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April 5, 2017 – Plans and Planning

Published April 5, 2017 by jillamatt

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I feel like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

PLAN:
1. a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc., developed in advance: battle plans.
2.a specific project or definite purpose: plans for the future.

It constantly amazes me at how wrapped up I get in plans.  It’s the ultimate clue that I am simply NOT living in the moment, if I am constantly thinking and worrying about the future.

With our upcoming departure from Canada, looming on the horizon, I find myself completely overwhelmed (there’s that word again) with all the things that need to be done before we go.  We still need to sell more stuff, clear the clutter, finish renovating the kitchen and sell the house.

It seems like a monumental list of things to do, and I find the more I think about the overall picture, the more I get totally stuck.  I’m forever trying to remind myself that slow and steady wins the race.

I’ll be quite honest here, I dam near burnt myself out a couple weeks ago.  It wasn’t a full face plant, but I think I caught it just in time, before I completely collapsed under the utter exhaustion of it all.  Here I was bragging about my stealthy selling skills ( see my blog post about Overwhelm.  Hello??  That should have been a warning!) and how I was in overdrive coordinating all of my pick ups and drop offs of stuff everyday,  not too mention being constantly on facebook posting items to sell and making sure that what was purchased was deleted etc. etc. etc.  Meanwhile, my adrenals were screaming at me to take a break and relax a little, or a LOT!

I finally collapsed one evening and laid down on the couch, utterly exhausted, but feeling the Adrenalin still coursing through my veins.  I literally could feel my body vibrating.  I was so tired I could barely speak, but so awake from the buzzing that I couldn’t sleep.  It was a very strange feeling indeed.

But EVEN in that moment, my brain was telling me that I WASN’T doing too much.  “What is wrong with me?  Maybe I’m sick?  This can’t be burnout?  Not me, oh no, I don’t burnout!  Why is my stomach so clenched?  Maybe I have an ulcer?  Maybe I should go to the doctor.”  These were the thoughts running through my brain as I lay in a vegetative state on the couch. I was literally arguing with myself, in disbelief that I was actually just doing too much!  Going too fast!  Trying too hard!

After much back and forth between my egos, I finally decided that maybe, just maybe, I should hold back on the rapid selling that I was doing.

The whole point of this trip, after all,  is to get away from the everyday run around that we are experiencing here in Canada, the perpetual hamster wheel.  Somehow my sub-conscious seems to think that it’s a race to get there.  Like if I just put in all this effort and exhaust myself now, then when I get to where ever it is that I am going, I can finally relax.  But the thing IS, is that I have to get there!  And at the pace I was running, the only place I was going to get to was the hospital!

And I have finally realized that there are no timelines!  Sure, we want to have the house listed by July, and sure we want to leave Powell River by the end of September to mid October, but there really isn’t a specific PLAN, these are just goals that we are working towards.  We don’t have a flight booked, in fact, we are hoping to just fly standby using airline passes from a friend.  There are no hard dates, we haven’t booked a hotel or a hostel for when we get there, we haven’t done anything concrete to make running around like a maniac worthwhile.  Besides, the countries we plan to go to will still be there when we get there.  They will wait for us, I am sure of that.

However, I know that I am not alone in these thoughts.  Planning is a buzz word that inundates our society on a day to day basis.  We are told that we must PLAN for retirement.  In high school we are constantly asked what our PLAN is for education and our future.  We are conditioned to think that we need to PLAN our trips.  I hear people talk about their 3 year plans, 5 year plans and even 10 year plans.

The ludicrousness of this all is that we spend so much time PLANNING and working towards our PLANS, that we forget about the day to day.  The “happening RIGHT NOW stuff”.

What’s happening right now is the ultimate most important moment of our lives.  There is no guarantee that we will make it to “retirement”, or even tomorrow for that matter.  It’s those little moments that are happening RIGHT NOW, that shape our life stories.  What good is life if we are always caught up in what is happening in the future, which isn’t a guarantee anyways?

And so, after literally 2 weeks of recovery, I have resigned myself to slow down, take some deep breathes, and move at a pace that is sustainable.  I would like to enjoy my last few months here in the place I have called home for 11 years.  I would like to see people, engage and connect with my friends, and know that my last few months here were awesome,  not just a panic run around to get nowhere fast!

life-is-what-happens-to-us-while-we-are-making-other-plans

** Thanks for reading!  This is part of a larger group of blog posts about us letting go of all of our possessions to go traveling.  If you would like to read from the beginning, click here.**

To learn about where I have previously traveled, click here.

