So, this Spain thing has really brought some changes. A few months ago my husband and I were comfortably on the accumulation path. You know, the path of getting and then paying off the process of getting things. Things run your life. You don’t mean for it to happen, you don’t intend to give intangible items such control over your time, energy, resources and emotions but somehow they repeatedly end up in the driver’s seat. Somehow the drawers fill up, the closets become black holes and the garage…well, we won’t even go there to say nothing of the bank statements and credit bills that find their way to you.
I find that even with awareness of the accumulation path danger, I still find myself on it far too often. And it’s not enough to just get a few things because once you obtain those said things the next step is to upgrade. The small things happen almost without thought – the new computer, vacuum, etc., while other things seem to find a way to reproduce on their own like all the contents of a junk or makeup drawer, or how about that infernal missing sock pile?! The big things are not immune either, in fact they’re more visible and therefore tend to stay on the list (or mind) like the newer car, bigger house, etc., etc., etc.
Most people won’t reach the point of self awareness on this topic until they are one foot away from the grave – when they are literally forced with the reality that you can’t take “things” with you. Suddenly, the definitions of what really matters comes into view with clarity and new beliefs are formed around traditional ones. If you’re lucky, you may be fortunate enough to go through various levels of this re-evaluation exercise earlier. I’ve gone through smaller levels of this exercise with each move, especially those that cross multiple states. Yet even with that I still find myself looking around wondering how I managed to get so much stuff again.
The reality is, if this Spain opportunity pans out we’ve already decided on the process of elimination and retaining “things” at least generally speaking. We’d take the basics of clothing, toiletries and our technology of cell phones and computers. Virtually everything else would go minus a few items we’d ask family to store for us like some artwork,the one piece of furniture made for me by a family member, photos, awards – that type of stuff. The mentality shifts from ownership to renting, being tied down to freedom. Once you’ve crossed the initial hurdle of resetting your expectations and parameters, I find it’s actually quite exhilarating. In fact, we’ve already had discussions about how accomplish these same goals even if the Spain thing doesn’t work out.
I wish I could put into words the exhilaration that’s resulted from this mindset of letting go of all previous ideas and assumptions about so many things. Suffice it to say, regardless of what happens I’ll be forever grateful for the reset button experience.