I am and always have been a huge fan of success, the problem though, was that I always defined success solely in terms of money and stuff (a nice word for material crap or shit). And to continue this thread of honesty, I still really, REALLY like money…it’s fun and can also provide a sense of security in some ways. I have however, drifted away from the belief that the stuff you have is important. To prove that we have been downsizing by getting rid of stuff that we don’t use or never will use; this my friends has been mind-blowingly awesome. What a sense of surrender and relief.
On the topic of money though, I still find a lot of value in it but for different reasons then I use to. One aspect of money that I still love is its ability to get real shit done when used the right way. I would love to be a multi-millionaire and put some of that money toward children, education, and anything anti status quo that I could get my hands on. Money in the traditional sense of go bust your ass all day, give a huge chunk to the local and national governments in the form of hundreds of taxes, and do it all again tomorrow sucks…it drains most of us.
This traditional view of money causes frustration, depression, arguments, divorce, insecurity, and so on…not good. I’ve shifted my thoughts on money therefore I am, for the most part, able to enjoy my life more. Not having the emotional (or whatever it is) attachment to things and to money really is a liberating process. But again, I still love money…but changing my view on what money is to me and what I want to do with it has shifted enough to where it does not affect my day.
All this being said; I do work my ass off but when you can put proper perspective on things, it makes the work far more enjoyable. My purpose on this Earth is not money, it’s not the clothes on my back, nor is it the vehicle I drive. At the end of the day, I feel like my purpose is to strive to be better every day, to have relationships, to create, to help, to motivate, to share, and to be inquisitive on this journey (I am sure some of my friends may think I sound like a bleeding heart tree hugger…screw you…I’m not! LOL).
I guess my overall point with this is that life is about perspective, finding out who YOU are and where YOU operate best from. Because when it is all said and done, no matter what you believe, the thing we can all probably agree on is that the time we do have here should be effective, productive, and educational. I’m so stoked that I’ve been getting more and more in touch with who I am and what makes me tick…it just feels good to be living a life of my choosing. And I wish that for everyone.
Well written. I have been “downsizing” material things as well- your right it is liberating! One additional thought- if you also use money in a way that saves the opportunity cost of missing out on something important to you. For example- paying someone to do a task or chore- so you can spend time with your husband/wife/significant other or family instead of doing the task yourself. Balancing life choices is crucial. Sure I could do the task, it might take me twice as long as the professional and cause stress, anxiety, or even anger during the task, instead pay the small fee and relax with those you care about.
Thanks for the comment, and that is a great point. Using money efficiently, in the respect that you brought up is right on. My wife and I talk about that as well, the importance of tme and our best use of it and how money can obviously help with that! Cheers and thanks again!!
My husband and I did this in a very visual large scale way about six years ago when we moved from the home we lived in for 16 years located almost an hour from the areas we worked in to a condo we bought in the near burbs. The day we closed on the property I declared nothing was going with us except clothes and electronics. I received the -Huh, waddya talkin about -look from my husband who still had t-shirts from his US Marine days (a million ago…just sayin). So I rented a 22 yard construction dumpster, which doesn’t sound very big but suffice to say it filled the driveway. One room at time for a week items were carried out of the door and into the dumpster. Furniture pieces that were in good condition were put on a Salvation Army straight truck during the same time period.
Then I went shopping at the local furniture store with cash in hand to buy just what we needed to be comfortable…not to fill up each of the new rooms. Suffice to say, Move Day was pretty darn easy. Okay so my husband went through a couple of weeks of -You threw that away??!!??- Yup, get over it please. And he did. After a couple of weeks in this brand new spankingly sparse home we agreed to purge once a year or sooner. And have we? More or less yes. When we took a look at that dumpster before they hauled it away we looked at each other and instead of having a tear in our eyes seeing our memories truck on down the street, we instead said, -Do you know how many hours we worked for that?- lol Good for you Matthew and Annie! Good for you!
Wow Cheri, that’s so awesome. The psychology behind why we get to that point and then how great it feels (typically) when we do that downsizing is of real interest to me. Had you been wanting to do that for some time? What was it that triggered that decision for you? Thanks for the comment Cheri!!
For me lately, the idea of money (winning the lottery) only means that Mom wouldn’t be in a nursing home where they steal her clothes and where she’s miserable. It would mean she’d live with me with a full-time nurse and all the care in the world. It would mean I can do what I want with animals, rescues, day care, and boarding. When I think of what it would be like to have a ton of money, that’s what I want it for.
And, yes, I’d go live in wine country. 🙂
Right on as usual, Matt!
I know you’ve been going through some stuff Sandra (regarding your mom), and that just sucks. Your passions are admirable and that’s what my hope for everyone would be. Take what you have (be it money, time, ideas, effort) and apply it to your passions! Cheers and thank you VERY much!!
Catching up with email I noticed your follow up question. I’m not sure what really spurred it on except I was starting to feel “closed in”. One can get in the habit of holding on to things “just in case”, but if “just in case” never occurs what ever prompts “okay, I can toss this now.” NOTHING DOES! And eventually you have closets and drawers and bookshelves and cabinets fill up with a bunch of “just in cases!” I didn’t want to bring that karma to our new home. And I certainly didn’t want to pack it up, move it and find new homes for it all! It was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done. And that husband of mine who was in a bit of a panic when the dumpster arrived? Afterward he bragged to his pals who commiserated with him about moving how it was so easy. He only made a couple of trips with our pick up truck. (well, so to speak…)
That’s great Cheri, it is a funny cycle we tend to get stuck in, accumulate, hold, get rid of and then do it all again. I have felt more free (less tied down) the last few months than ever before. At one point my wife and I had 4 condos, getting rid of three of those was also quite liberating. Tired of keeping track and taking care of them. Love your description of what you guys went through, cheers and thanks!