I was raised with that saying as a way of life...I don't remember if it was actually ever said but it was certainly lived. My parents are part of a generation where that was simply what you did - there weren't a lot of material goods and so each item was treated with respect. When things broke then they were fixed. If they were broken beyond repair then the item was saved to be used in another way. I have a very strong admiration and respect for that way of thinking and very much believe it is a way of thinking that our current culture could benefit from.
Last year S brought home some wicker furniture that was on the side of our road with a free sign on it. My husband knows that I love things made of natural materials, that I love a bargain and that I'm always happy to do what I can to make something last a little longer. A little while ago he also brought home some paint so that I could fix up this weathered (somewhat sad looking) furniture. I painted it and then I decided to use some thrifted cushions and some material I had been given to make some "new" seat cushions for the two chairs. So now we have two lovely looking and comfy reading chairs, a table and a loveseat to put on our patio. It makes me very happy to be able to furnish our lives in this way and to so rarely have to buy anything new, I very much enjoy being able to fix things in this way - it gives me a deep sense of joy.
And now I am also working my way to finding a balance in this. I am determining what "projects" I can let go of and pass on to someone else. I've realized that I can't *fix* everything, and that I don't want to spend all my free time working on things - remaking, repairing, re-purposing. I realized that what was a very worthy value at one time - saving all material items to be re-used in some way - can quickly become overwhelming in this age of "too much" stuff. That it isn't up to me to save everything from the dump and that I can let go of some of the projects I have tucked away so that I can free up some time to just be (don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean I will be throwing things in the garbage, it just means I won't be taking on any new projects for a bit and that I will see if I can find someone else who may be interested in some of the things I had planned to fix).
Do you ever have those moments in your life where you see very clearly that time is precious? Heartbreakingly clearly? That it passes by so quickly that in a blink your children are almost grown and that things - those constants in life- can change in an instant? Things are coming together right now in my life to show me this lesson clearly...and I'm grateful for the ability to be able to really *see* this. And so, for right now, I am working on letting go of "too much" so that I can fully enjoy "just enough". And for now this may mean some daily quiet reading time in my "new" comfy wicker chair. ;-)
What about you? I'd love to hear if you have experience of this feeling.