I’m shocked sometimes how much I can be thrown off balance by loss of or damage to my possessions. I’ve always tried to cultivate a spiritual outlook on life, recognizing that material things are temporary and not the foundation of happiness or well-being. I have, at times, lost things and let them go without a blink. Sometimes, though, I obsess for a long, long time. Three vignettes:
1. I purchased a black v-neck fitted merino wool sweater last winter. I loved it. It was so comfortable, professional and yet cool (okay, maybe not for others, but for me!), and simply elegant. I wore it, but not so often because I treasured it so much. And because, yes, it was a bit of a pain to hand-wash. I wore it twice this season, and just hand washed it, and when I squeezed it out to dry I realized that it had been completely chomped up by moths. Irreparably. Devastated, and find myself declaring that I’ll never buy anything new again as it’s not worth it.
2. We went to VV tonight for shopping and socializing :). Driving away I realized that we didn’t have our girl’s hat, and I knew she had worn it into the store. This was a simple, comfortable, cute and warm winter hat that is my top choice for her every day. I think it cost a dollar, and as you probably know, cost is unrelated to value. There really didn’t seem to be any point in going back to look for it. We have other winter hats, but I can’t stop brooding.
3. Before we moved, we gave away my old printer. I’d had it for 10+ years. It was an ancient laser jet. I used it rarely, and had never replaced the ink, and it smeared on the edges, and we had to buy an adapter for USB ports, and I loved it, passionately. Old and reliable and classic and easy to use. We bought a new wireless all-in-one laser machine. Guess what? I can’t print to it. I’m furious, angry, frustrated and totally unable to deal with the loss of this ancient item. I try not to think about it or I find my emotions interfere with my body – I want to flail my arms and scream.
Do material things matter? I have many thoughts on this. I’m also a bit tired, so I’ll leave those for another time.