The Hard Part Of Becoming A Minimalist

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

I'm trying not to panic as the reality sinks in on what we've done. We just purchased a 1999 Airstream Safari with no place to store it and no truck to pull its weight. I know people say life begins at the end of your comfort zone but this is way out of my comfort zone and life feels like its ending.

I guess in many ways it is.

The keys to our new Airstream, Luz.

Purchasing this airstream is the end of life as we know it. It's our physical reminder of a plan we have made and a dream we want to manifest. I look around our 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home and I think, “Where the hell is all this stuff going to go?” I am overwhelmed. Each room is full of stuff despite the fact that we have been getting rid of things for a few months now. How does this happen to people? How do we end up with so many things? And why is it so hard to let go?

Fear and doubt have made their daily appearances except that now they are SHOUTING. This is how I know I need to keep going. See, I realized early on that this journey would bring serious growth and evolvement but only if I could push past the fear and doubt. All of my life, I have allowed them to steer me and I have made decisions based on what is safe.

This time though I have promised myself to take the wheel and let them sit comfortably in the backseat if they'd like to.

Every time I feel challenged, I stop for a moment to recognize what feelings are showing up, where they are showing up and I question why they are showing up. My decisions cannot be fear based anymore. My family is depending on me like I am depending on them. I look around my house now and I see objects differently. I now see them as things that either I can part with or I can't. Material things begin to lose their value when I ask myself, “Is this going to stop you from living an adventure with the people you love most?”

Then there are those things that stop me in my tracks and make me feel like I can't breathe at the thought of parting with my mother's sewing machines.

The Swedish have a practice called dostadning, a hybrid of the words death and cleaning.

It is the process of cleaning your house before you die so that your loved ones aren't burdened with having to get rid of things after you're gone. I know it sounds morbid but after my mother died, I was left with this feeling that I don't want to leave many material things behind for Jaya. My mother had so many belongings and when you're mourning the last thing you want to do is have to sort through stuff. As I was cleaning her space, days after her death, I wondered what each item I was giving away had meant to her. Was I donating something she valued? The pain of losing her was unbearable and the burden of parting with her stuff didn't help.

So in many ways, this journey of letting go of stuff is also my way of death cleaning. I remind myself with each difficult object to get rid of that one day we will be making memories in the Moab desert or catching the sunrise in Joshua Tree and I won't remember what I was holding on to. #ourjourney

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