[COLUMN] Divest early

THIS is culled out from the series, “The Bucket List” written in 2018.

You have become a collector over the years. Memories, good and bad, you have them, by the bucketful, stacked in yellowing photographs in frayed and tattered albums.

You used to dutifully collect them, way back when printed photos were the norm. But now you have them in your phones, in your computers, in USB drives and external hard drives in gigabytes of digital images.  Somehow you long for the printed ones. These are important specially when the neurons in our brains begin to malfunction as a natural order of aging. These will become mental crutches as our memories fade.

We became collectors of stuff as well. Admit it. There’s the spirit of a pack rat lurking in most of us. We load ourselves with stuff. Society encourages us. Witness the success of Costco and those warehouses. We buy as much or more than we really need or, in many cases, can really afford to pay in cash.

So we have far more stuff than we need: clothes, shoes, furniture, linen, décor, technology, gizmos and gadgets and collectibles of all sorts like baseball cards, guns, antiques, books, kitchen ware, cars and whatever else one thinks is valuable to collect. So our apartments, homes and garages are bursting at the seams that we even feel the need to rent public storage spaces.

Here’s a thought that may well be worth considering as we try to TRAVEL LIGHT during this segment of our life’s journey. We have been taught to invest early in real estate or in financial instruments so we can reap the benefits of investments over time in our retirement years. This is wise counsel for all and it pays to take heed. Keep resources liquid. But when it comes to stuff, you become a contrarian and do the reverse instead.

Divest early

Earmark those special high quality items that you have enjoyed but have no use for anymore and carefully consider giving to people in your immediate or even far-flung orbit who might appreciate it and use it and perhaps even remember you from time to time.

It might be that dainty English porcelain teacup set you bought in an antique shop on a whim that you have on display for decades in your china cabinet. Give it to someone who enjoys taking tea.  Or it could be a piece of antique heirloom jewelry that you can give to an appreciative relative or friend or just an acquaintance. Or how about giving away piece by piece your collection of designer bags hidden away in your closet, forgotten and unused?

Okay, here’s the key. Divest wisely and choose recipients well. Give it to someone who can and will use it and not stash it away forgotten once more. In short, filter out those whom you know have too much of everything and will likely shrug off the value of your gift. In short, don’t give to ingrates and spoiled brats. It is a hit and miss but you will eventually develop the instinct to find the deserving ones.

It is a way of paying forward for all the blessings we have received even if sometimes we didn’t deserve any of it. The payback is that you get to see the smiles and the genuine appreciation from the recipients while you are still around. The circle of use for that special item begins to have a ripple effect of good over time.

In divesting ourselves of it, we clear the space it once occupied as the blessing of that special item moves to another. We will feel lighter too. Guaranteed. There is beauty and poetry in an empty space.

Our space is limited and so is our time on earth. How we use these can define the remaining segment of our life’s journey.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya writes for Asian Journal. Email [email protected] for comments.


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