Some people like to say that things can’t bring us joy, that having things can’t make us happy, that possessions have no spiritual value. I disagree. I think when acquiring objects is more important to a person than spiritual solvency, that’s a problem. When the pursuit for possessions is insatiable, it’s not a need for beautiful or useful things driving a person but a pit of need that can’t actually be met by buying or owning more objects. I rarely desire objects any more. There came a point in my life where I had plenty of things, where I loved most of the things I owned and didn’t need more.
After our house fire in 2003 we had to replace most of our furniture and we had a generous amount of insurance money to do it with. We chose not to replace quite a few things in favor of using the money to buy fewer better things. This Italian Art Deco china cabinet is one of the pieces we bought. It was expensive to us but we couldn’t have bought a brand new quality* china hutch for less and most of them were more.
Aside from my rare book collection, (not all pretty vintage copies, just hard to find Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, and a few other vintage favorites), this is my most prized possession. Every single day I walk past it and it makes me happy. We use it every day. We keep all our most used dishes, both humble and fancy, in this cabinet. As of last night we now keep ALL of our dishes in it. (I cleaned out another cabinet, culled out some things, and rearranged all the dishes)
I couldn’t remotely afford something like this now. Perhaps that makes it extra wonderful that I had a short period in my life where I could buy something in my favorite period for furniture. We have an eclectic style of decorating but if I had an endless flow of money I would probably end up with a much more Art Deco-centric theme in my house as we did when we lived in my favorite house of all time (the Beaver Street house). Over the last 9 years we have had to shed a lot of my deco furniture (our wonderful bedroom set literally wouldn’t fit in our first Oregon house – couldn’t get it through the hallway – stupid ranch style house).
I was so tired yesterday. I thought I would take a “mental health day” and do nothing. But I ended up dusting and rearranging and pulling things off my living room surfaces and shelves. It felt so good that I decided to act on an idea I had the other day but was too tired to tackle: cleaning and rearranging the deco stag china cabinet. I even took out the glass doors and the glass shelf and cleaned them. It felt so good to do it. Once I got going I was able to scrape the energy to keep working because it felt so good to take care of my most treasured possession. That’s self care, my friends.
As a total side note completely unrelated to this post: I now know for certain that I much prefer Canon cameras above all. My Panasonic camera has a Leica lens and everything but it simply isn’t as good. My next camera will be a Canon.**
*Still total crap compared to antique pieces.
**I only use good quality point and shoots. I have a DSLR Canon but I dislike having to change lenses and I dislike the size. I will probably go for a Canon G-series.