With activity comes discovery. With discovery comes simplicity.
Our days are very hectic as we are planning to downsize into a smaller home. Our activity is going through closets and drawers and the garage! First comes the sorting and in doing so I am making four piles. Pack for later usage, keep for usage now (then donate), donate/give away and toss because it is of no use to anyone!
I discovered that we have 6 colanders and 4 manual graters and 4 manual juice squeezers. So, I kept 2 colanders (1 small and 1 large), 1 grater and 1 juice squeezer – we do have an electric juice squeezer too – but just in case, we are keeping the manual one as well. The rest are to be given away. Picture me doing this with all the other items discovered in multiples! I can’t even count the cutlery!!!
The dining room table has been converted to a tabletop display of all that is to be given away. Family members have been dropping by to pick out the things they want/need; sometimes I take a photo of them and they claim their items ahead of their visit. My one niece said it was like shopping online! What they don’t take, goes into the donation box.
My cousin Gus and his wife Joy sold their sprawling 4-bedroom ranch home where they often saw deer playing in the back yard coming through the abutting wooded area; they moved into a 2-bedroom townhome for 55+ and they love it! Gus told me that he discovered that they “only really use 2 rooms” and wonders why they didn’t make the move earlier! No more yard maintenance, no more “packed to the rafters” garage and no more empty nester bedrooms to dust for them…hurrah!
It is heartening to read and to speak with other RETIRE-AGERS™ who have expressed the same opinion. Downsizing is the best thing they have done. To lead a simpler life is our due reward after a lifetime of collecting items we thought we absolutely must have or kept it because a dear relative gave it to them and did not have the heart to throw it out. I too have lots of those; but thinking things through I decided that it is not necessary to keep all the items to remember them by and that others may need them more than I do.
As I began dinner the other night, I reached for a pot to boil some water and saw that I only had 2 of them – they ones I kept out for usage now. The joy that I experienced was profound! So easy, so effortless, so simple!
Already I see how removing things from each of the rooms (getting ready to stage the house for potential buyers) makes them airier and fresher. I asked my five year old grand-nephew if he remembered coming to my house and he said yes he did. ”It’s old” were his exact words! I was thrilled that he remembered it, but is that how I want to be remembered? Dark walls, lots of vintage furniture, etc. makes for a classic style of décor – so me in lots of ways. But out of the mouth of babes comes a new discovery – make thigs lighter, brighter and simpler!
“Pan Metron Ariston” – “In all things moderation” said an ancient Greek philosopher. And now, so many, many years after these words were fist said, we are realizing what it truly means in all aspects of our life. Without the clutter, we face less choices, less confusion, less chaos, so we have the time to be active, to discover, to simplify. Here’s to exploring our retirement!
We are on it!
Photograph our of two pots From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf
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