Growing up, I wanted things I couldn’t have. We were neither poor, nor rich. We had a few luxuries, but we were not spoilt.
Later as a young man earning my first wages I still wanted things. Things I could not afford. More things.
Somewhere along the way I concluded that things were mostly hard to obtain. Things were important. Things were worth having, worth keeping. Things mattered. One did not let go of things because they were hard to get, and once lost, they were hard to get back. That was the problem.
Now, as I approach 50, I have begun to understand that for many years I have had the things I need.
I have too many things. I have spent these last two years repeatedly purging my life of the unwanted accumulation of clutter.
This is my fourth iteration and each time, unburdened of another layer of debris, I find that I still have too much, and that I can let go of more.
Today I realised that my former problem is reversed. Things are too easy to obtain, and hard to let go of. Things can be clingy somehow.
It is not that I want things I cannot have, but that I have things I do not want. They build up easily and without thought. Things are now only too easy to get.
I have resolved to be more careful. To be more wary of accumulating things. To be more ruthless about dispensing with clutter.
I am overcoming the lessons and habits of my youth, because the world as changed. My beliefs and attitudes are from a prior age.
Today, having things is too easy for most people I know. They build up as if by magic. Having space, clarity and freedom. Those are want I want to have now.