It really is all about our stuff. I admit that I have a plethora of stuff.
We make noises about leaving a legacy. Filling out a university scholarship started long ago. Leaving money for a program or to enable a building to be furnished and useful. We worry about whether to leave a fixed amount or a percentage of what is left to the children, grandchildren or charity. We fuss around visiting a lawyer, getting a will properly drafted and engineered to avoid as much of probate costs as we can. In the end the document is filed in a safety deposit box or the lawyer’s office with a copy in the file cabinet at home.
We know it is important to state our wishes, as the government has a plan and will decide for us what to do with the remainder of our fortune if we don’t.
But what can keep us up at night is our stuff.
We are an accumulating society. Many of us have a plethora of stuff. I gave away a whole shed full of lawn maintenance stuff when we downsized and headed for the condo. When we moved back into a house, it only took three months to get it all back and now I have even more. Who really needs three lawn mowers anyway? Yes two were given to me for free but they cost me a day each year to maintain. Never mind, I spend several days each on maintaining the six vehicles I own. This spring I had to enlist help to get all of the maintenance done before we could use them to have our fun.
Sometimes I wonder if the cost of our stuff outweighs its value – even when it is free. By the way, where did we learn to spend thousands each year to insure our stuff? House insurance, car insurance – hey, there is even pet insurance. Once I lay awake not because my beautiful bride was snoring like one of the seven dwarfs, but to wonder how I would pay for all of the insurance that year.
It is easy to become sanctimonious. I only have one TV. It is my little brother who has eight. He definitely has a plethora of TVs – I wouldn’t even know where to put eight TVs. I have been told he only has one lawn mower, but then again he makes up for it in TVs.
I agree a legacy often reflects how we have lived, what we treasure in our hearts and minds, and comes to fruition in what we leave behind to share with others.
But to be fair, I need to just get rid of some of my stuff.