buying any more new clothes for this year. So I salute you for your great post!! Blessed be. :D

Lisa Lectura Creations said...

Hi Sarah! What a wonderful post! Wants verses needs is always something I now consider. I'd be back and forth with the contents of my tubbies too. I was in a similar situtation a couple of years back when it came to packing up. I remember it being really tough. Glad you and your family are now doing better. Thanks for sharing your world and thoughts with us!

Have a lovely day!

Hugs,
Lisa :)

Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Wonderful post...thanks for sharing :)

Kat_RN said...

That was quite pleasent, and a point I need reminding of. Thanks, I will be back.
Kat

Lisa Nelson's Art, Bucks County Designs said...

The things we accumulate through the years amaze me. And it's true - how much do we really need? I've been trying to downscale to a simpler lifestyle for years now. Still a long way to go. Thanks for the inspiration!

Life Potentials Network said...

Hi Sarah, I'm new to your blog and not only loved this post, I've lived it! Thanks for stating it so clearly and beautifully! The granola and coffee are much appreciated too!