Act ll Downsizing in LA
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” Buddha (This has always been one of my favorite quotes.)
The Latin word for baggage is “impedimenta.” which means things that get in the way of forward movement. Self help books say that we must get rid of our baggage to lighten the way to the new.
I am moving to a smaller house and “downsizing. “Downsizing conjures up an image of a life that is descending. The American dream has trained us to believe that bigger is better.
I no longer have the luxury of a ton of storage space for all my extra stuff.The amount of things you can accumulate after living in one big house for a long time is overwhelming. Daily I sift through photos, memories and keepsakes to see what aspects of my former identity will transfer into my new life. The emotional anxiety of releasing your history is tough. I am definitely leaving a little bit of who I was in this house. I am trying to only bring things that will add real value to my life.
The downsize was not my choice but an unavoidable life change. I can’t ignore the circumstances that brought me here but it is going to be different. I am going to be living in a much smaller house a block from the beach. It is a neighborhood where you can walk to Starbucks and restaurants. I haven’t lived in a walking neighborhood since moving from New York. I am a little excited to be able to walk on the beach every day and become a regular at the cool trendy restaurants popping up nearby.
So I just have to get through this miserable, uncomfortable, painful part of life to move into this cool house I found. Maybe our paths were never meant to be straight and the unexpected places we find ourselves are just where we are supposed to be.
Beautifully said Jayne.
Right now you’re paying attention to all the stuff you’ve not paid attention to in years, if not decades: the clothes, the chachkes, the books etc. It’s certainly restimulating right now. Soon, all that stuff and the memories of it will disappear, like so much else, into the ever receding and self cleaning storage space of memory. When you don’t remember it, you don’t miss it. It gets better. Keep on ..keeping on…Especially your email quotes. Ely
thanks for reading and commenting
I have grown to love the freedom that my “downsizing” from several years ago has afforded me. The more I travel, the more I realize that my 1200 sf in a wonderful walking neighborhood still provides me with more than 99% of the rest of the citizens on earth. Many times recently I have begun a conversation with a friend, “How big of a footprint on the planet does your happiness require…?” I suspect that you too will ultimately find the move challenging, then freeing… Wishing you only the best.
Your words are very true, “The emotional anxiety of releasing your history is tough.” I try to explain that feeling to others, but they don’t really get it. It’s different than simply having a yard sale of extra things. I’ve done that at various times in my life and it was easy. This time it feels more like a part of me disappears with every “discard/donate” decision. In my head I know that isn’t true. I’m freeing up new spaces in my heart for new joys. I know I’m doing a responsible thing so no loved one has to sort through my collections of memories that will make no sense to them as to why I kept and treasured what I kept. I’m breaking the cycle of burdening someone else with this task.
Yet my heart pulls on my arm, imploring “don’t let go.” Which is funny, really funny, because some of the things have been buried in boxes or drawers for decades. I even forgot about many of the items until seeing them again pulls me back….to Then. And the truth is, no one cares about the story behind the Then. Nor should they. Some stories belong to just us. With this truth in mind, I release those things that have pulled on my heart with the declaration:
Whatever was pulling me, has stopped.
Best wishes to you. Life truly is much easier with the impedimenta.
thanks for the beautifully written comment. I think you are probably right i loved that line about “don’t let go.” so true.
You are very welcome!
I meant to say life is easier *without* the impedimenta! That was probably my heart making the typo. See how it tugs! Haha! 🙂