My Downsize Push Back… Can I Be Helped?

In Living Gently, Simplicity by Susan2 Comments

The culling that happens with any downsizing effort should kick the twin beasts of want and really want right in the butt.  But not always.  You would think that after discarding 75, maybe 80 percent of my worldly goods, that I’d lose interest in acquiring more stuff that I know, absolutely know, I won’t be wanting two years from now.

But we moved into a new, unfurnished apartment and all of a sudden creature comforts seem necessary again.

I’m not talking about a sofa or a bed, or even the new cookware we needed because the induction cooktop is fussy about its pots.  Those are needs, not wants.

What I am talking about is this list of non-essentials that I somehow acquired:

dish towels, a fan, lamps, bookshelves, a coffee table, shoe racks, a laundry hamper, that coiled hose, the clothes tree, pillows, bedding, bath mats, trash cans, a magnifying mirror, plants (lots of plants), and a birthday present for Teej, our 17 year old cat — his very own drinking fountain.

I mean, what the heck happened to my idea of simple living?  I’ve done so much shopping lately it scares me.

I am someone who loves beautiful objects, new clothes, and the latest horticultural varieties.  Everywhere I look that beast whose mantra is, “I want, I want, I want…’” rears its ugly head.

And I’m still on the hunt for just the right outside plant containers to provide a green screen for our bedroom windows.  I keep telling myself that when I am done with that project, that will be the end.  Our home will be finished.

But me? I’m still a work in progress.

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Susan Carey retired in 2017 after a long business career most recently in animal welfare leadership.  She writes about her experiences as a recent retiree living in Spain.  Susan lives in Valencia, Spain with her husband, Jamie, and  the senior pets they brought with them from the United States.

Comments

  1. Jamie and Susan –
    I just found this last night when starting to investigate what to do on the two days that we left uncommitted in our vacation. Wow! Your level of commitment to these ideas in your blog blows me away.
    Arlene mentioned going to Cuenca as mentioned by Susan. So it was to check out what your experience was there that made me check out your blog. And I love it! Great thoughts on choosing a gentle direction lifestyle. All my life I have been thinking about how to live this way. But life’s commitments e.g. work and earning a living, have been a distraction. Thanks so much for focusing on these issues and how you have risen to address these challenges. Keep it going.
    One change I have managed is to get my company to open a Salem office where I shall be working soon. I could take a bus there.
    I’ll keep reading, and try to focus myself on these these issues as we head towards downsizing and retirement.
    See you soon on our trip.

    1. Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your kind words. We are gradually finding our way back to some of the ideals we thought we held as young adults. This time though, we have a good deal of real world experience behind us. We’re more pragmatic. We know how hard it is to lead an ethically consistent life but we have fewer worries. We sort of know our own weakness and we have time to reflect on where we can and ought to adjust.

      Let’s hope we are only getting started so that you’ll have plenty to read and share on your path to gentle living. We’ll see you soon.

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