To see my blog post menu, click here.

February 5, 2017

Published February 6, 2017 by jillamatt

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions. From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing. These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 
Well, as we start to prepare for our first major purging sale next weekend, we are coming face to face with the absolution of letting go of things that we have carried around for so many years.  Much of it has no physical value to us, but it is the emotional value that is difficult.

Like my set of “Boccalino” ceramic kirsch cups, given to me by my parents for my 18th birthday.  Or Chris’ Landscaping and Horticultural “Bible” as it was a gift from a friend who went to school for horticulture, and it was one of his textbooks.  It’s obvious that we aren’t bringing these items with us, but It is hard to let go of, all the same.

To date, I have sold roughly $500 worth of “things” mostly through Facebook.  As people ask me what I have sold so far, I find myself having a hard time of even recalling what it was.  I can pick out the odd thing, but certainly NOT $500 worth.  So strange.

I have also realized through this process so far, that I have done this before.

In my early 20’s, my then boyfriend and I would rent a small, affordable, place wherever we were living at the time, then would work our butts off for about 8 months of the year.  For a few years in a row we would take off each winter for 4 months.  We would pack up our stuff, put it into storage, pair down what we needed to, and let our apartment go, with the plan to return the next year and get set up again.

And you know what???  It was a WONDERFUL life!  Sure, we were young and crazy but we all know how the old saying goes, “may as well do it while you are young.”  And so we did!  We did it in a big way.

I’ve also recently been having people (in reaction to my announcement) that say “you may as well do it while your young.”  I then think to myself “Do they realize that I am 40?”  Not that I think 40 is old, but it is moving into a later phase of life where we are told that we should build a foundation, keep working hard, save for retirement.

I had a discussion with my Cousin the other night on this topic. He, and many others, feel that we should try and keep the house so that A) we have something to come back to and B) it’s a rising market here right now.  Which means a) You will never be able to afford to get back in and b) you are missing out on making a lot of money.

I have retorts to all of these sentiments and they are this:

A) We MAY NOT want to come back! Who knows where this will lead. Having a house to deal with, a Mortgage to Pay, Insurance to Pay, having to deal with tenants……..NO THANK YOU!!  As much as I love my house, it is our largest burden in our lives.  I intend to not be tied down by one for a while.  This is going to be a one way ticket to infinity……..we have NO PLANS which means we can end up anywhere,…….. and everywhere!!

B)a) See above

B)b) I intend to make  money living my dream.  We have plans, BIG plans.  IF we kept the house, our dreams would get warped and we would truly not be doing what we had originally intended to do.  Our hearts are truly leading us on this one, because the rational thinking definitely creeps in once in a while.

Anyways,  I actually sat down here today to start writing about a journey I went on back in those crazy early 20’s, but I think I will save that for another time.

Instead I’ll talk about the really cool website that we came across the other day.  Well, it was actually recommended by a friend.  It’s an online site where house owners post ads about needing house sitters, and house sitters post their profile for people to see.  House sitters can browse the current listings, and can also be requested by owners directly.

Anyways, we decided to take a look at what was listed before we signed up (it costs $50/year membership.)  We found many listings in Australia, the US, and England.  There were also a few here and there for Canada.  I scrolled and scrolled and then noticed one for Ecaudor.

Ecaudor!

We were enamored with this idea instantly. We had never considered Ecuador.  We were sort of set on heading to Southern Mexico, Guatemala, or somewhere in Central America.  But Ecaudor really had a nice ring to it.  The only catch, the owner needs us from the  8th of August to September 1st.

“Can we do this by August?”  We were asking ourselves.

In that moment it seemed that yes, sure we could if we put our minds to it.

Ummmmmmm ya sure,  lets just work our asses off like maniacs, pay off all of our debt, sell all of our stuff in a rush panic, just to make sure that we got to our commitment of August 8th.   

Not too mention that I have houses to paint this summer, OUTSIDE, so those would need to be finished before we went.  Is it possible to wrap up my summer work by then?  What if it rains most of the summer, what if I don’t finish, what if what if what if………..?

