The Problem with Downsizing and Saying Goodbye


01 Feb
01Feb

We were on a 2 week vacation with our 3 very small children in Mexico.  We were not looking for ways to be crazy.  Crazy just found us.  

During our two weeks in Mexico, we fell in love with a small fishing village called Telchac Puerto.  In a few spontaneous moments, we decided to buy a beach lot in that small village.  We went back to Canada and announced to everyone that we were selling everything we had to go and live in Mexico.

Yup.  There was a mixed response.

Oddly enough, my husband's family was happy for us and couldn't wait to see how our gamble would play out.  Maybe they were just excited to get rid of my husband!

My family flipped.  I seriously did not see that coming.  Seriously.

After a year of planning and selling everything, we moved south.  "We're going on an adventure," I told the kids.

There are so many aspects of this story I could dwell on.  Right now, I want to focus on downsizing and how difficult it is.

I don't mean just holding a garage sale and giving things away to charity.  I am talking about the psychology of letting go.

And you would be surprised (I was) at how attached I was to my Kitchen Aid stand up mixer,  my minivan, and my childrens' stuffed toys.

I cried for those teddy bears.  I blamed my husband when we finally sold the minivan.  And I thought my world was coming to an end when I sold that stand up mixer. I was sure I'd never have the opportunity to own a stand up mixer again.

But my breadmaker - I was NOT going to let go of that! So into storage my breadmaker went.

My breadmaker is still in storage.  

My point is, it's easy to say that you aren't a materialistic person.  I used to think and say that all the time.  Then I had to give everything away and I suddenly realized how much my comfort and my identity was wrapped up in these objects.

I came to terms with it all eventually.  And my bottom line lesson?  My identity is not dependent on my material possessions. Things come and go. Objects can be repurchased.  Things break down all the time.  Don't sweat it, because you should give that object more value than it's worth. 

My approach to life is more utilitarian that it used to be.  If I haven't used something in the past 6 months, do I really need to hang onto it? And if I haven't thought about it for a year, then I really need to consider if I need to have it around.

We own a 20' sea can full of our stuff in Canada.  It's situated in a rural area, so it's out of sight, out of mind. It's brimming and full.  I don't even know fully what's in there anymore.  I wish I could just light it up and host a gigantic hot dog roast. in another 10 years it will be full of antiquated things and will unofficially qualify as a time capsule.

Why do we accumulate so much stuff?  It's a pet peeve I have.

Now, here is the kind of stuff I would love to accumulate in my next reality.

Me and Alexander, just hangin' out.Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you....at the Louvre gift shop in Paris, France.Limestone caves in Gibralter. Did you know Gibralter is geographically in Spain but is actually a British territory?
Chinese statue in an ancient cemetary, Guilin, ChinaChinese medicine for anything that ails you! Guilin, ChinaCrabs in Krabi,  Thailand. Watch out for those killer pincers!

One of these days, i will deal with that sea can.  In the meantime, I am investing my time and energy on memories, experiences and relationships.  It's a different way to invest. Not everyone agrees with us, but we think it's worth it.


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