I have Seven Bikes in my Garage

My garage full of ‘stuff’.

I have seven bikes in my garage (four adult, three kid).  And two tricycles.  And a ride-on toy.  And two running strollers.  And a double stroller.  And an umbrella stroller.  And a wagon.  There is no room for a car (we’re driveway-parkers) because we have too much ‘stuff’.  Yet I am not someone who places a high value on ‘stuff’.  We have a car that’s rusty, couches that are well-worn, and I don’t care if I’m wearing Name Brands or Joe Fresh.  But somehow I have fallen into the trap of excess.

I’m trying to word this properly, because I don’t want to come off as self-righteous and complain about having this First-World problem.  Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to have all of these possessions.  But I’m trying to wrap my head around the difference between the amount of ‘stuff’ I need versus the amount of ‘stuff’ I want versus the amount of ‘stuff’ I have.

We (I am referring to the ‘Royal We’, which sometimes includes me and sometimes doesn’t) live in a society of excess, a society of materialism, and a society of ‘stuff’.  We put in extra hours at work to pay for ‘stuff’ we can’t afford, and we don’t have time to enjoy the ‘stuff’ with the people that we love.  Isn’t that ironic?  Aren’t our priorities skewed?  Out of all the blessings in my life, the thing that I value most is time with my family.  Priority one.

So I am going to uncomplicate my life a bit by getting rid of some ‘stuff’.  I think I’ll start with the garage.

**********

For those struggling to find a work/life balance, check out this song (click on the link and listen to the words as you read along!):

“Don’t Miss Your Life”
By Phil Vassar

On a plane to the West Coast, laptop on my tray
Papers spread across my seat, a big deadline to make
An older man sitting next to me said, “Sorry to intrude,
Thirty years ago my busy friend, I was you.
I made a ton of money and I climbed up the ladder,
Yeah, I was superman, not what does it matter.
I missed the first steps my daughter took
The time my son played Captain Hook in ‘Peter Pan’
I was in New York, said ‘Sorry son, Dad has to work’
I missed the father daughter dance
The first home run, no second chance
To be there when he crossed the plate
The moment’s gone now it’s too late
Fame and fortune come with a heavy price
Son, don’t miss your life.
“Funny you should say that, I was sitting at the gate
My daughter called, she made straight A’s and they’re off to celebrate.
Scrolling through the pictures of my little family
My daughter with her mom and friends, not a single one with me.
They know I love ’em, I know they know I care
The truth is half the time, I’m not even there.
I missed our fourth and fifth anniversary
Our girl was early by a week
Her sister had to hold her hand
I was in L.A., she said “I understand”
I missed her first day of school
Then what kind of crazy fool
Lets such precious moments pass
We all know time goes way too fast
Hold on tight ‘cause it don’t happen twice
Don’t miss your life.
When I get off this plane, I’ll buy a turn-around ticket
Saturday’s her eighth birthday and I’m not gonna miss it.
There’ll be balloons and birthday cake
And I’ll clean up the mess they make
My mom and dad are drivin’ in
I haven’t seen ’em in God knows when
My wife will probably say to me
“I thought you were supposed to be in Portland
For a few more days”, I’ll take her in my arms and say
“I heard some words that hit me hard last night,
A man said: ‘Don’t miss your life’.”

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2 thoughts on “I have Seven Bikes in my Garage

  1. Angela says:

    Bawling!! Truly. I hear everything you are saying Ash. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is something that doesn’t interest us at all either. Don’t get me wrong, there is some stuff (ok, lots!) I would LOVE to have. But the things we need to do in order to get that stuff we are not willing to do. We like being “minimalists”. We have a sense of pride in it.
    PS – I think that having 7 bikes in your garage (which would be a fantastic book title) is a testament to how active you guys are as a family and as individuals, not that you necessarily have too much stuff! (we have 7 as well, + 2 trikes, 1 coupe……….)

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