They say that the gap between where you are and where you want to be is pain, or the “pain gap” for short. That is the season that we find ourselves in. I can see our life of travel and intrigue off in the distance, but there is much to be done to get there. I am happy to be “retired” from my career, but now it is time for work. The first thing we are going to tackle is paring down our stuff. Each person in our house has a normal amount of things, however, we have an abnormal amount of people, so that makes for an unreasonable amount of stuff. We have an epic reduction task ahead of us.
Help us Marie Kondo, you’re our only hope! (See The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up disclaimer: I’m not endorsing all her beliefs, but she has a great system for managing belongings.)
All kidding aside, we are reducing all of our belongings to what will fit in our van and a 12’x12’ storage room. That will be a challenge to say the least. I have never considered myself a minimalist, on the contrary, I like stuff, always have. I think to myself when deciding whether to keep a particular item, “I might need that someday,” or “I can use this for (fill in the blank) project,” only to not be able to find the item I thought was worth storing when that magical day of need comes around. This is a learning experience for me, it is causing me to rethink previously held beliefs about what we “need” to be happy. Both Anna and I believe that reducing our stuff will get us to the point where we have some stuff, but we’re not spending all our days maintaining our stuff (or looking for it). We will be giving away, selling, and throwing away all non-essential items, with the exception of a few heirlooms/mementos. Our goal is to have it all pared down by the end of this month, which is ambitious to say the least.
This process feels like one of those movies when the plane is trying to take off, but there is too much weight, and the main characters won’t make it unless they can shed some weight. They throw away things that are valuable, even priceless, something that they might never have thought of parting with, but when it is the choice between flying and crashing, the hero will always shed the weight. In stories like this the villain will often choose to greedily hold on to the material thing he values, that inevitably leads to his demise. So, as I look at these things all around me that I have spent so much of my life acquiring, I can’t help but see them as dead weight that is keeping us from flying.
We are all made to do important things that no one else is uniquely qualified to do. Oftentimes the things that seem the most difficult are exactly the thing we are called to do. What are the things that are keeping you from “flying”? Maybe it isn’t possessions holding you back, maybe it’s a mindset, or the way you’ve been treated. Whatever it is, maybe it’s time to lighten the load so you can soar the way you were meant to.