From House to Home:

Passion or Possession?

In my grandmother's house there was a small illustration with calligraphy by my aunt. It hung in the same place in that old farmhouse until she passed. It now hangs in my mother's home. Someday, I hope the sweet little picture will hang in mine.

The message in the picture:

"It's not how much you have but how much you enjoy that makes happiness."

I think about this little picture and its message almost every day.

This past year has been a difficult one for many of us. But the next time you go to purchase something, ask yourself these questions:

It's not how much you have but how much you enjoy that makes happiness.

• Am I purchasing this item to enhance my life or simply because I think I should have it? In other words, is the purchase to keep up with the Joneses, or this item really going to help me in my daily life?

• Does this item help me pursue a interest, help with a hobby or enrich my creative spirit?

• Do I really need this? Might I already have something similar that can be reworked or refashioned?

• Will this make me happier for a moment? For a minute? For a month?

• Is this item a classic? Will it stand the test of time or will it eventually just gather dust?

We work hard and harder to afford the things we have. Often we don't have time to enjoy them once we have purchased them.

There are only so many days in a week, so many hours in a day. Instead of chasing the next item, stop, take a second, and question.

This article originally appeared in Lifestyle Insights on October 3, 2009

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