Just recently, I was sorting through the stack of papers and notes that tend to accumulate on my desk. This can include business cards, ideas for blogs or essays, receipts, books I want to read, etc.. As I organize, I transfer the information I need/want to keep into the appropriate file, journal, notebook, and so on (yes, I’m a “bit” compulsive) with certain things.
As I organized the most recent batch, I came across a list of questions obviously taken from some book I had read (although for whatever reason, I didn’t list the title). One of the questions really struck me and it was:
“WHAT ARE THE 20 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I HAVE?”
I found the wording of this question particularly interesting. In our western culture, we usually think of “things” as objects or possessions, aka “stuff”. Since I no longer have the book (it was borrowed from the library) from which I got these questions; I didn’t have the opportunity to seek clarification on what the author meant by “things”. So I took about an hour and here is what I came up with in answer to this question. My answers are not in any particular order, but rather listed as they came to me.
- My integrity
- My health; everything still works, maybe not as well as it once did, but at least I have all my parts and all my senses.
- A sound and rational mind (this may be purely subjective)
- Balance in my emotional state (again, subjective)
- A roof over my head
- A comfortable bed to sleep in
- Several VERY good friends whose wisdom and counsel I trust
- A loving and emotionally supportive family
- Acadia National Park as my “back yard” – who could ask for a beautiful place to live?
- A decent camera, computer, and internet connection that allow me to share my experience of living here with others
- The desire to become enlightened
- Loving animal companions (that teach me patience and unconditional love; among other things)
- An interesting and varied network of on-line friends
- A little money in the bank (as in, I’m not broke …. today)
- A varied resume and employment background that enables me to be employed in a variety of jobs
- A personality that is comfortable with meeting new people and dealing with new situations
- A sense of humor
- My iPhone – a great piece of technology that allows me to consolidate a great deal of information in one place – good when you are trying to keep your life simple and your “stuff” to a minimum
- My experience of a truly loving relationship (with my late husband Don), thanks to him, I now know how to “get it right”
- My willingness to take risks (not with my life), but in life and not be afraid to fail
So for what it’s worth that is MY answer to what I found to be a most interesting question. Do “things” = stuff? Do “things” = experiences? Are “things” about gratitude? Or, as with my list, are things a combination of all of three?