November 30, 2010

free your mind - and the rest will follow

Posted by meli on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 in , , | No comments

biking through the surf on hilton head island

We've been ever so slowly going through the process of purging a good portion of our belongings. A process that has proved to be a lot easier for me then it has been for Nick.

I'm assuming my childhood; losing every thing I owned... twice (first time when my Mom went to jail, and the second when we made a cross country move in a hurry [1 day to sell everything... next day on the road!] in order to flee her abusive husband) has taught me not to become too emotionally attached to "things". It's something I used to curse when I was a kid, and all the way up into my mid 20's. I used to try to force connection and attachment with "things"; not wanting to be robbed my right to stuff.

I now find my history a blessing. I'm eager and willing to let go of unnecessary objects, possessions. It's easy for me to release this "stuff" from my life, knowing it's not the end of the world, knowing the most precious things to me are not found in a box, or on a shelf ... they're found in the people around me.

I don't like being surrounded with "stuff". It weighs me down. Clutters my mind. Not too mention ... it's a bitch to keep tidy and clean! I'm a much more simplistic soul. I feel best when in an uncluttered, free flowing environment. I feel a much greater sense of appreciation to the things in my life when there aren't so damn many things around!

Nick feels the same way, it's just a lot more difficult for him to unwrap his grip and actually let go. He's getting there!

With our impending release from the military literally right around the corner (blog coming soon, stay tuned) ... we're eager to really step it up and cleanse ourselves of all this "stuff". We want to start this new chapter of our lives fresh. Free and Clear ... mind, body, soul, possessions!

Our latest sweep of the place we donated more then 1500 DVDs, over 3/4ths of our book collection (we, mostly the kids, had a LOT of books). I cut my wardrobe by 1/2, again. Nick cut his by almost 1/2 as well. The kids sorted through and donated most all of their toys. Nick cut back his tools by 1/2. Furniture went. Dishes went. Linens, jewelry, wall art, priceless collectibles, etc. We finally made the decision to replace our big 8ft Holiday tree with our little 4ft table top "travel tree". As such, our ornament collection was reduced by more then 3/4ths.

That was a hard one.

Since our lives joined, we've had a yearly tradition of picking out one ornament, per person, each year. That's 5 new ornaments every year. Sometimes we'd find 2 or 3 "perfect" ones in a year. Sometimes the kids would pick one, and I'd get them another that I thought fit their personality for that year. So, we'd have our individual ornament(s). Plus a yearly family ornament. Plus a yearly "3 kids" ornament". Plus a special "us, couples in love" ornament. Plus one for the pets. Plus any we received from grandparents, etc. Each.Year! It all added up to a lot of ornaments. A LOT! This, too, I assume stemmed from my childhood. Not having any of my own treasures from growing up, I was adamant (over the top so) that I would collect as much as I could for the kids, so they'd have tangible "stuff" to take with them into adulthood. Collectibles. Memories. Treasures they could pass on through generations. I was a pack ratting fool trying to grab onto and save as many things as I could that would represent their childhoods for them.

It was extremely difficult to make the decision to let go of a tradition we've held dear for so many years. A tradition that had a lot of heart, memory, and money wrapped into it. We did some serious soul searching before coming to the final decision. And when I say we, I mean all of us... kids included. This was as much part of their hearts as it was mine and nicks. In the end, we all remembered how amazing our experience was at the cabin last Christmas. With our modest table top travel tree, few treasured ornaments, several strings of lights strewn about, and candles. It was absolutely wonderful. We loved the simplistic, hassle free environment we created. After reminiscing, it was an easy decision, for all of us. Tears turned to smiles, smiles turned to laughter, and laughter turned tearing down the ginormous tree we'd just assembled earlier in the evening, and pulling out our table top tree... much smaller in size, but packed with many amazing memories.

We could have made a pretty penny with everything we donated, but the ability to give is so much more fulfilling. Being able to open up my space AND help others in need ... it's priceless.

My heart and soul feel both lighter, and so much more full!


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