Sunday, October 24

This Life Of Ours...

Image from my own quote book titled - Taking Time To Just Be

I haven't had as much time to finish my book this weekend as I'd intended! First I went to the market yesterday, and today I've been to an antique auction.

This auction was at a big old mansion made from bluestone right in the middle of Ballarat. Yesterday the home itself sold for well over a million dollars (which would have been more like three million somewhere in Melbourne), and it still needs at least half that much (by my guess) to bring it back to its true glory.

Today, the contents of the estate were being auctioned off. I got there early and wandered through the rooms of the home looking at all the old treasures. There were ceramic pieces, artworks, and furniture from as far back as the 16th century. The person who lived there (I think it had been an old lady on her own in latter years) was obviously a great collector. Original artworks from some of Australia's most loved painters were on every wall.

In all, there was more money invested in 'things' within that home than I could probably ever hope to earn in 3 lifetimes.

I wandered outside to the verandah upon which was displayed boxes and boxes of old books, videos, and dvds. And, as I looked through those, it occured to me that this woman was just like me. She had paperback books of the sort I love to read, old funny videos, and dvd documentaries. Despite all her money, her massive and very impressive house, and her mountains of expensive things...... this woman had liked reading and watching stuff I liked to read and watch.

And, I wondered...... did all those 'things' in her home, the gazillion dollars worth of stuff, truly make her happy? Did she gain strength, happiness, support, nourishment, contentment, and a feeling of love from the treasure trove she had built up?

I have to admit whilst I could see how old and obviously valuable alot of the things inside the home were, I didn't actually like a lot of it (I hope she did). It seemed more like something you'd buy because it was worth a lot of money, not because you loved to look at it or because it sang to your soul. There were about 15 items in the whole house I liked, and perhaps one painting I could see on my wall. But that was it.

Was she obsessed with collecting stuff that seemed 'important'? Did these things fill her with pride, or satisfaction at being able to afford them, and yet not give her feelings of joy and belonging?

I'd love to have met her and found out.

Then, about an hour after I left the auction (didn't buy anything, was just there to look!).... I got word to say a friend's father had taken a massive heart attack and was in an induced coma awaiting bypass surgery sometime in the next few days.

Life is so transient isn't it.

Here today, gone tomorrow.

This afternoon, I spent time with my 80 year old mum who lives just around the corner from me. She's as fit as a fiddle for her age...... but today's events remind me she won't be around forever.

I love my mum. My beloved dad passed away 12 years ago, so mum's my closest family!

It's good to remember the important things in life, and realise how lucky I am. I may not have a huge house, and I may not own heaps of expensive stuff, (just things that really sing to my soul and contribute positively in some way)...

.... but I have enough.

I have more than enough, because I have love in my life, and my life is mine for the making.

I'm pretty healthy, I have great friends, a great partner, my wonderful mum and family, a furry friend who loves me no matter what, a fab part-time teaching job that leaves me enough space to indulge my other passions (like design) and yet pays the bills....

..... I am blessed.

And, I am grateful.

Linda. xox

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11 comments:

  1. Thats awesome Linda, I am truly happy for you and that post brought a smile to my face. I guess becasue I had similar thoughts today about how very lucky I am for all the wonderful people and experiences I have in my life too. Isnt it so nice to find that little piece off contentment witin oursleves!? I dont think anyone who constantly acquires objects to make them feel happy ever has enough 'stuff' in thier homes because the 'stuff' just never fills that litte void within. So sad, and I wish for everyone to have those little moments of conentment now and then.

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  2. Hi Linda,
    What a lovely post. So true. Life, Gratitude & Family - The most important things we'll every have.
    x Michelle

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  3. I was having similar thoughts today about how much stuff do we really need. We have a small family, small house, and are happy. It is not the stuff that makes us happy but the times we spend together. I know I don't want to leave stuff behind I want to leave lots of lovely memories. Thanks for sharing. Charmaine

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  4. I don't have a family and I have been on my own since a very young age. I had money problems for a while, because I was young and lonely. Then I had enough money to splurge on a few things. I was more relaxed because paying the bills was not something I was struggling about anymore, but I wasn't happy. I have a natural tendency at being cheerful but of course, when things are difficult I get sad like everybody else. I have began being very happy when I came here and I had this little house, my cats, a job that was unerpaid but that I enjoyed, many friends. Playing with my neighbours dogs, helping them picking up fruit (they are farmers and the most lovely people). waking up at five am just to see the sun setting among the mountains and make anything look like covered with silver, I have found a form of peace wich is very difficult to describe. I just feel home (altough I do miss Milan a lot), and probably a real home was just what I needed. My dad is a very rich man but is also extremely lonely and unhappy. He never sees me ( and not for my choice ), lives completly alone in a huge house, he loves animals but won't keep them because they could ruin the nice things he has in his house. How sad is that, to be ruled by things and money? he is slave to his own money. I am just fine and absolutely free with the little money I have and enjoy. I am buddhist, I believe in reincarnation, but right now I have only this life and it has to be the best that I can make it, for me and for people around me. Oh, sorry, I am logorroic...
    bobbi

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  5. anyway beautiful, baeutiful post!!

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  6. I really enjoyed reading your reflections Linda.

    It seems like you had a number of 'revelations' at that auction today ... I completely agree with you in wanting to focus on the people around us and the love that we share ... without such people and feelings in our lives, we really wouldn't have too much to show for ourselves.

    I so enjoyed this post, as it completely aligns with my current thinking on what is really important in this crazy and wonderful thing we call life.

    Take care.

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  7. Linda!

    My grandmother recently passed away whom I was not very close with. She read a ton, listened to talk radio, and smoked like a chimney.

    She never set foot on a plane and was pretty grouchy about life passing her by. She is one of the biggest lessons I learned in life and that is to live your life, have adventures, and take those chances. I don't want to be 80 years old and never have done anything in my life.

    Erika **hugs**

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  8. What a beautiful post!

    It is important to take time to reflect on all of one's blessings from time to time. Money and things don't contribute nearly as much to life as love and family and fuzzy friends.

    Thanks for reminding me of that...I'm off to hug my cats :)

    ~Jenn

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  9. WOW everybody, such great comments and reflections. Thank you! So interesting to hear your stories, your ideas, your thoughts, and about your family members (including furry ones!).

    Bobbi, Buddism interests me a great deal, and I've done a bit of reading about it here and there. If only I could be more 'zen' in my life.

    I'm going to once again give meditation a try soon, it will be interesting to see how it goes. It's never gone well before... but it's about time I stuck at it for a while and took control of my own thoughts better!

    Thanks again everyone..... you all 'rock!!!'

    Linda. xox

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  10. What a great post. I agree it's important to appreciate what is really important in life. Experiences, not things. I try to remind myself of this when I'm considering buying my kids something. I want them to have what I didn't have growing up, which wasn't much in terms of material goods. At the same time, I constantly need to remind myself not to get carried away by giving them ALL I didn't have. I try hard to choose a few quality items/toys, though books are by far my biggest indulgence. Though they are material goods in a way, I feel they enrich our lives with so much more. And on a personal level, I now ask myself often whether I truly NEED something versus just wanting it. Anyway, much food for thought.

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I'm very grateful for your participation.

Until next time may your home be full of lots of love, laughter, and life!

Linda. xx

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