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?
I struggle with all of the things I’ve accumulated over time, and feel that paralysis as well. My move/divorce has been a motivator, causing me to focus and evaluate these items. Does this thing evoke a memory or a feeling? Is it a product of someone’s craft and skill? Photos are hard. I have a real tough time disposing of an image of anyone who meant/means something to me. And yes, as one who worries about the environment, I have to consider if it is recyclable (that one creates major constipation in the evacuation of stuff). The one thing that truly keeps me loaded down:( yet grounded 🙂 are my tools. Those are the things I NEED to build my future. Trying to find balance is so hard at times. I admire your journey and the compass you are following. Looking forward to following you on this trail that you blaze!
I spent a lifetime collecting beautiful things. All have a story, a meaning, and a purpose, only if that purpose is as simple as to be admired. The collecting was a journey that tells the story of me, and my collecting hubby, Tom. We have moved and purged many times, always keeping the best and then adding to. What I am finding now, with aging is the journey now begins to reverse. It is about giving things away to others to cherish. Letting go is a beautiful part of life and ever so freeing. I watched my dad go thru getting rid of…let it go…I took things of theirs, made my shrines….then they became hollow after some time….and I was surprised that I found it best to pass them along. Then more freedom came. We live with ourselves and a favorite quote is…no matter where we go, there we are. The stuff is easily forgotten once gone. The truth comes out that no…you did not need it for sometime…thus, live in the moment, clutter free, with your mind and heart holding the best of everything. And, no matter where you end up….there will be stuff to claim or abandon, rest assured.
Happy trails, open ended, open minded and …may they be clutter free! Blessings.