Giving Thanks for Stuff

by Nancy Casey

Gratitude is appropriate any day of the year, but this week marks the official season of giving thanks. Once we begin looking, we can find much to be thankful for—people and relationships, pets and houseplants, life lessons, personal growth, and STUFF. Yes, stuff. Our stuff. The inanimate objects that populate our lives and living spaces. And perhaps even clutter them up.

It’s rather fashionable these days to decry how much stuff we have, to say we’re supposed to downsize and not behave like a hoarder. Maybe you live surrounded by oodles of stuff, or maybe you live sparse and lean like you are on a backpack trip. Whatever the case, you have some stuff and you wouldn’t have the stuff that you have if you didn’t like it for some reason.

Today in your writing, celebrate your stuff. Look around you. What do you see? What do you have? Maybe some of the things you see make you tired or make you wish they weren’t there, but for the most part, we like our stuff, it does something for us.

As you set up your page, meditate on all of the inanimate objects that you call “mine.”

Draw a line across the top of the page where your title will go so you are certain to have a place to put it when you have finished writing. You can also draw a box or blob that you’ll use for illustration. Or make a border that you can decorate. Sometimes the drawing helps settle your mind so ideas can flow in.

Concentrate on your stuff—what you can see, what you know is behind you, in a different room or even in a storage locker or at a friend’s house. Consider why the various objects are in your life. Remind yourself what they do for you. Some things have important memories attached. Others are just plain useful. We own certain things for the simple fact that we like the way they look.

Pick an object that you like and tell why you are glad to have it. If that doesn’t take up a whole page, pick another one and sing its praises on the page. If there’s still room, write about another object, and another. When you feel like you’ve written enough, stop. If there’s still room on the page, fill it with drawing or decoration.

When the page is all filled up, look it over carefully and make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

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