We even talked about how NICE it will be to just get there and then relax and sleep to recoup from the chaos.  Ya, wouldn’t that be awesome!  We have 3 weeks in Ecuador and we can’t wait to sleep?????  NO THANKS!!

Mind you, it took a couple days for me to come to the realization that I was all of a sudden stressed out about everything.  I was having panic attacks that we wouldn’t be able to sell anything.  I even paced around in the basement, looking for something to sell, and I couldn’t.  (Believe me there are about 4000 things in the basement to sell!)  I came upstairs and pouted to Chris that I couldn’t find anything else to sell………..boo hoo!   Poor me!!

What had happened??

One minute we are pumped about Ecaudor, and the next I’m panicking.  Chris felt it as well.  But when I FINALLY realized that all the heavy feeling anxiety we felt, had to do with this house sitting gig in Ecuador, and the fact that we had somehow put a deadline to all of this, we were able to let it go, and we felt immense relief.  (Never mind the fact that we hadn’t even applied OR been accepted yet. Which makes this all 10 times more ridiculous!)

Arghhhhhhhhhh!!  Why oh why do we do this??

Thankfully we realized it all quite quickly, and we have now made a pact that we will not place unexpected deadlines or anything heavy on ourselves from now on.

This is a process of letting go.

We are not actors in a play where we can just rip off one costume and jump into another one.

This will take time.

That is enough.

“Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things, so we can make room for life’s important things, which really aren’t things at all.”  -The Minimalists

 

January 15, 2017

Published February 6, 2017 by jillamatt

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I felt like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

Well, we told someone!  Not just one person, but 3.  Last night, at a friends house.  Now, I must admit our two friends that live in the house we were visiting, aren’t just your typical couple.  These guys moved here from Mexico (individually they are from Argentina and Columbia,)  last year at about this time.  They are both internationally recognized artists, and they have both traveled extensively.  I think the reason we wanted to tell them first was because we knew that they would get it.  And, in true predicted fashion, they both hugged us and congratulated us and were genuinely excited for us.  Sandra later told me that she initially thought that I was going to tell her that I was pregnant!  HAHA, not a chance of that!  This is much better news!

So, now that we have told people, we really need to tell our parents.  This cat is going to leap out of the bag in no time, and we really need to let them know what we are up to.  We are both hesitant and a little fearful to share this news with them.  I wonder why that is?  Is it because as kids we know that our parents have certain expectations of us?  They want us to build a life and a career and work hard and retire?  I’m not even sure if that’s it.  For me personally, I am hesitant to tell anyone.  I fear for the back lash.  The opinions, the comments, the rumours!??  Will there be rumours?  We live in a small town.  I suppose that anything is possible.  But why the worry?  Why do I care what other people think about the way I have chosen to live my life?

I think it all goes back to a deep rooted childhood pattern that I adopted early on.  When I was quite young, my parents took me travelling a lot.  For many years we would go to the Caribbean for Xmas and New Years.  There were always trips to Hawaii as well, and many other southern destinations.  I used to have students tease me and make fun of me for the amount of travelling I did.  “Where are you going this time Amatt??”  “Oh why don’t you just go get another nice tan?”  In retrospect, I realize that these comments don’t mean anything, but I made it mean that I better stop telling people about any travelling I do, and definitely should not talk about my achievements and accomplishments in life.  It was easier to just not talk about it, and make sure that people liked me for who I was, rather then what I have done in my life.  HA!  The irony of that is…..well……ironic!  Isn’t what we do in our lives what shapes us to be who we are?  Somewhere along the line, I buried it all.  I didn’t want anyone to know what I had done, and I certainly didn’t need anyone to judge it!

And so, here we are.  Yes, I am still afraid of the judging.  But I am realizing (I can’t say I’ve figured this out all the way) that most peoples reactions, are usually just their own fears being projected onto the other person.  If we tell someone who is scared of travelling and doesn’t ever want to leave Canada, then isn’t it predictable that they will spew some sort of garbage about how we are crazy to leave the safety of Canada and that what we are doing is dangerous and reckless?  Yes, I am already envisioning those conversations.  I’m already building my defense armour to be able to tackle back, if first tackled.

But, it has to happen.  We can’t just up and leave and not tell anyone.  We owe it to our loved ones, to let them prepare for this.  To accept this.  Because this is how it is going to be.

 

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