We have arrived at our first stop: my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama with a car overflowing with stuff that must be culled before we continue westward. It was a whirlwind as we desperately scrambled to find a place for all the things that filled our one bedroom apartment. I had thought we had done a good job of downsizing our possessions when we sold our home back in September, but the mountains of material that we sorted and shuffled over the past few days left me feeling overwhelmed and at times paralyzed. Though I feel the freedom of life on the road creeping into my bones, the burden of the stuff we left behind still weighs heavily on me.
I don’t know why it is that I feel such a weight from the physical objects that my life has accumulated. To me, each one represents a responsibility of some sort, whether it be a book to be read, a hobby that I claim I want to pursue, or just a thing that needs to go someplace (the environmentalist in me has a hard time throwing anything away). When I have a place to put these things, it is all too easy to place those responsibilities into the “I’ll get around to that later” category. Moving forces me to come face to face with those perceived responsibilities and deal with them head on. For me this creates feelings of guilt for the things left undone, even though those things were likely not all that important or meaningful, otherwise I probably would have done them.
I need to have a better relationship with my stuff. I think I know what I want: to have as few things as possible. I have known the freedom of what it is like to have very few possessions and I want that feeling to be something I experience not just while living out of a backpack. Getting from here to there is proving more difficult that I had hoped.
What about you? How do you relate to the “stuff” in your life?