Less is More

My emotional roller coaster of parting with our things continues on. I am experiencing a plethora of feelings; from excitement, to frustration, to a sense of being overwhelmed and unable to focus on anything. So I go online to read about how others felt during this process… Many have said it was difficult yet liberating. I say , that’s not enough to console myself  during this process, I know I am not alone. Once I am done, out of the fog and we have completed the process my outlook will probably be, challenging yet liberating. Funny how often things seem so big in the moment and a little blip in the memory! imageOk, back to my assessment of accessories.  It’s crazy that I spent so much of my life looking for stuff, buying stuff and acquiring stuff! You know that saying” a fool and his money are easily parted”. Now I get it! It is so easy to spend, hard to make and even harder to get it back from something you bought. This has opened my eyes to my spending habits. I will admit it, if I liked something I bought it, if I thought I needed something there was no stopping me. I was on the hunt, and if I wanted it and couldn’t decide on a color, I would buy both! Now that I look back on my actions I see what I was doing. Trying to fill a void, giving myself a false sense of purpose. We all have goals, dreams, aspirations. Well, when I didn’t have a goal to work towards I would begin to feel restless and to ease the discontent I would shop. Shopping to me was like a quest for the best deal, the elusive boot (which I never did find, and am now grateful that I didn’t) the perfect little knick knack to fill that empty spot. The real empty spot was me not fulfilling my destiny. I always thought, well, if we had this, whatever it was,maybe I would feel content and be able to get out of my rut. Not the case. I was just trying to placate my desires for a different way of life with material things.  I would like to blame my actions on my childhood in that we didn’t have much. Nope, that just reminds me that you don’t need much to live a full life. So, if anything, I need to get back to my roots, the basics and enjoy life. I feel like the flowers of spring, growing, slowly changing and soaking up what this experience has already taught me about myself, so I can be the flower that cherishes the glory of this wonderful life.

How to separate yourself from your stuff to get ready to live in an RV fulltime, or whatever it is that you have chosen to do.
* ask yourself, do I use this?
* do you own it, or does its memory own you?
*when did I use it last?
* someday won’t cut it if you haven’t used it yet.
* if you still are on the fence, take a picture of it and let go ( suggested by a few fellow bloggers).
*family air looms; ask family or a close friend to hold onto it, preferably the person you would want to have it if you were to die… Hey , you never know.
One thing that amazed me was how hard it was in the moment to let go of something, and the next day i seriously couldn’t remember what it was. So remind yourself that once you let go, you can go on 🙂
A couple days after selling a few of my favorite candles  (which by the way is gold canyon candles, best candle ever), I was pondering the real meaning of stuff in our lives and thought of my friends and family. When I thought of them, not for a second did I think about what they have. I thought of who they are and how I feel when I am with them or talk to them. In that instant everything changed. My stuff doesn’t define me. My character, my values, my actions, those are the things that matter in life. Since that day a weight has been lifted.
So here we are, less than two weeks out from our first yard sale and rooms are filling up as we clear out the hiding spots.   I really didn’t think we had this much stuff. Thankfully Mitch’s sister Cindy is coming to help!
Cindy, my sunflower of life!
Cindy, my sunflower of life!
What a blessing she is in my life. Kind, funny, giving, with a warm loving heart. She can make working in the rain, slopping through mud that pulls off your boots, a super fun time!  Let’s just hope the rain doesn’t find us this time!

Our Toad Named Gracie

Oh the power of prayer, patients and persistence!!

By the grace of God we found our Honda C-RV, that we rightfully named “Gracie”.

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We had done our research a couple months ago about what kind of vehicle you can flat tow behind an RV, affectionately nicknamed Dingy’s or Toads and decided on the Honda C-RV.   Even though we don’t have our class A RV yet, we were on the lookout for both. The first one we found was a 97 from a dealer for $5,500 and really considered it just because we knew it was the kind we needed. just to put things into perspective, looking on craigslist right now a 98 with 161 thousand miles is listed for $5,900 by an individual in Spokane Washington. Texas on the other hand has much more reasonable prices, so much so, we talked about flying down there, buying and driving back! My gut said just believe and be patient, it’s out there and it will happen.  So we would just look, less often as weeks went buy, amazed at how expensive they were.

A few days before we found Gracie, it dawned on me that even though I was so certain in my heart that we would find a great deal, I hadn’t prayed about it… so I did. Three days later, the morning was like any other morning.Having coffee, listening to papa humming, searching craigslist for RV’s.photo I decided to just check for C-RV’s and there she was, a 2004 with 134 thousand miles for $6,000!!! I actually looked over it for a second because I thought it was one of the scam listings because of the price, until I clicked on it again and realized it had a phone number! As the phone was ringing I just kept saying, “oh please, oh please!” When Ron answered I asked if it was a clean title, if anything was wrong with it and how do we get to his house. He said he just listed it ten minutes ago, nothing wrong with it and clean title. I jumped out of my seat, said we would be there as soon as we could, just enough time to stop by the bank and drive to his place. I asked him to please let us have first dibs and he said he would save it for us until noon.  My excitement was uncontrollable! Jumping up and down I ran into the bedroom, waking up Mitch with a bombardment of information before he was even able to get his eyes open. When we arrived she looked even prettier than the picture! She drives like a dream, and is in great shape. After the deal was done, and his phone was still ringing from people wanting to see the car I said to him, ” we prayed for a deal like this.”  He said, “and we prayed for it to sell.”  I believe that the good Lord heard us both and put us together! What a blessing! One big purchase down, one to go. Here’s hoping we have the same experience when we find our RV!

The Lowdown on Downsizing

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super bouncy butterfly ball

This, that and the other hat (my alternative title and just couldn’t not use it)!  Taking the first steps towards going from a 2,400 square ft home to living in an RV. The beginning process of clearing out clothes, going through drawers and selecting things to put in our 1st yard sale has begun. I began with one drawer… And stopped for the day. It’s amazing how every item has a memory attached to it. The super bouncy ball with a butterfly in the middle that Mitch saved from going down a steep mountainside to the mood ring I got on our first trip. All there, not ever needed, but the flood of memories that are associated with them takes over the process.  To let go of things, to create a new life has already presented more emotional challenges than I had anticipated.  Not to mention how much money was spent on each item, and if I can even get a dollar for it at the yard sale! It’s a real eye opener!  Super grateful for craigslist during this process! It’s been a great way to find people who are willing to pay a reasonable amount for our items.So, I just have to remind myself that this is just stuff, I chose to purchase it, and now I choose to keep the memories and let go of the stuff!

 Cleaning out my closet, and downsizing my wardrobe is going to be an ongoing process. I initially went through and created four piles 1-keep, 2-yard sale 3-trash (yes, I have a hard time throwing away clothes. Even when they are so thin the fabric begins to break down and holes appear) 4- try on.  This first round I found simple and liberating.

Round 1 clothes pile
Round 1 clothes pile

A week passed and I decided to try round two, the “Self, lets get real ” round. I have to now admit to myself that what I like, and what I like to wear, isn’t the same thing. I just love shoes! The colors, the styles, the details and just how darn cute they are! But… Most of them are either are too bindy, too high of a heel, a little wobbly, gave me a blister one time, too heavy, just not comfy. I don’t wear them.

well, a girl's gotta keep some flavor!
well, a girl’s gotta keep some flavor!

I will put them on.. Ponder and end up wearing one of my few good ol’ usual shoes.

These guys never feel left out
These guys never feel left out

Saying to myself, maybe next time.  Now, the thing is, I am the exact same way about my clothes. I will choose comfort over making some kind of fashion statement 9 times out of 10.  And here in lies my personal growth. I have to let go of my idea how I would like to dress, to the reality of how I really dress. Like Levi Capri’s, when I see someone wearing them I say, “oh those are so cute! I should wear mine more often”… Then I put them on. Ugh, so restricting, I begin to feel trapped and smothered. I do the usual squat and stretch, wiggle around, yank, and then two minutes later I get on a pair of cloth culottes.  So, I just need to find my flair in all things first and foremost, comfy! So, as I process this realization, and embrace the real me, I will probably have a much easier time letting go of all those clothes that I see and say, “but I like that” and I can say to myself, “but you don’t wear that”! And let go (ok, except those ones that I just love)!  Then it’s on to round 3 (and I will probably still keep some… It’s a sickness!) haha!

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My hats off to the RV

My next project will be my hats. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who wear hats. I just love to see people wearing hats.  The big brim, the beauty and mystery a hat can posses.  I just find them, and people who wear them, very intriguing.  So, do I wear them? Not often.  Do I have many? More than I have worn.  So my quest on our new adventure will be that I become the lady in hats, and take advantage of the opportunities I have to wear them. I believe that I can embrace my hats, become one with my hats! If I don’t and I find them taking up space in our RV I will probably make it my mission to find them good homes.  How will I do this you ask?  Well, one of the greatest feelings in life is giving to others when they least expect it. Last year I began to collect more jewelry than I ever wear, and went nuts one day when I found tons of jewelry on sale and decided that most of it I just bought because it was on sale.  So, I devised a plan to wear the jewelry just in hopes that I would get a compliment on it, and then give it to that person!  It was so fun, and rewarding.  I highly recommend trying it sometime.