When my husband and I decided to sell everything and move to Guatemala, we had the usual American overload:
A big house filled with our valued possessions.
A minivan and a sedan, along with a car needing repair parked in the garage
A tractor mower and every other tool known to man, collected by my husband for over 40 years. Giving up his tools was absolutely the hardest thing for him to do.
Antiques and family history passed down from generations on both sides
A fully equipped kitchen
3 refrigerators, yes 3 of them, all plugged in and using electricity
Okay, you've got the gist of it. After 4 decades of marriage, we had collected a LOT. And in six months time, we sold or gave away everything. Except for family photos and a few extras in a very small storage unit. These are items we plan on bringing down with us our next couple of trips back.
One of the problems people have in downsizing is letting go of STUFF. You work a lifetime to collect it, and it's hard to say goodbye. That six months of unloading was probably the most stressful six months I've experienced in a very long time.
And please don't get the idea we were pack rats. Not at all. I could
dispatch clutter and fill the garbage bins in no time. We did not have a
cluttered home. In fact, I was stunned at how long it took to get
rid of it all, simply because I hadn't realized how much there was.
And now that we are moved to our third world paradise, we talk about what we miss. Except for our family, the word is nothing. We love not having a car. We love not owning a home. We love that we can pack up our 4 suitcases and move if we want to. Letting go of all those things that filled our home and garage and basement was extremely difficult. But was it worth it? YES!!!
I can hardly explain the lightness of feeling that comes with disposing of all those possessions. I never thought I could live without a dishwasher, a vacuum, or a washer and drier, or my husband part with his beloved tools.
We took the first leap into the darkness, then one step after another, and came out on the other side lighter, happier, freer than imagined. We all have to do it eventually when we die, right? I'm glad I didn't wait until then to leave all that stuff behind.
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf