lessons from Romania part 2

I recently posted a video about the time I spent in Romania. I received many requests for more of those adventures and so today I have another story for you. 

Let me set the scene – even before heading off to eastern Europe. 

I love lipsticks. 

But at one point it my life they were an obsession. I had a lot of lipstick. Tons. Bags full.


They were not only drugstore brands, oh no, I had to spend enough money on a single lipstick, enough to feed a family an evening meal.

 I would buy a new lippie if

  • I was happy
  • I was sad
  • I thought that magically I would look like one of those “ children” in Vogue magazine.

I loved the feel of them on my lips.

I loved the color of them

I loved the smell of them

I loved how they made me feel when I put them on and when I took them out in a public arena and put them on.

I was the poster child for lipstick obsessions.

And then my journey started, the journey that eventually, thankfully let me see that I could lead a perfectly lovely life, a Simple Life, with less of everything, including my beloved lipsticks.

As I stated in my previous video, I lived  just shy of year in Bucharest Romania. This experience was probably, next to my caregiving role, one of the best in my life. I learned so much.

Funny, someone recently asked me did I learn this lesson while in Romania. I did not, it was only when I came back to this side of the Atlantic did the impressions start to filter into my thoughts and mind.

One day, I was sitting in our apartment. Chebaro had gone out to work. 

  • I was alone
  • I was bored.

So I thought to myself, let me have a look at my lipsticks. I then went through each of the lipsticks, checking each one out and deciding if I was going to keep or get rid of a few.

Soon I had a plastic bag of lippies that I thought I had no more use for. 

Then, in order to get some fresh air I thought let me take them down to the garbage area and toss them away. This is exactly what I did. Down I went the 4 flights of stairs [ no elevator in this building – good exercise ! ]

The dumpster was right next to the area where the local people were able to collect their milk.

carolyn Chebaro simple life romania
This is where the locals received their milk and the site of my lipstick lesson.

With one swoosh the bag was in the rubbish area. Finishing that task I headed back home.

A few hours later I headed out. This time my driver took me to swim at a hotel. 

As we passed that area, the one next to the milk drop where I discarded my unwanted lipstick I noticed that the bag that I had used was sitting on the ground. I asked my driver to stop so I could have a gander…

The lipsticks that were of no value to me, the used lipsticks, were all gone. Taken by someone or several people that saw value in what I simply threw away.

And even then it hit me

  • I had no regard for money.
  • I had no regard for my time and the time it took to make that money.
  • I had no regard for the excess that I had accumulated 
  • I had no regard or understanding that to the local Romanias what I had simply through away was gold dust. To them it had value.

They could neither buy or afford those lipsticks They also could not even source them.They had more important things to do with their money- like feed and clothe themselves. 

So my question to you today is 

  • Do you value what you own?
  • Do you buy just for the sake of buying- of getting?
  • Does it all come too easy for you?
  • Do you live with excess?

It might not be lipsticks, or even makeup, maybe it is clothing, maybe it is eating out all the time, maybe you have several family cars and you could eliminate one or more?

I am NOT saying do without. 

I am NOT saying living a Simple Life means being frugal or cheap. Quite the opposite. I am suggesting that you become aware of what is around you, what is taking up your space- both the physical and head space. Become away what you are spending time and energy on. 

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