As much as I’m getting rid of things, I can’t say no to free sunglasses from my sister, who works at a can rental place, and has them by the bucketfull! Jonathan thinks these look hideous, but I kinda dig them!
I’m starting to have a much easier time with the downsizing process, mainly because I had some very useful revelations about myself. There were so many things that I was holding onto because some other version of me thought they were important. It’s so much easier when I’m honest about who I am right now, without judging myself.
For example. while we both had bikes, Jonathan and I just didn’t use them. We would occasionally get them out for a quick outing that was impossible with a car, but we’re just not bike people. Now, at one time I *was* a bike person, and I really enjoyed it. But, as we thought about getting ready to leave, I felt conflicted about taking the bikes. Our hitch is already used for the tow dolly, and we’d have to get new equipment to take, secure and store the bikes. Plus, the idea of dealing with RV, tow dolly, car on dolly and the bikes on top of it made me cringe. And a reminder: all this for something we don’t really use. But, I was so wrapped up in the fact that I used to bike, and that I just might suddenly take it up again.
When I let go of what I did in the past and what I thought I should do into the future, the answer was quite clear: don’t take bikes! My bike was old and heavy, and didn’t fit right. In the future if I want a bike, I could get a lighter weight one that is more comfortable. Or, maybe I’ll just enjoy hiking so much that we don’t even want bikes.
Another example was me and pullups. I could never do pullups, even as a child. Several years ago when I was going to a strength gym, I worked very hard, and now I’m able to do pullups. (Which still feels like “Woot!” every time I bust one out!) Now, the key with pullups is that you have to keep working on them, and to do that, you need a bar above head level. (And no rain–I’ve done pullups at the playground in the rain and it stinks!) I thought we might try to figure out a way to rig a bar where one side would be a metal pole, the second side would be the part you hang from, and they would attach to the RV ladder and it would form the 3rd side. I even contacted a metalsmith about a quote.
Pretty quickly, I realized that my motivation was fear based. See, if I don’t keep doing pullups, I will revert to fat and weak and generally lousy. Pullups and the ability to do them were a shortcut way to describe how great I felt after I got strong, and I was worried about a future me that can’t do them. So, in this case, it was idealized me in the future, rather than me in the past talking. As usual, Jonathan was a great help with this. We talked about alternatives, like going to playgrounds, or places with trees, to do pullups, or how we could use bodyweight exercises alone. There’s alternative ways to stay strong that don’t involve paying a professional to weld something that I will then need to cart around!
I’m encountering all sorts of issues along these lines: I need to examine the motivation for wanting to take something and figure out if that is enough reason to keep it in my life. And I need to be honest about whether the motivation is past me talking, or future me saying “Murr!” (“Murr” is what our cat says as an all-purpose distress cry. We use the phrase as a short hand way of describing anxiety-ridden concern talk that is making you feel terrible!)
If I really think about it, and I want something in my life for good reasons, I should probably plan to take it along. Things like a full kitchen of cookware, spices, electronics that allow me to blog and stay connected–those are things I want to include because their presence makes me happy. And I’m getting better at recognizing when I only want something to assuage a fear. It is nice to be able to have that honesty with myself.