by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Putting our priorities in order was facilitated by the recent hurricane. How quickly we manage to gather up our most important possessions when getting out of town before a disaster might make the decisions if we do not.
Some clothes, insurance policies and family photos were easy decisions. Medicine, makeup, backups of business information. Then came the discretionary selections.
Carefully, I picked up a little green Dutch shoe I had given my Mum so many decades ago. I opened her locket to view the pictures of me and my sister and placed it in my purse. I made certain a lovely letter from my daughter-in-law would come with me.
It is different selecting items to treasure when we know the possibility exists that we won't have a second chance to see them again. And it is also surprising what we leave behind.
There is both peace and contentment
Before this recent sorting of what to save or perhaps forego forever, I thought of prioritizing in terms of what I would want in "one room." None of us know when or if that size space might become our home. Even though I picture a large and bright room as my one room, the concept is sufficiently limiting to let me know what I truly value.
I find it both helpful and illuminating to think in "one room" terms when determining an item's true value to me. In a world of abundance, it helps keep me centered.
There is something very satisfying about prioritizing rather than accumulating. It makes my Mum's insistence that we not give her any more gifts make more sense than it once did. She had enough. Her priorities were well in order and she needed nothing else.
There is both peace and contentment inherent in knowing what is important to us and what we can leave behind. I expect there are more little Dutch shoes that flee from hurricanes than Ming vases.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.