Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stuff & life...

I wrote this ten days ago and didn't get finished because I've hardly been online at all in that time:

We've been watching the Australian flood news on the tv for the past few days.  Floods that were as close as 1.5 hours from our house.  The strength of the Aussie spirit came shining through, and the way the community has come together is just phenomenal.   It is heartwarming to see people just go into the homes of strangers and help clean or take food and water or do whatever they can, and leave as friends.  The news is calling it a 'citizens army'.  I love the way Aussies come together in times of need.  The general comments of the people affected are things like "I've got my family with me...there are other people worse off than me...we'll be right".

We have been going through our house, getting rid of stuff.  We have the choice of doing this.  Others did not.  Some folk have lost every single material thing they had.  We are donating a lot of our things to the flood victims.  I feel better about donating things that can actually be used by those affected rather than donating money - ya just never know if it goes towards the first class travel of those in charge of the charity or foundation.

As I go through the stuff in our house, I wonder just how lightly I could move through life.  I don't know if I could ever be like Peace Pilgrim, but I wonder how many boxes or suitcases it would take to hold the material things I choose to share my life with?  It's like a personal challenge for me.  Most of the things I'm putting in storage are photos and favourite kids things.  I've managed to get all of my clothes into a medium sized suitcase.  At the moment, my winter overcoat and my shoes are not included, but I'm sure they would fit in there if I unzipped the zipper that allows the case to expand.

added 23 January:

We have lightened the house a lot.  There are still a lot of piles around the place as we sort through different areas, but we are seeing progress.  We are taking time out every day to just enjoy our family and the beautiful weather we are now having - kayaking, swimming, and just playing...and being oh so grateful for every moment!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here we go again...

..I've done this before and it is much easier this time.  But every now and again, I have to stop and process the changes.  It's like I have a moment of doubt, or I get overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, or both.  Yes, we are drastically downsizing (again!).  An extended overseas trip is looking like the most probable path at this stage.  We are decluttering with that goal in mind, so we are getting rid of a LOT of stuff.  The piles around the house have stirred up the energy around here - we are all excited, but at times a little nervous or unsure or downright panicked!  Underlying all of those things, it feels good to have such a massive clean up.

There are so many things that I am just not attached to in this house.  When we did the big move from the USA to Australia over 4 years ago, I found it very hard to sort through my books.  I had a six-shelf bookshelf full of books on parenting, nutrition, spirituality, natural health and healing. Going through those books was like trying to figure out who I really was as I had to pick just 10 books to bring with me. (We had decided not to ship the whole house and to stick to absolutely favourite things.)  I almost felt like I was letting go of untapped parts of me as I let go of those books.  I now see that as crazy as it actually freed me to discover a new dimension of JOY! I learned to trust myself more as the authority in my own life - not any author or 'guru'.  I found that the books I had brought with me, I rarely even looked at!  I was so busy with the adventure of life and discovering the new place and new parts of myself  that I had to laugh at myself for being so attached to some books.  That process helped me so much with questioning my attachment to things.  Well, that and living on the road for a year - that sealed the lesson!

I still have some books, and some of the books that I had let go of in the USA actually came back to me here via op shops, or gifts.  When I release my books this time, I know that the lessons that may be contained in those books for me, will come back to me if I need them.  Maybe in a conversation, a bumper sticker, a quote on facebook or even the same book at a yard sale.  Maybe I don't even need these books, but I will release them at the right time, in the right place for someone who does need them, and trust that they will find them.

It's not just books, but the other 'stuff'.  My sister has kindly offered to store our photos and some favourite things at her home (thank you SO much Ros!), which makes packing and sorting so much easier.  I know we'll be back to visit and the kids will have some favourite things here waiting for them to play with when they get here.

Our departure date is not set.  We still have several months here at least.  AJ has asked that we be back in the USA by 4th July as he wants to buy a lot of fireworks!  Cary will be going back there in April, and the kids and I will probably do some traveling in Oz before we go.   Many new adventures waiting for us!