Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Tag Sale

Stuff. We all want it, or think we do. How many times have we gone to a store and saw something that we really, really wanted. We turned it over in our minds. Should we buy it? Can we afford it? Maybe not, but will my spending the 20, 50, 199, 6000 dollars make me or break me? We can't afford the tuition either way, so we might as well dig the hole deeper. Well maybe not, we really don't NEED that thing....but we WANT it, and darn it, we work hard for our money, and life is short, so we may as well enjoy it. And then we bring the coveted item home. And it does give us pleasure. For a time....and then, for some things (not all), you look at the item and you say, "THIS is something that I so desperately wanted? Eh, I really could have lived without it."

So today we sold all that stuff. Well, alot of it, anyway. And while I was really interested in selling the big ticket items (that dining room set MUST go), most people bought the small stuff. Stuffed animals. Notepads. Old fans. Dinner plates. Books. Hundreds of dollars worth of stuff that sold for a dollar or two. Stuff that I really wanted and gave me pleasure at some point. No longer. I wasn't sad to see the stuff go, but I am sad to see the empty spaces in my home, which all of a sudden I love so much and think is so beautiful. But I don't think the beauty of our home came from the stuff itself, but rather from the blessings G-d gives, and from us, my beautiful girls, and Isaac and me and the life we have created here together. This is what is so hard to let go of....not the STUFF.

At the end of the sale, I. and I decided not to bring what was left inside--we are not taking it to Israel, so why bother? We put everything on a table with a big sign that said "FREE". As we were doing this a young couple came by and asked if it was really free. When we nodded, they looked like they hit the lotto. They told us they had recently purchased their first home and were "house poor". We remembered those days. When I. and I were first married we used to go to garage sales and buy things to decorate our home with (which we sold today!). We went inside and watched from the window as the couple gleefully stuffed (!) the trunk of their car with our stuff. They looked so happy, and it gave us much pleasure to watch them; after all we were them not that long ago, and someday they will be us...they then came in the house to look at our furniture, but said they couldn't afford big pieces yet. They said, "you're sure we can't give you some money for what we took?" And I said no, just remember us some day when you sell your stuff, and at the end of the day just give it away.

Because at the end of the day, really, truly, it's not about the stuff.

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