Multiplying Stuff

2 09 2009

chopped treeMy mom tells me that whenever my dad went out of town, she would embark on a major landscaping renewal project.  These efforts usually involved cutting down something substantial.  My excess energy is more directed toward the inside of the house.  Having just attained empty-nester status, I’ve been attacking the upstairs with a vengeance.

First came the moving of furniture.  We’re talking beds, a desk, and a sofa.  Oh, I know they say don’t change anything in your kid’s room when he first leaves for college, but trust me, my youngest is going to be thrilled.  Or at least I think he is.

Now I’m in the midst of reorganizing the stuff.  Not that his room was ever messy.  He’s the “neat one.”  (My other child, a college senior, has a very orderly mind but his room has always been on the messy side.  That’s putting it mildly.) Perhaps the reason son #2’s room is so neat is because, over time, the spare bedroom has become the depository for a massive accumulation of things that have fallen out of favor.  It was, in effect, an over-sized closet.

As I sort through the piles, I’m reminded of a wonderful quotation I saved from a Money magazine interview with Jack Bogle, founder and former CEO of Vanguard, the investment company.  Bogle relates a story to the interviewer:

There’s a big cocktail party on Martha’s Vineyard.  Someone comes up to this writer, I think it’s Joseph Heller (author of Catch-22) and says, “Joe, see that guy over there?  He’s a hedge fund manager, and he made more money yesterday than you made on all the books you have ever published.”  Heller looks over, pauses and says, “Yeah, but I have something he’ll never have: enough.”

Money magazine, April 2007

Instead of stashing the quotation away, perhaps I should post it on my fridge.

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