Month: October 2015

Living with Too Much Stuff

I do not own this image but I am using it respectfully.

I do not own this image but I am using it respectfully.

Last Friday, Mike and I rolled out of our driveway, the same driveway I have driven up and down for 47 years, for the last time.  We have spent the last few weeks giving away, throwing away and donating most of our belongings.  We have decided to start a new journey that involves living with much less; which also means not having a house any longer.  It is a huge change from what we are used to.

Our first stop was a farmstay in Bowling Green, Kentucky (a really great place – I will write a post about our stay).  I knew by the time we got there that we had brought too much stuff. The back of Devi was full and we even had to leave some things behind because there was no room left in the car.  Luckily our host was getting ready to donate some clothes to a local charity and we asked if we could donate some things also.

The point is not what great people we are for donating stuff, the point is actually that we realized on the second day of our new life that we still had stuff we could live without.  I began thinking why I had to have these few items and I could not remember for the life of me what I was thinking.  So we have decided to pare down even more.

Now I am looking at the stuff I still have and I am wondering what I can part with.  Do I really need four mini-sewing kits?  Probably not seeing as I do not know how to sew.  Do I need my set of 3 lb. weights for working out my arms?  Probably not, since they have so much dust on them from non-use, they made me sneeze.  Journals, I have several and I usually write everything on-line.  They sit in a box just waiting for me to hand-write things again.  I see now that I can actually get rid of more stuff.

So this new journey involves a conscious effort to live with less stuff.  I dreamed it would be easier than it is, but as with any learning experience, it hurts but it will be worth it in the long run.

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Phase Two: Fresh Starts and New Beginnings in North Carolina

I do not own this image, but I am respectfully using it in my blog.

I do not own this image, but I am respectfully using it in my blog.

Many things have changed since coming back from my journey.  Since everything was in flux, I was not really able to discuss the changes, but now I can.  This is actually Phase 2 of my Epic Journey.  The first part was the trip itself.  While I was actually doing the trip, I felt it was yet another of my failures, but in retrospect, it has actually prepared me for this new phase.  I learned things that I did not realize until later and the difficult experiences made me realize that I am not quite as soft as I thought I was.

Over the past few weeks, Mike and I have been cleaning out our belongings.  Getting rid of anything that is non-essential.  We had decided to live our lives more consciously and without a lot of physical entanglements.  I have lived in this same house for about 48 years and it has accumulated much stuff.  Getting rid of the stuff has proved to be much more difficult than I had ever imagined.  It is not so much the getting rid of it, but finding a home for the stuff when everyone is buried under their own stuff and just the sheer volume of things to get rid of has been quite a hurdle.  I decided a while ago that I was tired of the stuff owning me and now I am finally getting to a point where that will not be the case any longer.  If it does not fit in Devi, it does not go with us.

At the end of this week, we will be starting a completely new life.  We are going to be leaving this home and our home state for a new location in North Carolina.  During this entire process, Mike and I have talked and talked about everything and what we feel we need at this point in our lives.  Years of being one lost paycheck away from disaster has taken its toll, stress has made us sick and it seems we may have actually forgotten how to live.

Part of Phase One was to try a farmstay out in Oregon, but due to unforeseen situations, that never came to pass.  We decided that we would give the farmstay idea another try in North Carolina.  The idea is to connect, through an organization called Help Exchange, volunteers (that would be us) with people who are in need of assistance either on their farms or teaching facilities.  Tasks are detailed and volunteers are usually give room and board in exchange for the jobs they will do.  It is a great symbiotic working relationship because the people in need receive the assistance they desire and the volunteers are given the opportunity to give back while having a roof over their heads.  These stays can be short-term or long-term, it all depends on what is needed.

We actually have a couple of exciting stays lined up for the next few months.  There are about ten opportunities just in the location we are looking at, so the opportunities seem good for now.  We will be nomadic for the next few months; if we like the options, we may stay that way indefinitely.

As the blog starts the next phase, it will still be about self-discovery but now it will also be about something more than just me.  We will be meeting people who are living outside the box and who will, hopefully, teach us how to do the same.  My eyes are going to be opened to new ways of life that I never even imagined before.  The plan is to live lighter, live healthier and to live simpler.

Leaving everything we know and leaving my ultimate comfort zone is proving to be a challenge.  But I could sit in the same place for the rest of my life and play it safe like I have done for so long.  I could watch myself get more and more depressed because my fears and doubts would be running my life or I can step outside and start living.  It is time to start living and helping others.  I wanted my Epic Journey to give me answers to how to live my life, it seemed to only give me more questions, but now I see that when asked the right questions, the answers start to fall into place.

I wanted to thank everyone again who supported my trip.  It was life changing and I could never have done it without your support.  I hope you will stay tuned to find out about this new adventure.  We should be on our first short farmstay by the weekend.  I am looking forward to it (I am scared to death) and I hope you will walk this new path with me.  Thank you for listening.

“I’ll Be Back”

I do not own this image, but I am respectfully using it in my blog.

I do not own this image, but I am respectfully using it in my blog.

I am sorry that I have not written anything lately, I have been depressed.  I have been trying to come up with something to write about but neither the ideas nor the words seem to be coming.  I feel as if I have lost my voice.  There are so many game-changing things going on in my life right now that I can barely move.  I cannot seem to get my head in the game lately.

In reality, I think I was trying to use my trip to runaway from those inevitable things I knew where headed my way.  I felt like Sarah Connor in the first “Terminator” movie.  You know the scene at the end where she is sitting in her Jeep and sees the storm coming.  She knows there is no way to avoid it; that was me.  I saw the storm coming, but I tried to run away from it.  Unfortunately, that never really works out like one would hope.

Life is a funny thing, staying stagnant is a terrifying thing but change is also a terrifying thing.  There seems to be no in between. I want to just run to my bed, throw the covers over my head and avoid it all, but life requires my presence.   So instead of whining like a little girl, I am going to maintain “radio silence”.  Hopefully the storm clouds will pass soon and I can start to write about all that has happened and what I have learned from it.

I know a lot of people who are depressed right now, please do me a favor.  Find someone sympathetic to talk with like a doctor.  Take depression seriously and seek assistance.  There are a lot of resources out there, please do not suffer alone in silence.  It is not a weakness to ask for help, it shows your strength!!  Good luck and God bless!!