The reality of giving away everything you own.

Included in our quest to world school our children is the opportunity to downsize. We knew that we would need to get rid of 99% of our stuff. Due to issues in my childhood, I can safely say I am not a hoarder. This made the concept of downsizing seem easy, I just start throwing out stuff, right? I told each of my kids they could keep what would fit in their suitcase and backpack and they needed to throw the rest away. Shockingly they had very little trouble with this concept and did it. I started my “easy” task and all went well until…

See, most of the things I needed to throw out went without a twinge on my part, but there were a few things that really seemed impossible to give away. Some examples:

I was happily throwing out toys right and left, but my son’s ride-on zebra looked at me with its big round eyes and I couldn’t bring myself to give it away. He loved it, and though he was almost too big for it I could not do it, I couldn’t give it away. Seems stupid, right? But there it was.

I was ousting clothes and blankets and furniture by the truckloads, but my table, my kitchen table, the first table I bought for my family of 8, the table that had butterfly extensions that would seat up to 12 people, that table I couldn’t get rid of. I cried at the thought of leaving behind the table, where we ate so many meals, we homeschooled, we did crafts, so many things. I was lucky in that case, when I finally came somewhat to terms with the thought of leaving it someone I love took it. At least I know it’s being used by a family that will appreciate it and maybe they will think of us once in while when they use it.

I do not collect many things, but I had a few Harry Potter collectibles that I thought would be no big deal to give away. Nope, turns out it was a super big deal. I will admit that I still have a couple in the bottom of my luggage, but most are gone. I just gritted my teeth and re-homed them.

I firmly believed that getting rid of my possessions was not just something I wanted to do, but that it was going to be super easy. HA! The reality of it was that as I got rid of layers of things I found out about attachments I didn’t even know I had. As I faced those deep attachments I had two choices: I could have decided that the items were too important to part with and made future plans that did not include moving across the world and traveling, or I could get rid of them despite the issues I was having because they did not support how I wanted my life to look. I chose the later and from this perspective (sitting in an apartment in Taiwan), I am sure I made the right choice.

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