After 62 years of life, and having a lot of stuff — most of which I’ve chosen and some of which was given to me through the choices of others — I think I can provide some insight about the word “stuff.”
All our lives we are told to gather stuff. It may take the form of a house, a car, furniture, clothes, jewelry or anything that will give us a sense of value or accomplishment with our limited resources. As we arrive at different points in our lives, we seem to stop and evaluate what we have succeeded at doing with all this stuff.
I believe that what we do with stuff, and what it means to us, often depends on our age. And it tends to shift over time. For example:
Birth to age 25. We use stuff that is provided to us by others (usually our parents).
However, we often miss the opportunity of seeing the real value of what our parents sacrificed for us every day.
Ages 25 to 45. We try to acquire all the stuff we can for ourselves and our families.
Yet we can miss our children growing up, each with their own personalities, as well as the events in their lives.
Age 45 to 65. We try to make life as comfortable as possible with the stuff we own or owe.
But we may miss the opportunity to spend time with friends, a spouse and the people in our small circle of life.
Ages 65 to 85. We try to enjoy all the stuff we havebecause we don’t have much time or healthy years ahead of us.
We often will wish that we could go back and be young again with the experience we have now.
A wish without a plan is a dream.
I would hope that you have a plan that includes time as your most important asset in life. Life is not about getting stuff, or having bigger stuff or more stuff, but rather spending time with the ones you love the most. Understanding this may cause you to adjust your personal goals of what success means to you. It may cause you to change who is welcome inside your inner circle, or even for you to move to a different city.
Also remember that time is eternal. So, where and with whom will you spend your eternal time?
All of us at the Abbie DeLoach Foundation are committed to help end the temptation to drive distracted. Throughout April, we ask you to share #HandsFreeForAbbie on social media. You’ll find social media messages and a pledge you can make to not drive distracted on HandsFreeForAbbie.com.