I just had a most lovely visit with a sweet friend who has made a massive decision. After many years abroad, she is moving home. There is a lot of paperwork involved and a LOT of purging. She’s needing to sort out what she can’t (or doesn’t want to) live without. All of her “joy sparking” stuff needs to fit into half a container so it can cruise across the ocean. We were both chuckling about how each of us moved away (me, only to Montreal) with one bag but each of us needed to arrange shipping (she, literally) for our belongings on the way back.
I think I’m going to try thinking about each of my things as “would I ship this across the ocean?” to decide whether it’s worth hanging onto.
My friend tells me that some people say they’d just leave everything and buy new stuff. I wonder, though. I wonder how many people would seriously just walk away from everything they’d collected and cherished for (in her case) the past 18 years. We talked about how it’s often not even the things of monetary value people are so devastated by when disaster comes to their house in the form of flood or fire. It’s hard to imagine most of us could willingly just part with everything. Sure, stuff is “just” stuff, but once you sort out all the things you can live without, things remain that you want to own, that you’re proud to own, that are part of who you are. It’s not easy to figure out which things are those things, let alone deciding to part with any of them. It takes far more courage to go through all your worldly possessions and ask those hard questions.
For me it’s just a thought exercise, but for her it is a very real experience with all its difficult choices and necessary limitations. For her also, though, it’s getting rid of the burdens and embracing expansion into a wonderful new adventure.
She is brave!
Day 293 scorecard: 1465 down, 360 to go