Life Lessons from Downsizing

This was my favorite view at my old house.

I recently moved and one lesson I learned is how much I hate moving. It really brings out the worst in me as it seems to embody so many things I dislike all at once.

I downsized considerably and never realized how spiritually challenging it would be. Beyond the challenge of just less space and too much stuff, I really had to face my attachment to things. You see, I think of myself as someone not very materialistic. I have no problem getting rid of stuff.

But with this move, I realized I am only able to part with the stuff I don’t like.

But the square footage did not lie and I had to part with some stuff I really liked. And that took some Lamaze breathing (pointless for childbirth,  but good for other stuff). There was also the Scrooge part of my personality that didn’t like letting go of the things I liked for free.

And there was just the emotional stuff of the whole moving part. Leaving memories and abandoning plans I had for that home.

Our new cabin (house is an overstatement) does make my other jobs easier. In my larger house, Little Sir was harder to manage. But here, I can basically see him from anywhere. He’s getting to an age where he’ll play independently, I can let that happen and be in the kitchen at the new place- and everything is fine.

The other job it makes easier is housekeeping. Housework is a weird thing of mine. I like a clean house. But the actual doing of the housework is terrible. In this small space, it looks messier faster, but it also cleans up faster. Feels like  a win-win. I have a clean house with less time invested.

The other lesson I got was actually something told to me by a good friend: When going through a hard time, get small so you can more easily reflect on  what is truly important.

You see, this move was set into motion against my wishes. It “befell” me, so to speak. But that whole “getting small” thing has been extraordinary as I have been able to soak in Little Sir. Soak in the friends who came to help move for nothing more than a deli sandwich. Soak in the view of the redwoods in my new front yard. Soak in the joy and beauty that is always available if we aren’t distracted by a space too big for us, too wrong for us or too bad for us.

My new view. Redwood trees in the front yard. I’ll live.

So here, in my little house, I soak in what remains: Love, Joy, Beauty, Faith.

I might have downsized, but I will always make room for those.