the art of letting go...

As you my have seen in yesterday's post, I had a garage sale last weekend.
I purged.
I like purging.
It feels good.

Been thinking about how all the stuff in our life accumulates - how it all got here.
About how some of us feel comfortable with it surrounding us, like a warm blanket.
Others though, we don't like so much 'stuff'.
We feel trapped by it, oppressed by the weight of it all.

I have been both people.
I have surrounded myself with collectibles and held on to trinkets from the past.
I'm not there right now.
I'm the second person right now.
The one who finds possessions a bit oppressive.

I remember when this new person was born in me.
The one who slowly started letting go of all those things.
It was eight years ago.

Eight years ago we moved from our old house and began the long process of gutting and remodeling our current home.  We slowly, but surely, got rid of mountains of stuff (think I still have about one purging left to go).  We pared down, we found a simpler way of living - one that works for us.
I like it.

Do you know what happened 8 years ago that gave birth to this person I've become?
My only child graduated from high school and moved across the country to go to college.
Talk about a life lesson on learning to let go!
That's the biggest one of all.
And the hardest.
Stuff is easy to let go.


Anonymous said...

I feel weighted down by stuff right now. Sometimes moving is good because you get rid of all the junk that accumulates. I need to start clearing my basement! xo

julie of Monkey Grass Hill said...

Great post. I think I've been the second person for so long, when we moved into our bigger house 5 years ago I because the first person. I started buying up anything that I liked. Now I'm feeling like I'm getting buried under it all and I'm in the process of getting rid of it. I just ask myself, do I love it? If the answer is no, it's going out the door. So much easier to live with less I think.

Stacey said...

well said and i've been entertaining the thought of a yard sale for weeks! just haven't had the time to get things together...too muc stuff islike noise to me these days. i still have to work on readily letting go though:-). i can't imagine being able to let go of Zion or Ian when it's time for them to go off to college...

Maria said...

You know where I stand on all this - this nomadic lifestyle that I have embraced.....and here now - at the find and purchase a new home crossroads - I am a source of frustration because I refuse to look at huge houses - I don't care HOW good of a deal it is! - because we tend to fill empty space with stuff......and our time is consumed caring for all that space and all that stuff......me - in my quest (and you my sweet cousin KNOW my quest) I have discovered that if I am diligent about living simply...then I also find I have the time to simply live :-D (and my family flourishes as a result)

KR said...

I have let go of lots of stuff over the last few months, still more to go!

MJM said...

I'm coming back in a few days! And I find I am becoming much more of a "no stuff" person. It's easy when you move frequently, like I have.

Andrew H. said...

Clear it out. Open space. That's what I like these days as well. I find it more peaceful.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a beautiful post!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Sometimes it takes the big moments- moving has always been huge for me purging- so is my kids going away to visit grandparents- I purge big time then.

angryparsnip said...

I have always been very minimal. I like open and clean. My home is very minimal but my studio is packed with art supplies. I haven't met a piece of paper that I don't think I can use !

When my home was destroyed in the Laguna Beach wildfire of 1993 I lost the small amount of family treasures that I could never replace. My mother died a few years later so no chance of any more family history.
If you can't have any family treasures why have stuff that has no meaning no matter how cute.
Plus when you live in a very dusty Tucson, I am lazy, I don't want to spend any time dusting and cleaning stuff.
I do have some boxes filled with things from the 3 children, every time they come they throw out stuff they don't need.
After your home burns down because some crazy person wants to start a fire... you learn that your family is important, photos and your history not things.
Great post today.

cheers, parsnip

Danny said...

A delightful read with such a haunting photograph to bring it all to life...I purged almost all my collected things back in 2007, life feels so much lighter for having done so...


thistlewoodfarm said...

I understand exactly what you mean! Sometimes it feels like our possessions can own us and we can get overwhelmed! This is such a wonderful post.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Carol Schiff Daily Painting said...

Excellent post!

I am traveling the same road, getting seriously into that second stage now. I think it is a natural progression of life. Kind of funny how you spend the first half of life acquiring and the second half letting go.

ROXY MARJ said...

A couple of things:

1. Thanks so much for complimenting on the illustrations for "Olive Us" it makes me feel good inside to know that others [other than myself] enjoy what is going on in my head. :-p

2. I love this post. I too have been both and it hasn't been till about a year ago that I realized all our stuff is just stuff...what better helped me realize the simpler life [especially with owning a home] was a book I got called "The Simple Home" it has been my bible and I constantly go back to it to remind myself of things and to remember what is important in life. :) I highly recommend that book..you will read it in 2 hours!

3. Your husband's name is ANDREW HENRY! One of my very favorite children's books is "Andrew Henry's Meadow" written and illustrated by Doris Burn. Have you heard of it? :)


About Last Weekend said...

Beautiful.... beautiful. Yes in comparison stuff is easy to let go. I am always wishing for the next stage to arrive with my kids and that they be independent. But this post makes me realise - enjoy the now.

Linda said...

Such a lovely post! And, you're right, so timely for me! Such a blessing when lives intersect, don't you think? Thank you for helping me see the "great beyond" as I enter the phase as a woman without a child at home. You are such an inspiring example. I, too, have been through a huge purge these past months as I prepare myself to move into a smaller home, more fitting to my new life. Thank you so very much for the continued encouragement, Jeanette.

em.me.ma said...