Giving Is Living – So They Say

IMG_1955Since we packed up our house in Kansas City, and began our more compact life in Charlottesville, we’ve been keeping the bulk of the overflow furniture items and knick-knacks from our former house in an onsite garage. For an additional fee, our apartment complex conveniently provides this extra space for those who are fortunate enough to land one – and we were hallelujah happy to get ours because they are in high demand.

Many of people who luck up and grab one of these garages, use them to house their cars, motorcycles, canoes and such, but they don’t come cheap.  So if you don’t absolutely need one, you probably need to let it go.  With this in mind, and in our pursuit to live more simple and frugal lives, we announced to the good folks at the office that we were giving up the garage for our second leasing term which begins this month. Unfortunately, that meant that most of our stored unused stuff would have to go!

First of all, I don’t like to part with my things, period! I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination; I just have a “thing” for my things! I mean, I bought it, it’s mine, and if it’s still nice, I wanna keep it (if I can) regardless of whether or not I’m currently putting it to good use.


Goodbye comfy easy-chair, we had some good times.
Goodbye comfy easy-chair, we had some good times.

One of our neighbors spotted me rearranging the space in my patio storage closet (the one that every tenant has) in anticipation of the disposal/relocation of items mission, and inquired if we were moving. I told him I was hoping to free up enough room in this tight closet to be able to stuff in and keep as much of the “stuff” that’s sitting in my garage as possible. In a good natured attempt to bestow a kernel of wisdom upon me, he offered this thought,  “if I haven’t used a particular item at all within a six month period, then I get rid of it.” Well I guess I still have to work on becoming more evolved, because needless to say I was less than receptive to his insight at the time.

In fact, I wasn’t trying to hear any of that – I smiled and listened to him pleasantly, but as he went on his merry way,  I thought to myself, “shoot I ain’t giving up nothing!”

But like in a funny movie when the sound of a record scratch abruptly bursts someone’s bubble, Rach put an end to my stockpiling dreams in her usual way.


IMG_1952No problem you might say, just sell the items you can’t use, and pick up a little coin in the process, right? Well, the problem with that is, we had a busy summer – which is also code for we procrastinated to point that it was far too late to try and sell the items before our September 1st leasing agreement deadline, and we didn’t want to have to pay for the garage for another year. So what we couldn’t creatively cram, fit, force, stash, or shove into an open nook or cranny inside our apartment, got donated to Goodwill – Rachael’s suggestion of course.

You see, Rachael doesn’t hold the same attachment for material things that I do, so she seemed a bit too comfortable…no, down right eager to partake in this whole purging process for my taste!

We can’t just give all these good ol’ possessions away, I thought – I mean, this is our stuff…these are our things…

Rach sweeping out the now empty garage.
Rach sweeping out the now empty garage.

And like a flash, I remembered a passage I read in Michael Bernard Beckwith’s book, “Spiritual Liberation” which said: “Evolved people give to live until they live to give. As individuals expand their understanding of universal law, they learn to give in order to live a life of inner wealth. This is a process of growing out of a mindset of getting something from the world to letting something from within you be freely given.”

I realized that I may had formed a potentially unhealthy attachment toward these objects that no longer served me, but could be of greater service to someone else.  At least that’s what I told myself as I watched the long-haired burly Goodwill guy charting away my chair, coffee table, and other once cherished items.

I admit that I’m still a work-in-progress, but I’m working to become more willing to give in and do the work that might help me live a more happy and abundant life.



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