Thursday, August 13, 2015

This Old House

A house is a home when it's filled with the people you love. When they all go away it's just filled with memories, and possibly pets too. It's also filled with a lot of dust, unfinished projects, and tons of stuff that needs to be thrown out - yeah, all that stuff that we didn't deal with because we didn't think we had time.

That's life in the USA - we collect stuff. It piles up around us or we put it in storage. Attics and basements full of boxes, sometimes we even rent storage space! It's crazy, don't you think?

What Will You Leave Behind?

When my parents passed away a few years ago they left a whole house full of stuff. They thought they were doing us a favor (bless their hearts) by putting money into things instead of bank accounts; they thought we could avoid high inheritance taxes that way. Instead we inherited a lot of stuff to sort out and my brother's still dealing with it all.

I don't blame them, I'm sure it was good advice at the time it was given. However, it left me thinking about the way I'd like to leave things for my kids. Of course everyone has sentimental things they want to keep, but I don't really think my kids will want to inherit all my junk. They have their own junk.

Moving On

I don't want to be a "past stuff" babysitter for the rest of my life. I'd like to be able to travel a bit and have a little fun, in between work and visiting family of course. But there's 25 years worth of leftovers from life with family tying me down right now (including pets). 

My husband has already moved on and is building a life for us somewhere else. We figured that was the only way we could do it, one of us would have to move on first while the other dealt with all the stuff we've collected. It's not easy but we're in a process of figuring out this next stage of life after the kids have grown up.

You can't take it with you!

We've all heard this saying in relation to not being able to take our material abundance with us to the afterlife (thank God!). But we can't always take it with us here in the now life either. If we want to move on with our lives we sometimes have to let go of stuff, and we have to ask our kids to take responsibility for their own stuff too.

Our daughter is moving across the country in a little 2 door hatchback that's about 1/10th the size of her bedroom. She definitely can not take it all with her. Our older son just moved into a nice 2 bedroom apartment so I asked him to start taking some things from the closet and attic that he has stored here for the past 4 years since he graduated college. I consider dealing with this as my karma because I still had some things stored at my parents house even after they passed away.

Our youngest is still in college but I have less concern about his things because he seems to have an easier time letting go, except for the pets. One of the kids will eventually have to take the pets.

Life is full of changes

I wish I had the foresight long ago to plan for all these changes. I hope my kids will have the foresight to live a simple scaled back life. Although we are not wealthy by any means, between raising children and running a business we have managed to collect more stuff than we need. It's time to simplify and enjoy some freedom.

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