A Lifetime's Reflection: Lessons on Life, Possessions, and True Happiness

In the hustle and bustle of life, it's not often that we pause to reflect on the true essence of our existence. A poignant message from a retired writer contemplating a move to a nursing home prompts us to ponder life's profound lessons. Let's delve into the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of experiences and possessions.
  1. Prioritizing Experiences Over Possessions
    In a world obsessed with acquiring things, the author's regret over not prioritizing experiences serves as a wake-up call. The collection of material possessions, however impressive, pales in comparison to the richness of a life well-lived.
  2. The Transience of Material Wealth
    The narrative underscores the ephemeral nature of material wealth. What we amass over a lifetime eventually becomes a legacy for others. This prompts us to question the true value of our pursuits and the legacy we leave behind. well-lived.
  3. Living in the Present Moment
    The author's realization that constant tinkering and laboring robbed them of the joy of the present moment resonates deeply. It prompts us to question our own lives—how much time do we spend accumulating versus savoring the beauty of now?
  4. Liberation Through Letting Go
    The emotional struggle of parting with possessions teaches us about the liberating power of letting go. Attachment to material things can weigh us down; releasing this burden can bring a newfound sense of freedom.
  5. Simplifying for Genuine Happiness
    Life, as beautifully articulated, boils down to one bed, one room, and one meal at a time. This simplicity-centric philosophy challenges us to reassess our priorities, opting for quality experiences and relationships over the sheer quantity of possessions.
  6. Teaching Values to the Next Generation
    For those over 50, the reflection serves as a call to action. It's not just about personal realization but also about imparting these invaluable life lessons to the next generation. What values are we passing on, and are they the ones that truly matter?
  7. Letting Go of Unnecessary Baggage
    Metaphorical baggage—be it unrealistic expectations, the race for wealth, or needless possessions—can hinder our journey. The narrative prompts us to evaluate our own baggage and shed what doesn't contribute to our daily well-being.
  8. Health and Happiness as the Ultimate Wealth
    The ultimate lesson is a simple yet profound one: health and happiness should be our primary focus. Letting go of fantasies and unnecessary possessions allows us to embrace a lifestyle that prioritizes well-being and contentment.

In a world that often glorifies accumulation, this reflection serves as a guidepost for a more intentional, fulfilling life. As we navigate our individual journeys, may we find inspiration in these lessons and strive for a life rich in meaning, connection, and joy.

The original post of the Author:

I'm going to a nursing home. I have to. When you are no longer able to take care of yourself, your children are busy at work and have to take care of their own children, and no one has the time to take care of you, this seems to be the only way out.
The nursing home is in good condition, with clean single rooms equipped with simple and practical electrical appliances. All kinds of entertainment facilities are availableo n site, the food is fairly delicious, the service is also very good. The environment is manicured and very beautiful, although the price is not cheap.
My pension is barely able to support this. But I have my own house. If I sell it, then money is not a problem. I can spend it on retirement, and the rest will be left as an inheritance for my son.
He understands very well and said to me: "your money and your property should be enjoyed by you, don't worry about us."
Now I have to consider preparing to go to a nursing home. I look around my house filled with suitcases, boxes, bags, cabinets, and drawers containing all kinds of necessities, frivolities, and excesses. There are whimsical purchases, art collections, all sorts of clothing, expensive beddings, exclusive silver cutlery and gold accentuated dining sets.
I like to collect. I have collected a lot of stamps and many small collections of pendants of emerald, walnut amber, and two small yellow croakers.
I am especially fond of books. The bookshelves on my walls are full of books that were hardly read.
There are also dozens of bottles of good foreign wine. There are full sets of household appliances; various cooking utensils, pots and pans, a treasure trove of spices, various seasonings, and loads of food staples like rice, pasta, frozen fish and meat etc. In fact the kitchen and pantry are full to the brim ! As if I had a dormitory of children to feed !
Then there are the family memorabilia. Dozens of video cassettes, obsolete tape reels, and over a 100 photo albums of great aunts, great uncles, great grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, and friends scattered around the world. Many of them have long departed this earth and many more are in their twilight years, waiting for God to call them.
I look at this huge collection of things and I'm deeply worried and sad in equal measure. The nursing home has only one room with a cabinet, a table, a bed, a sofa, a refrigerator, a washing machine, a TV, an induction cooker and a microwave oven -- all the things I will really need.
There is no place to store the wealth and whimsies that I have accumulated throughout my life.
At this moment, I suddenly feel that my so-called wealth is superfluous, and it doesn't belong to me. I just take a look at it, play with it, use it. It actually belongs to no one. The "wealth" I claimed as my own was only passing by. Now, it is no longer mine and these items will pass on to someone else or to somewhere else until they wear out or are destroyed.
>Even the house I laboured, sweated, and saved to build will not remember me. The next owners will have no idea who I am and what it meant to me. I will be no more than a shadow in the garden as they eat from the apple tree I planted and enjoy the luminous flowers I planted in "my garden" of serenity.
Oh ! What a fool I have been ! I should have focused on enjoying my time here rather than constantly tinkering and labouring !
Whose palace is the Forbidden City? The Emperor thought it belonged to him, but today it belongs to the people and society.
I really want to donate the things in my house, but I can’t get it done. To deal with it has now become a problem. Very few youngsters will value what I have collected. It's old junk to them. I can imagine what it will be like when my children and grandchildren face these painstakingly accumulated treasures. The clothes and bedding will be thrown away; dozens of precious photos will be destroyed; books will be sold as scrap. The mahogany furniture is not practical and will be sold at a low price or given away.
So, I only picked a few favourite items. I only kept a set of pots and pans for kitchen supplies; a few books that are worth reading; a handful of teapots for tea. I took along my ID card, senior citizen certificate, health insurance card, household register, and of course a bank card. Enough!
I bid farewell to my neighbours, I knelt down at the door and bowed three times and gave this home back to the world.
Yes! In life, you can only sleep in one bed, live in one room. Any more of it is merely for watching and playing!
Having lived a lifetime, people finally understand: we don’t really need much. Don’t be shackled by superfluous things to be happy!
>It's ridiculous to compete for prominence and fortune. Life is no more than ONE bed, one set of clothing, and one meal at a time. You may have ten million of these items but you can only use one at a time.
For people over 50 years old, shouldn't we think carefully about how to spend the remainder of our journey on earth? Shouldn't we be teaching our children about values that really matter? Let go of fantasies, baggage and accumulation of things that can't be eaten, worn or used everyday. Be healthy and be happy.

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