Sunday, August 9, 2015

Downsizing - Minimizing - Simplifying Life

     Obviously, we won't be able to fit all our belongings into the trailer.  Daniel and I had discussed it several times.  We started picking apart our home and determining what would stay and what would go.  We were wondering how much would have to go in order to afford a small storage unit while we were gone.  But in our discussions, it became pretty clear that we were not very attached to our things.  We made a big decision at that point. No storage unit...


     We will keep the basic living items that will be kept in our trailer.  We plan to keep a few boxes of pictures and keepsakes, that we will entrust to a family member.  Other than that, we are ready to say goodbye to all of this stuff.  That's really all it is...stuff.

     Recently, I've made time to reflect on this huge lifestyle change.  One of the main things I've realized is that physical objects are of little importance.  I've been rummaging through my household things trying to figure out what I want to keep and what I need to say goodbye to.  But it was mind-blowing; nothing seemed that important.  What happened? For years we have worked hard to upgrade and acquire quality products and eventually buy a big home.  Why all of the sudden are all the things we've worked hard for unimportant?
     I believe our decision to chase this unconventional dream has changed our perspective of our goals and of life.  It has required us to ask ourselves what is really important.  We've had to figure out what we want to accomplish.  Once those questions were answered, it was easy to say goodbye to our things.  People ask, "Isn't it hard to give it all up?" Nah, our goals are different now.
     Our children are having to part with most of their toys and belongings.  But to my surprise, they have been happily onboard.  Dylan, my two year old, has battled me a few times when I sold some of their toys and furniture, but then Marley, my five year old would say, "It's okay Dylan. We can't fit that in the Airstream.  And we can have fun without it."  Marley has been happy to give her books away to friends.  We even displayed them at a playgroup and she loved announcing that anyone could take the books "For free!"  And then my heart soars.  I feel so blessed to have such sweet spirited and enthusiastic daughters.  

     Phase one of clearing out has been tiring.  So far I have only cleared out things we never use or have had in storage for years.  That alone, buried me in mounds of stuff! I had no idea we were hoarders until I started bringing everything out into plain view.

     Getting rid of things is a long, tedious project with a lot of questions.
     Do I keep it?
     Do I trash it?
     Do I donate it?
     Do I sell it?
     How much is this worth to people?
     How much is it worth to me?
     After a day or two of going through our things, I became so exhausted.  I loved taking mid-day breaks from all of it to goof off with my kids.  I chased them around and tickled them.  I wrapped them up in random ribbons I found in a box under my bed (Lol). We danced and sang and read and cuddled.  It was a wonderful reminder of why we are doing this --- for our family.  

     But the more I clear out, the better I feel.  The closer we are to making our journey happen.  And the more we are focusing on the basic principles of happiness.  Less is certainly feeling like more in this case.
     Sometimes I look around at everything in our home and wonder how I'm supposed to clear everything out.  I asked my husband, "How do people do this? How do they get rid of practically everything?" His reply was, "People don't usually get rid of everything.  We are just weird." Hahaha.  Maybe he is right.  Maybe we are being weird.  But I've never been afraid of being unique, especially when it is supported by a good feeling.  I welcome the weird. ;)

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