Lessons I’m learning about life.
Some memories propel us forward and some hold us back.
For those of you that listen regularly to my weekly Facebook podcast, Monday Mastery, you know that I am making a major life change in my living arrangements.
A few months ago, I decided to transition to full-time RV living for the next year. This decision was made for a couple of reasons. The first is that for the past 3 years I have been living in my trailer five months out of the year.
The second and more important reason is that after my dad pasted away 5 years ago, I started to recognize how fragile life is and how short our time on earth really is.
I’ve started to recognize there are things in life that just can’t wait for the “right time.” Things like spending more time with my daughter and her family, enjoying more of my summers in northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan and taking better care of my health.
When you start to do more of the things that are important to you, you quickly recognize that there are things that you have to let go. Time is finite and once it is spent it can never be recovered.
What are some of the you want to do before it’s too late?
Downsizing my life.
Downsizing from a 2-bedroom apartment to a travel trailer will really get you to start thinking about what you can and can’t live without.
Some things were a no-brainer for me. Other things have taken some thought. One of my important decisions is that almost all of my physical assets, furniture, TV, filing cabinets, and desks are expendable.
Other things like clothes take a little more thought. How many warm clothes do I need to keep and what can be given away?
The simple act of cleaning out my kitchen cupboards was an awakening. I started looking at the expiration dates of the canned goods and spices on the shelves, (something I learned from an ex-girlfriend but that’s for another blog).
I ended up throwing out at least 75% of what I had. I’m not much of a cook or a practical shopper. LOL
And then there are the memories.
Anytime you’ve lived someplace for a while there are bound to be memories.
A dear friend of mine has lived on a small ranch for more than 25 years. Since her husband passed a few years ago, she has more than she can handle.
She struggles with the memories of what she and her late husband had planned for the property and the realities of the efforts it takes to maintain it on her own.
Because of all the family memories that are attached to her ranch, she runs the risk of retaining something she may not be able to handle on her own.
“Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.”
It’s easy to let your memories keep you attached to something or someone longer than necessary.
As I look around my totally disorganized apartment I see some very fond memories. I see the crab dinner a girlfriend prepared for us. I see and feel the room shake from an earthquake that was centered in Oklahoma.
I see the little 18” Christmas tree that I would set up on a filing cabinet in my living room. I see the kitchen where an “elf” and I made a couple hundred dozen Christmas cookies to be given away to family and friends.
I remember the loves lost in this apartment. Some were lost because of my mistakes and some were lost just because they weren’t the right loves.
That hardest memories to shake are the ones I hang on to for sentimental reasons.
Time will eventually heal the hurts from the lost loves but it will never erase the wonderful memories.
In the words of comedian Steven Wright,
“Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.”
Be careful where your memories allow you to reside. Are your memories there as a fond reminder of times past and of lessons learned? Or are they holding you captive to the past and not allowing to move forward in healthy ways?
I hope I’ve given you some food for thought today. Putting memories in their proper perspective is an important part of dealing with everyday life in a healthy way.
Have a great and blessed week.