For the sake of discussion, I’m going to exclude the obvious answers like food, clothes, and shelter which I literally could not stay alive without. Can I exclude a bed from the equation too? I do so love my foam mattress and crisp linens!
When I imagine my house empty (again, with myself being fully clothed and well fed), my first emotion is one of relief. I know that sounds terrible, but I often feel like my house is suffocating me. I’m the weird creature who would love to have a completely empty room in my house where I can go sit in the middle of the floor and just breathe. The more furnishings and decorations that are in a room, the more claustrophobic I feel. I need negative space.
After basking in that feeling of stillness, I realize I have nothing to do. Hmm…
What would I like to do?
I bet most people who know me will get the answer wrong.
It is NOT sewing or decorating or cooking or gardening. In fact, reversing the order of those three things would get you slightly closer to the right answer, but still far from it. I do those things because they need to be done, and I happen to know how to do them.
In a house devoid of all possessions the first thing that I see myself wanting and needing is a pen and paper (or electronic substitute). If I were to lose everything, the first thing I would absolutely need to replace would be a writing medium. It wouldn’t matter what I needed to write, I would just need to write. Lists of things to refill the rooms (because I do enjoy decorating), recipe ideas (a girl’s gotta eat!), pictures of dresses to sew (I can’t help it; my mom raised me at a sewing machine), but mostly to write my thoughts and preserve my memories.
There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t write something. It’s not always a journal entry, and I haven’t written a fictional story since I was a teen, but my days are still filled with texts and questions scribbled on a scrap of paper or lists and journaling typed on the Notes app on my phone.
My world revolves around words. Spoken, written, thought.
I’ve always said I’d rather be deaf than blind. Deaf simply means the world would be quiet. Blind means my world as I know it would end because I would lose the ability to read a book, write in a notebook, or make a list simply for the pure pleasure of holding a pen and forming the letters.
Most of the things I do, I do simply because they need to be done and I know how to do them.
Putting words to paper (or screen) is what I find joy in.
In the past week as I’ve been blogging these journaling prompts I’ve noticed my days have been quieter. I don’t mean my kids have stopped running through the house hollering and wrestling, or that the TV isn’t blaring Tinkerbell and Star Wars while my phone is dinging with texts and my husband is typing emails like a mad man. I mean my mental day has been quieter. Clearer, calmer, more focused and able to handle the external craziness because the mental cyclone in my brain has an outlet.
There is no more tornado of questions, to-do lists, ideas, dreams, memories, and observations. They’re all lining up into orderly rows that march out through my fingertips. It’s amazing what the simple act of responding to a silly journaling prompt can do for mental clarity!
What is your one possession that you couldn’t live without?