Everything’s Gotta Go!

…or “Closing a Chapter.”

The idea is to live with what I need and to help others gain what they need.

Simple, right?

So what happens when you realize you have way more than you need? We call it “downsizing.” It’s the notion that you just get rid of the excess stuff you don’t need. What it doesn’t convey is how much time, effort, exhaustion, haggling, sore muscles, random bruises, sleeping on the floor, panic, sadness, loss, and freedom comes with it.


Empty House

It took over a month, total.

If anyone ever says “just have a yard sale,” you have my permission (encouragement?) to smack them. They’ve obviously never had one. This was my third and final sale. I have bruises I can’t explain, my local coffee shop is still trying to figure out how I drank so much espresso in one day without developing a heart problem, and we now have a running joke… “would you take a nickle for it?”

If you want a good soul cleansing, sit down and rifle through four decades of memories — then watch people trash their way through them and tell you how little they think they’re worth. Definitely an experience and, oddly enough, one worth having.

Seriously?  Yes.

I tend to hold onto useful things because they’re useful. However, if I’m not actively using it, it has no intrinsic value and should migrate to someone who will actively use it. This doesn’t mean it never had worth, or that it didn’t enrich my life at some point, or that it wasn’t worth having in the first place, only that it no longer serves a purpose in my life and should get to live on somewhere else.

I have this notion that things are happiest or perform better when they’re serving their purpose. ~ AJB

Now what?

I am now technically homeless with everything I own fitting into one room. Granted, it’s kind of a crowded room, but I’ll sort that out.

The thoughts and emotions that come along with this reality are like living on a roller coaster stocked with espresso and chamomile tea. ~ AJB

I realize this is temporary, but I wanted to share both sides of this transition — not just the elation and excitement, but also the fear and loss.

Anyone who’s ever experienced starting a new chapter in their life (which is to say: all of us?) knows how amazing the new chapter can be, but it also comes paired with closing the previous one. Too often, I think we gloss over this process because it’s hard. Try for a moment to express feeling a certain way about the chapter you’re closing and (nearly) everyone around you will attempt to downplay that part of your experience by reminding you how awesome the new chapter is.

Note to everyone: we haven’t forgotten what’s coming. We still need to process through the entire transformation, though, not just the manic parts, ok?

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” ~ John D. Rockefeller

I’m not leaving something awful in order to do something better. I’m leaving a place, people, and an environment that I thoroughly enjoy. I’m giving up something quite good. This isn’t a “good riddance” situation, but one that I will honestly mourn. While I’m quite aware of what I’m working toward and am beyond excited about it, I will still mourn the good. It’s ok. It’s even healthy.

“I make myself rich by making my wants few.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

For those of you who came by and gave my belongings a new home, I thank you.
Please use them well.

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Also, I’d really like to celebrate the closing of a chapter, but I’m not entirely sure how. I’ve always been surrounded by folks who were afraid of endings, so I’m asking for some help here — if you’ve got suggestions, I’d love to hear’em!




2 Responses to “Everything’s Gotta Go!”

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  1. Ali Sturm says:

    What about a traveling Pot Luck party to friend’s homes?

    I love you. Keep in touch please. -Ali

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