I would like to soon no longer concentrate on my stuff so that I can move on to the juice of living. In the meantime, however…
About three weeks ago I listed my goals for material minimalism in a post titled, “Minimalism Mission: One Knapsack, One Carry-On, One Suitcase and One Body”.
I thought I was so close to this goal. I pretty much was, but I’ve had a lot of work to do in these weeks to not only continue in the process of simplifying, but to also arrive at a more accurate reality check.
My present material possession inventory:
- One duffle bag of clothes, shoes and hygiene/cleaning items. (Yey! — a huge relief and improvement)
- One fully-dressed body. (I’ve reduced clothing in this area, while adding on two fanny packs.)
- One knapsack of electronics and essential books. (This has remained the same, but become more succinct.)
- One carry-on of books. (This has basically remained the same, except now it will be treated as luggage #1.)
- One bicycle. (This was my previous reality. I just wasn’t counting it before.)
- One suitcase of books, papers, picture frames, piano music, memorabilia and others’ stuff. (Luggage #2 – new item.)
- One car, emptied out. (Another previous reality that I wasn’t counting. It’s emptied out now, which makes for an even more solid reality check.)
I am quite content with items one through five.
THE CHALLENGE OF ITEM SIX:
Item number six has been difficult to settle into. It goes against the grain of the aesthetic in me. Item six is largely comprised of safe, pleasant and soulful things from the past. These are the finalists, those that have remained standing after multiple rounds of simplifying photos, memorabilia and records from the past. There is something in me that says, “Hang onto them, at least for now.” And then there is my multi-crayon highlighted Bible and my piano music — the only items that I have a persistent emotional connection to.
The aesthetic in me was really angry at my perceived excess with this suitcase. In the end, my inner world won out. The suitcase stays and I resolve to allow myself to be more human and let my heart and soul into the mix.
THE FRUSTRATION OF ITEM SEVEN:
In order to open my future chapter elsewhere, where I will have no need for a car, I must tie up this end and let go of my car. Sometimes I tell myself that I’ll just stay here and keep the car, and then my other voice kicks in, works to soothe me, and reminds me that it’s time to move on and that letting go of the car is an important part of the transition.
DRAWING A VISUAL FOR GREATER PERSPECTIVE:
I just did a stick figure drawing of me with my stuff. I’ve got the knapsack on my back. The duffle bag is on my shoulder. My little pink carry-on handle is in my hand. The suitcase is set to one side and the bike (worst bicycle drawing EVER) is set on the other side. I imagine I forgot to draw the car because it’s not in my plans for the future.