No matter where you live, nature is a part of your life.

I live in the land of fire, flood, shake, bake.  Knowing that for no reason, at any moment, you might be relocating or redecorating is not necessarily a bad thing.

Oh.  I have a ton of ‘stuff’ I don’t want to lose.  I have the family history photos in the garage in a box.  I have my grandmother’s china and the oil painting of my mother.  I would prefer to not lose any of them, but the reality is a plate will break.  I won’t know some people in the photos. And the painting might have trouble finding a wall big enough.

When push comes to shove, when downsizing becomes a question, the only true treasures are the moments spent, the memories made, the times shared, the laughter ringing, the hugs that don’t want to end.

In our acquisition race to happiness, we sometimes forget what truly makes us happy.

A pretty dinner table without people at it is a storefront window.  Photos without names or context are decorations or store-bought art.  Family treasures without their provenance are gallery pieces.

Should you be confronted with ten minutes to grab everything in your life of value, I would hope that you would know to grab the essentials – pets, peoples, documents, computers; the necessary – clothes, medications, phone lists; and momentos – photos, heirlooms, and unique to your history.  The first allows you to move forward. The second is the replaceable items. The last are the tangible reminders of people, places, times, experiences. They are lovely, but the true treasures are the stories and memories you hold within.

I hope you never have the experience of having to choose what to take in ten minutes.  May I suggest you ask yourself what would you take if you were told to leave your home with everything you needed to in 10 minutes, life or death, no extra time.  It is an interesting experience to ask what do I need to take and what do I want to take and what can I take. I would hope you find it liberating.  

What you need, want, and can take with you, is already packed within your heart and mind.  

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