If someone offered you a thousand dollars, what would you do with it?
Yeah, yeah. Charity, student debt, buy Mom a Fendi purse.
Now tell me what you’d really do with it. I guess a better question would be, what would you want to do with it?
I’ll tell you what I’d do. If someone gave me a thousand dollars, I’d buy designer jeans. Rag and Bone, J Brand, Frame Denim. I’d buy jeans that slip on like butter. I’d buy jeans that don’t sag in the ass, that I don’t have to hike up every time I squat down to talk to my toddler. That’s what I’d want. I’d find a cut that fit my butt like nothing else and buy a pair in every fade.
I’m a budget girl. I seldom splurge on designer anything. So when I imagine abundance, it’s raining designer jeans.
I bet there’s stuff you covet too. So much stuff.
Three weeks ago my family was robbed. They broke into our car while we stopped for dinner on our way home from vacation and made out like bandits. Imagine walking into an Apple Store and asking for one of everything. That’s what they got. And then some.
I looked at the rear passenger window and thought, “Wow, this window is really clean, because I can see right…” Then I thought, “Oh no! We left the window open!” And then I saw broken glass and thought, “Someone accidentally broke our window.” And then I got it.
Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.
This is my toddler’s favorite expression now.
Jeremy sifted through the car declaring all the things gone. There was a lot of ‘Oh no.’ Then he told me they took Judah’s suitcase. They stole from my baby.
But after that something shifted for me. Jeremy stopped taking inventory of the car, looked right at me and said, “We’re okay. Judah’s okay. It’s just stuff.”
And like that, I was okay.
We were all phone calls and business while Judah toddled the sidewalks, kicking leaves and dragging sticks long past his bedtime.
The only ‘things’ I value that they didn’t get were my engagement ring and my phone. With so much stuff I had previously deemed important gone, I can’t help but rethink the value of ‘stuff.’ We all have so much stuff. And what’s crazier is we want more stuff. And when we get more stuff, we inevitably want more. But as Jeremy and I tucked ourselves into bed that night we laughed at the dumb luck of those thieves stumbling upon our car. We gazed at baby boy sleeping easily with Bear in the crook of his arm – the only possession that matters to him. We interlaced our fingers and wrapped ourselves in gratitude for our wellbeing (and for the fact that they didn’t take Judah’s carseat).
We’re home now and we’re okay. No, we’re better than okay. We’re great.
I’m stepping carefully into 2016. My intentions are set. Even more importantly, my values are redefined. My home could burn to the ground and as long as the people I love are okay, I’ll be okay too. (Oh boy, I really don’t want that to happen. You get what I’m saying.)
Inspired by the book, The Life Altering Magic of Tidying Up, I set an intention to purge my house over the next six months. After the robbery, I’m even more determined to simplify my life, to pare it down to the essentials and the joy.
Things are just things. Yeah, it’s hard losing them. It’s really hard. Especially, when they hold so much work and so many memories. But our lives are much richer and more beautiful than anything we could possibly possess. Love is much more lovely. And people are much more important.
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