are you a spender or a saver?

by rebecca on January 27, 2010

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       What are you thinking about when cleaning out a closet or facing the pile-up that is your desk? Dealing with my stuff is important to me because it’s a collection of my altared spaces. Sorting through it helps me sort out my place in the grand scheme of the great beyond.

       I try not to think about being attached to my stuff, but I just am. So, instead, I surrender to the journey. I can see it more clearly with my kids who both had stuff epiphanies this year.

       My son is a spender and has a long list of the things he wants to obtain next. Mostly, these things involve guns, fishing accoutrements and a very fine bow. For a long time in his youth he would ask me for things. Since I have never believed in being a store, I gave him chores and paid him for his work. Eventually he earned himself a bow.

       This wasn’t an easy path for either of us, but I was amazed this summer when he came to me and said, “Mom, I’m so glad you and Dad don’t just give me things.” I was aghast, but my son continued. “I think I enjoy my things more because I work for them. There’s a kid I know who only played with their birthday present once. I shoot my bow every day.”

       He is identified with being an earner. He’s finding his place in the world turning his time and energy into something tangible he can see.

       My daughter, on the other hand, is a saver. It’s very difficult for money to move through her fingers. This constipates her in many ways. As a consequence, we’ve given her a healthy allowance on the philosophy that generosity breeds more.

       Yesterday she came to me announcing the lowest balance in her saving account since starting it. “It was that craft fair. But I love my necklace and the gentleman who sold it to me. And I love all the smiles I inspired with my presents.” She poured out to me what her money had bought her and I could see she had learned to let go.

       She let go not just of money but of her breath, her tight hold of control on her life, and her desire to make the perfect decision before she takes action.

       My stuff is not unlike my children’s. Sometimes I need to earn it with hard work and identify myself by the things I obtain. Sometimes I need to let my stuff flow through me without so much thought and deliberation. Either way: earning or letting go, my stuff helps me identify my altared spaces.


What about you? Are you a spender or a saver?


When you are cleaning out is it difficult for you to let go of things that you no longer use?


Do you own something that helped you become someone? Do you no longer need that something? Is it now clogging up your life and you don’t know how to let go and make room for the next something wonderful?


I love to clean out my closet because it allows me to redefine who I am this year. This year my neckline is a little lower, my jeans a bit tighter. Who are you this year and what will you let go of to make room for something new?


Where are the spaces you have trouble clearing out and keeping sorted? I’m horrid with my desk. I’m determined that this year I’m going to find a way to be in charge of the paper that enters my life instead of the other way round.

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