Present Tense

Heeeeeeeyyyy, man……….

I wanna be a hippie.  Plain and simple.

Okay, maybe not a true hippie, but what I call a neo-hippie; I think I’m probably a little too old and comfortable to live in a VW bus and follow a band around, but I think my yearning comes from a desire to simplify and downsize my lifestyle.

I was joking with some friends about it; how I’ve started baking bread and am planning to grow some vegetables in my plot in the community garden this summer.   How I’d like to trim some of our ‘stuff’ that fills our house.   Then, I realized that over a decade ago, my husband and I brewed our own beer, we had a big garden and I canned vegetables and he kept bees.  That’s right, I am married to a former (and I hope, future) bee keeper.  We already had hippie training.

I’ve already lived what I am yearning for and yet, at that time, I was ready for a change, so we moved to Colorado.  I wrote in my last post about losing and trying to regain my fearlessness.  I wrote of some of my fears:  dying, losing loved ones, losing everything I’ve worked for and this is what I’ve decided:  I have too much.

My husband and I are at odds as to what to do with what I see as the excess ‘stuff’ we’ve accumulated over the years.   We’re not hoarders, but over 21 years of marriage, we’ve collected a fair amount of possessions.  Books, CDs, clothing, furniture, paperwork, tools, shoes, bedding, housewares, bikes, golf clubs, ski gear, cars blah, blah, blah.  We’ve had small houses, medium houses, a condo and currently, a house that is bigger than what we need.  I have a burning desire to clear it all out, right down to the bare minimum essentials.

I told my husband that our possessions feel like a burden; like a weight.  Regrets for the money I spent on too much stuff, regrets that I’ve been wasteful, a sense that we are old, fat, happy and ‘settled’ in our too-big house, with our too many possessions.  It feels suffocating.

He, on the other hand, looks at our “stuff” as a life well-lived; as proof of success.  He fears that anything we get rid of, we’ll need and in some cases, he’s probably right.  I’m not that good at moderation; my instinct is to just expunge and start over.  Intellectually, I know that’s silly; that I should be methodical and practical. The restlessness and at the same time, stagnation that I’m feeling right now, is about more than possessions.

Part of it is the realization that I may not have that much time left and how do I want to spend that time?  I’m not big on regrets; we are given choices, we choose and there is nothing to do but live with it.  However, I recently heard a quote that says it all: ” No matter how far I travel on the wrong path, I can always turn around”.

Anyone want to buy some of my ‘stuff’??

April 16, 2011 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , | 11 Comments


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