February 21st - Welcome to day 21 of the Myrrhmade Love Where You Are Challenge!
Come on in and join us!
Day 21: Store It Elsewhere.
I'm not talking about keeping your things in someone else's space or paying for a storage unit - we certainly don't need to burden other people with our stuff or pay to keep more stuff than we're able to maintain within our own space, particularly over the long run.
I remember hearing a story about a person who, if he didn't think he'd use something soon, particularly everyday things, he'd donate them to the thrift store. The reason I remember the story is that he went on to say that he thought of the thrift store as his storage unit. And the nominal fee for using that storage unit was the small price he paid if he ever needed another one of that item again. He didn't pay all the time to store and maintain anything like a bread maker, extensive extra dishes, less used bakeware, and many other things that are always easy to find at thrift stores.
Every thing we keep has a maintenance cost. The more things we have the more of our time we spend maintaining them and the more money it costs to have space to put them. Having more stuff costs more money even if we never use it.
Another way to store it elsewhere is to think if you actually need one of your own.
I don't know if it's a particularly American thing, particularly a New England thing, or just a middle-class suburb thing, but surely not everyone needs to have their own lawn mower, leaf blower, snow blower, and chainsaw.
Similar to asking for help, relying on our community and showing up ourselves, can help to build connections with people in a way that we all need.
I'm part of a local BuyNothing group that is based upon community giving and receiving. There are regular requests for items, offers of items, requests for help, and immediate community offers of aid.
Everyone wants to give back and be helpful in whatever way they are able.
Daily Challenge: Ask yourself these empowering questions:
How can you offer what you have for the benefit of more than your family and immediate household?
How can you reduce what you manage by allowing others to be of service to you?
What do you have in abundance that you can use to invest in your community? Do you have time, energy, resources, goods, extra lettuce?
There's a brilliant section in one of Terry Pratchett book's (one of many), where the main character is learning from her much more experienced teacher. The teacher goes around helping people but never accepts financial remuneration for her services. The teacher is often given things like a loaf of bread or a smoked ham, and more than she could eat. She then turns around and gives much of what she's been given away to help even more people.
When the main character asks about it, it comes out that her mentor uses other people like a bank account, she stores up what she doesn't need in other people. She counts on people's desire to give back to help the community, as a whole, be better to each other and be happier together. Kindness begets kindness, generosity begets generosity.
Daily Mindset Mantra: Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller
How can you use "social capital" and invest in your relationships? How can you strengthen your support networks?
Particularly in isolating times like these, it's our friends, family, and neighbors who make it possible for us to live healthy happy lives.
I've long said that money is not the currency on which my life runs. The year HandsomeJoe and I got married, we got more compensation for my being a "dependent" than I ever earned on my own in a single year my entire life. It is my investing in my relationships that has allowed me to live such a rich life without being even a decent wage-earner.
Similar to the old adage that the way to have good friends is to be one, the way to treat disconnection and isolation is to reach out.
Instead of passively waiting for the world to change, you can bring more connection and friendship into the world by initiating it yourself. You can put love and connection into the world that weren't there before.
How are you investing in your relationships and your community? What are you adding to the richness of your life and the lives of those around you?
Make sure to check back here tomorrow for the next challenge, the next tips, and the next dose of the Myrrhmade Love Where You Are Challenge.