Giving It All Away…

“The first jump – that’s the most difficult part.  Because you’ll always have some people who say things like, ‘Why would you do that?’ or ‘How can you do that?’ or ‘If you could do that thing you want to do – write that novel or become an entrepreneur or travel the world or whatever – then everyone would be doing it.’ It’s important to remember that these naysayers are just projecting.  It’s that ingrained fear we all have, a natural instinct.  We tend to be afraid of bucking the status quo.  But when you do take that first jump, it actually becomes terrifying to do ‘normal’ things, because you realize what a risk it is to give up your entire life just to be normal.”- Excerpt from Everything That Remains by The Minimalists

Honestly, I didn’t think this would make me this upset.

For the last 10 years, I have made a conscious effort to purchase only the things I need, whether that be in my personal life or for the business.

For the last 2 years, I have been slowly selling, giving away or donating a lifetime of accumulations. Enough to, even at my relatively young age, fill a FULL 3 car garage.

Full of stuff.

What stuff you might say?

Old bar signs and neons, exercise equipment, photo albums, CD’s, mementos from childhood, skis and snowboards,  baseball equipment, softball equipment, motorcycle helmets and parts… to begin with the “personal items”.

It won’t all fit in the Airstream.

Then there are the tools.

Buckets and buckets and shelves and shelves full of specialty tools, plumbing and electrical parts, thousands of cables. I used to own a home theatre business after all. Sanding, staining and painting equipment, space heaters, mechanics tools, air compressors, air tools, old car parts, tools for body work, motorcycles and cars, bike jacks, the list goes on and on ad nauseam.

It won’t all fit in the Airstream...

After two years of getting rid of…after dozens of days of feeling like progress has been made…there is still so..much…stuff.

The Happy Philosophers post The Value of Giving Your Stuff Away goes on to say, “I still have a lot of material things; I’ve spent my whole life accumulating. But because of my new mindset, every time I turn around there is a new box or bag of things to be eliminated from my life. I’ve mentally let go, but physically the items are still here. It takes a surprising amount of work to get material things out of your life.”

If that isn’t solid truth… I don’t know what is.

For me, it’s the woodworking tools. Those are the hardest to part with. What is it for you?

Maybe it’s because I grew up learning woodworking from my dad. The table saw was the last “big tool” he would teach me. Maybe it’s because I knew one day I would have my own table saw and scoured the region for the exact one I wanted. Maybe it’s because I drove to Atlanta from Charlotte to get it. Maybe it’s because I went with my mom while she was visiting, and still remember stopping at PappaDeaux’s in Atlanta for lunch that day… table saw strapped into the back of the truck (we used to stop at Pappadeauxs on the drive from Michigan to Florida when I was a kid). Maybe it’s because of all the beautiful furniture I constructed with these two hands and that saw that it caused so much emotion. I’ve carried it…all 300 lbs of it… from house to house to house. My trusted companion.

Today I sold my table saw.

It’s gone.

And for whatever reason it made me tremendously sad… even a little weepy…to watch it go.

After all. It won’t all fit in the Airstream...

Photo: One of the first dining room tables I built “farmhouse” style from reclaimed wood to look like a Pottery Barn piece, at request. Pottery Barn $2200 – My Shop $117

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