Money was tight when I was a kid. Getting new clothes meant a trip to the thrift store. If we could find something for 25 cents or less at a garage sale, I would sometimes get a new toy. I longed to own things that were mine first instead of hand-me-downs, pined for the sparkly plastic items I saw advertised on TV, and envied the girls in my school who seemed to wear a new outfit every day.
As an adult, I thought success would be marked by my possessions. When my husband and I bought our first home, we filled it to the brim with new furniture, carefully selected art, and matching everything—throw pillows included. But instead of fulfillment, I felt trapped by my possessions.
Keeping up my house, cleaning and protecting all my nice things, seemed to take up a huge chunk of my time. Rather than relaxing on my new couch and admiring the walls I'd prudently painted, I saw the stains, the flaws, and felt like those walls were closing in around me.