When Material Becomes Immaterial

A couple days ago, my wife and I set up for another of our seemingly ongoing yard sales. With me being unemployed at the moment and my wife about to re-enter the workplace after leaving it to give birth to our two youngest children, we are selling items to try to have some income. We are in a deep financial bind trying to keep the house, keep her van, and keep the utilities on. Some people go through rough financial stretches in life. Some people get out of them. We hope we do.

We did the typical yard sale preparation routines.  We sorted through items we no longer used or enjoyed.  Baby clothes that our two youngest have outgrown.  Music that we no longer listened to often enough to justify keeping.  Collectibles we did not have space to display.  Books that we had read and chose not to keep.  Furniture we no longer had space for in the house.  Old computers running Linux with the XFCE desktop installed to keep the minimum hardware requirement demands low.  Other electronic devices and computer items.  Etc.  For me, ridding myself of music and books was difficult.  For my wife, it was her collectibles.  Some of the items we questioned why we even bought them in the first place and we were happy to try to rid ourselves of them.

But I think what bothered us most is having to sell our items because we needed the money.  Selling personal items so that you can buy diapers for the two youngest children, food for the table, gas for the van, dog food, and baby formula does not leave a person feeling pleased. It adds to the sense that things are not working. It is different feeling when you are selling items to help purchase a new television or for extra cash for a vacation. I felt a slight sense of loss, but then I blocked it out.

When material becomes immaterial, it is usually urgency that changes it.


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