Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Too Much Stuff!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

I am busy trying to simplify life. That really means getting rid of much of what we (especially ME) have accumulated over the past 20 years. Actually, I came into this partnership of marriage with a lot of stuff. The Captain's favorite song is called "Too Much Stuff" and he plays it every now and then just to remind me of how much STUFF with which I need to deal to get ready for the next great sailing adventure! He often references the "hoarder's show" as if to suggest ... I am not that bad! But I do have a lot of "treasures" from parents, grandparents and kids. Just why do we save all of that stuff?

My lovely garden
Being a person of many interests and some talents, I have more than dabbled in a number of hobbies and businesses: Fiber Arts, Jewelry, Water Color Painting, Knitting, Sewing, Cooking, Gardening, Entertaining, Internet Marketing, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Writing and Editing, and  a variety of sports, just to name a few! As a result, I have acquired a lot of stuff!

I have come to terms with (and am actually excited about) selling our home to move on board S/V Trillium for a few years! It took my a while to let go as our home is a wonderful place. Many of my friends think I am nuts! But I am actually excited. I am looking forward to a simplified life style - that is not the same as saying stress-free! But my biggest issue at hand is the STUFF! And that is causing me stress.

In front of a Leadership Development session
I have a full library of business and human resource materials that I use in my coaching and training business. (By the way, I am not retiring - just reducing my resources! Although the "R" word is feeling more comfortable with each passing month!) I have a full fiber arts studio that I haven't been able to find time to use in the most recent years. And I have a house full of beautiful things for decorating and entertaining. While I will retain things I can use and do in the future and don't require much storage space, I will have to let a lot of it go. That is the challenge: sorting it all out.

Some of my watercolor paintings at an art show
Not only is it difficult to part with the things I have enjoyed and appreciate for their beauty, it is overwhelming! Many of the items hold cherished memories of family, friends, holidays and the like. Many items represent much success - and some less successful ventures. A lot of beautiful clothes just won't look right on a boat! And after a few weeks of going barefoot and wearing unstructured clothing, it is really difficult to return to what is in my closet here.

And so, instead of sailing in the islands this winter, I will be slugging it out in the attic, the basement and my office. I think I know why people have moving sales! Charities have been coming once a month to pick up a load, but it is only a small dent. And then what about the antiques and fine things we have. What and where do we store them? So much to handle that it wakes me up regularly. I may need someone to throw me a life ring from time to time so I don't drown in the STUFF!

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