When I put a bid on my house January 2007 and became the top winning bidder of 4 bids, I began the enormous project of packing up an 800 sq foot cottage and transporting it in 9 loads to a 1262 sq foot house. During this, I had little time to sort and cull things, I just moved it all. As I unpacked, I culled what was trash, got rid of what was junk, and removed things I didn't really need. I had a HUGE garage sale and made several hundred dollars...several times. In this process, I could have done even more, but I was afraid to part with things. The following year, I was determined to get out of debt and July 2008 I started that process and was debt free (other than my house) July 2009. In doing this, shopping was never an option, I couldn't shop and become debt free and I realized I really had no needs. The shopping I have done since is window shopping or shopping for things I actually do need to replace items that need to be replaced, no longer work and can't be repaired. I have wanted to move forward with having less things, but each time I try to do this, it creates deep anxiety because of the amount of money I have spent on this stuff. I know I don't have junk. I have nice stuff. But stuff, lots of stuff, makes you start feeling like all you have is junk, no matter how nice it really is. In 2010 I lost my job and in trying to find more clients to build my business to the next level to support me fully, I didn't have time to spend on minimizing what I owned. Yet I have wanted to. The stuff has sat stored in boxes and clear plastic containers, mostly in the house though there has been a few boxes in the garage, untouched. In working through some things in my heart and mind, I have come to face the facts that my life is not the life I dreamed of in my childhood. It is not the life my Mom said I would have. It is one that holds one person who works lots of hours and simply cannot do lots of various projects and at this time, I do not foresee that picture changing. I have decided to continue to hold onto these things is putting my frame of mind in an unhappy place. It is forcing me to continue to live in the what if, the maybe someday, it is a constant reminder of the things I can't do, the life I don't live and the stark reality of the life my friends have. Simply put, it isn't helping me.
I have subscribed to a blog call Becoming Minimalist to give me ideas, encouragement, motivation, support and learn more about myself through someone who understands the process. I haven't been able to read every post, but the ones I can, I do. Sometimes it has inspired me. Sometimes it has made me angry. In the end, I decided I needed to move forward with removing these things out of my life or I am going to continue to feel weighed down by them. I also realized that I don't believe I have the ability to completely do this on the level it needs to be done and though it caused me emotional grief, I asked for assistance from someone who is good at this.
Therefore, it is today that I am informing you my friends that I am launching into a really big project. I am nervous about it. At the same time I am very anxious about how this is all going to work out!
My anxiety was not diminishing and I was getting really apprehensive over the day. I texted one of my prayer warriors requesting prayers for me and this is what she sent me:
Lord, I pray to you that you'll give Misty peace in this project that she will look to you for comfort and come to more fully understand that her true comfort is in you only, change comes from you, and material items can be a source of bondage. Calm her anxieties and allow her day with Shelley to be a day to encourage one another in you. Please, Lord, I ask these things in your name. Amen.
Additionally, I posted on Facebook and received comments of encouragement and support through prayer even though I didn't list the details to my project until later in the day when I posted a comment:
How can something you want to do, desperately need to do, yet be so difficult? I am nervous about the day and anxious about how this is all going to work out! Thankful for a friend who generously offered her help. — with Shelley Carroll.
Shelley and I tackled the remainder of the living room, the kitchen and garage. I had a big stash already started in the garage, we added the same amount to it. I am deeply thankful for Shelley's help, for dealing with my questions, my being patient when I held back, for understanding and not condemning my frustrations, for letting me have tears, for trying to understand why I am like this. I deeply appreciate her generosity and assistance at getting this project under way. Shelley took a car load home in her sports utility vehicle and there is another car load ready to go.
I appreciate each of you and your prayers, your encouragement, and your support! This is the first day at really launching into this and I am far from done. I am embarking on getting rid of everything in my house that I have two of [unless two is required], everything that is not useful, everything that I don't need, anything that is aimed at a life I don't have or don't live, anything that I no longer use, anything that is not me, anything that just plain needs to go. This is very hard for me...harder than you know, but I am determined. 2013 is going to be a a great remaking of me! The goal we are working against is make money and sell all this stuff at a garage sale in two weeks at Pecan Plantation in Granbury selling all this pristine stuff. I will keep you posted on how it goes.