Sunday, November 12, 2006

Traveling Light.....

Last night, I stayed up way too late, talking on the phone. As much as I dislike talking on the phone, it does keep me in touch with people and usually the conversations are interesting. This time, it was a check-in with my friend in Minnesota.

She has a long distance move planned, as do I. She is moving to Texas. I am seriously considering a move to northern Arizona. Her reason is a relationship. Mine is financial.

If I move to northern Arizona, I will be saving over $400.00 a month in basic living expenses. That's not to mention the peripheral expenses that will be reduced by fifty percent or so. It's the sensible thing to do since I really need to get the money together to get to Thailand.

Our discussion drifted to "stuff". How much "stuff" we are each planning to take to our new locations. S. doesn't like to leave anything behind. She has a houseful of furniture, appliances and art work. Her stuff makes her feel secure. I am the opposite. When I have too much stuff, I feel burdened. When I leave here for northern AZ, I will take my computer, some boxes of books, my clothes and a few assorted boxes of accessories and tchotchkes, things that don't matter to anyone but me. Of course, the Great Dog Shanti will come along with all of her necessities. All of it will fit quite comfortably into the back of my Geo Metro.

Right before I leave, I will have a garage sale and get rid of every last bit of it. When I take the turnoff to I-5 South, windows open, radio blaring, I will feel a sense of freedom and peace that only comes with the open road. If I'd been born a man, being a long distance truck driver would have been a cool job.

I find our relationship to "stuff" fascinating. The different attachments we have to the things we own is something that probably goes to the core of who we are, what gives us a sense of security and belonging. It's a metaphor of sorts. Those of us who feel burdened easily by other external circumstances probably also feel burdened by owning "stuff". Those who have a fairly strong back and can take quite a bit might not see their possessions as a burden.

It's interesting anyway ~ just something to think about on Sunday morning. I'd be curious to hear how others relate to their household "stuff".

Peace to all ~

Thailand Gal



Anvilcloud said...

Cuppa and I are somewhat opposite. She's a hoarder who finds it hard to part with stuff. I could easily be too much the other way. Northern Arizona, eh? Now why couldn't you have been there when we were there last April? We could have visited and wondered what to talk about. :)

Gobody said...

I am a hoarder, especially when it comes to papers and small notes. I have a note that is 0.3x2 cm with a telephone no that I kept for 15 years. I can find it any day :).

My wife, on the other hand, goes through everything every couple of months. In the beginning this was like taking me to the gallows, now I am more used to it.

jen said...

i hate stuff. we have acquired more of it since M, but there is no single item we can't live without or aren't willing to sell or donate when we move to Belize. J goes crazy about stuff - it makes him feel narrow, trapped, stuck...we'd not even have furniture if it was up to him - a bit overboard..but i can relate.

good for you!

caro said...

The more I have the more I have trouble breathing. Naturally, I married a hoarder and gave birth to 3 girls who love nothing more in life than a houseful of "stuff". At times, sharing my life with this gang requires a lot of patience and understanding !

Lucia said...

My relationship with stuff has changed.

When I was younger, every time I'd move, I'd rid myself of all my stuff, start again with a house full of used furniture, and repeat.

Now I have stuff that I move and keep. I'm still not big on furniture, so that could go, but I have a house full of stuff that I bought all around the world, and it's attached to memories and places, and now it's stuff I can't get rid of.

meno said...

When my husband and i were separated, i moved out of the apartment and only took what i needed. It was a very liberating experience. I love getting rid of stuff. I enjoy going to the dump, it's so cathartic.

Cuppa said...

I have a hard time getting rid of stuff. But there is a certain amount of freedom that comes with getting out from under it.
We did a major downsizing when we moved across province last year, and it was a great feeling not to cart all that stuff with us. It was liberating.

Bug has moved a number of times in her young life and twice has given away most of her earthly possessions, taken up just what she could carry on her back and set of on an adventure. The first time she back-packed in Europe and Australia for a year and this time she is on a three month trek in Southeast Asia. We have a few boxes of treasures stored here for her, but not much.

When she comes home in December she will set off for Vancouver to see what life is like on the other side of the country. Once she gets there and finds a place to live, we will ship her bike and a few odds and ends out to her on the bus. Anything else she needs she will get at the Good Will and make do with things others have discarded.

KC said...

I feel weighed down by all the stuff in our house, it's driving me batty. I just wish I had the energy to do something about it. I think we may need to move just to cleanse ourselves, like a colonic.

Thailand Gal said...

Anvil, as I told you ~ politics and religion are always safe with me. If that didn't keep us busy, we could always gossip. :)

Gobody, it's scary to think about owning anything for 15 years! LOL

Jen, I just can't see being saddled with replaceable stuff. Naturally, all of my stuff from The Place will go with me ~ but all the rest of it, heck, that's what Goodwill is for...

Caro, maybe you can just convince the "stuff" belongs to your husband and kids. Who knows? It might work so that you can breathe easier. :)

Lucia, same here. The stuff from other parts of the world, particularly Thailand (hereafter referred to simply as "The Place"), will go with me.

Meno, I love the dump, too. There's something about being rid of all that stuff that makes me feel very happy!

Cuppa, I like Bug's attitude and agree with her. There are very few things that can't be replaced with a few bucks and a thrift store.

kc, a colonic. What a perfect description! Getting rid of all the .... well, you get it. :)

Thanks, everyone :)


Thailand Gal

sweetisu said...

I'm still not sure where I am on the spectrum. I hoard stuff, but I also loath having stuff in the house. In the end, sadly I think I'm a hoarder... I'm attached to the sentiments, see here: The things that defines who we are.

I'm in MN and wish to move to AZ. BUT Hubby will never go for it. He thinks it's too hot to withstand.

Pam said...

I have more stuff now than I have ever had in my life. I've moved a lot too, just not as far. These moves were difficult for my daughters (dad left, single Mom)but also taught them survival. We three are very close and have experienced a lot.

I digress...I have certain things that are very important to me, but stuff is stuff and in the long run it's the people and the experiences in a life that count.

Thailand Gal said...

Sweetisu, thanks for coming by my little corner of the web. You have a very interesting blog! I just got done reading it ~ all of it. :) Talk to your husband again about Arizona. Northern Arizona, (Payson, where I will be going) is up in the mountains. It doesn't get hot there at all. It even snows a few times a year.

Pam, I also have a few things that are important to me and they will travel with me. Most household items can be replaced with a few hundred bucks and a thrift store. I just couldn't stand to have too much. It feels like physical weight. Hm. Interesting. I hadn't thought of that. That's ultimately why I spent so much time at Weight Watchers, too. Burdens. Blecht! :)

QT said...

I used to have a lot of things I thought were very important. When my divorce went down, it happened in such a way that caused me to leave many,many things behind in a house I was never allowed to return to. Most of it was replaceable, but som eof it I still think about - like a set of crystal cups from my grandmother, who died last year.

I guess it taught me that I won't die if I lose a cherished item, but it does hurt. I guess that makes me a bit of a hoarder.