Brisbane, May 2016
I get a good sense of time gone by, when reunited with people I hadn’t seen in a while and their kids. That common place “Oh, they do grow up so fast”, is indeed that common. A few days ago I had the same feeling but this time based on an evening spent with a friend that came to visit us from Sydney.
Last time we had seen J. was 2 years ago. She remains the same as we remembered, unchanged both physically and emotionally. She had that time gone by moment by looking at the girls and we caught up on what it is we’ve all been doing in the meantime.
Inevitably, we expressed our progress in the path towards simplicity and this is when I had my own time gone by flash. She asked questions that we no longer ponder for the answer is already entrenched in us as a second nature, an earned one. That’s when I realised how much action we’ve been taking and the progress we have achieved already.
We revisited tips on decluttering:
– Ask Questions: “Do I need this?”, “Does it serve a purpose?”, “Does it bring me joy?”, “When was the last time I used it”, “Am I keeping this just in case?”
– Clothes: Project 333 , the 90/90 rule, the Mystery Box Game (put all the clothes you’re unsure of keeping or letting go in a box and forget about them – before opening the box in a few months, write down all the items you can remember putting in there and allow yourself to keep only those);
– Books: if you’ve read them already, then donate them to a school, a library or a friend. If you feel like re-reading it, then get it from the local library. Get a kindle, it will save space;
– Photos: Scan them and get rid of the physical version. Make backups.
– Sentimental Items/ Memorabilia: Take a photo and get rid of them. Their only purpose is to ignite fond memories and photos can do that just as well. Make backups;
– Paper: Scan all important documentation and get rid of the paper version. Make backups. All our remaining papers don’t fill a small dossier now;
– Transportation: How we’re not exclusively dependant on personal transportation and the alternatives that now exist besides public transportation. She mentioned a site in Sydney that allows me to rent my car if I’m away for a period of time – kind of like Airbnb on wheels.
I also mentioned reading about some places where there are ‘tool libraries’ available. If I need to cut some tree branches in the backyard, I don’t need to buy a chainsaw but I can borrow it from the library instead. Imagine that, one lawnmower for the entire neighbourhood instead of 20. It would be the suburb with the smallest and cleanest garages in town.
Accommodation, transportation and even utensils being available at need. Makes me hopefully contemplate a shift from a culture of consumption and ownership to one of accessibility.
We debated meditation and that the most important thing I had learned so far by its practice was acceptance. When my mind wanders, I accept it and say “That’s OK”, and get my focus back on the breath. J. mentioned how meditation has helped her tackle her ‘stage fright’, when making a presentation to a work related audience.
We talked on how our definition of ‘essential’ had changed to an immensely closer version of its literal meaning. We became aware that ‘essential’ is in fact a lot less than we thought it was. That realisation is extremely liberating.
We discussed managing expectations of closed ones with regards to the path we chose. How the best way is to show the benefits of the change, not impose any of it on anyone. Be prepared for resistance and realise that ‘that’s OK’.
We conversed about money and how much faith and even love is put into it. How we get tied to an income and the lifestyle it provides. On how we ‘upgrade’ our lifestyle when there’s more of it coming in – the bigger the upgrade, the bigger that anchor gets. How this fear and perceived comforts, prevent us from pursuing something greater with our lives.
We discussed tiny houses and how that did not appeal to us. We like space, uncluttered and clean space. We like to run and dance around in the living room and around the house.
We had a lot to talk about and so we did. I hope we will see each other in less than 2 years, but if we don’t, ‘that’s OK’.
Love you J.