Metamorphosis

Me: I’m going camping.
Friend: For how long?
Me: The next 20 years.

I turned in the keys to the apartment today. I am now houseless!

I feel exhilarated. And apprehensive. And maybe a little depressed. But now I can really get started on my retirement journey. It seems like I’ve been planning for so long for this moment. And now … let the fun begin!

I will leaving Fort Wayne tomorrow on a trip south. I think I’ll drive along the Ohio River and then down into the  Carolinas. I want to see if Spring has come to the Smoky Mountains yet.

I have several events scheduled for this spring, but in between, I’ll be travelin’.

 

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Musings About Minimialism

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Downsizing my life has been a long, drawn-out process. Not because I had a lot of stuff, but because basically, I’m lazy. I’m still in that period of retirement where I find it satisfying to just sit and listen to music or read a book for hours; instead of, say, cleaning out a closet.

That being said, I have found out something about myself.

I’m already a minimalist.

I may have a lot of stuff, but I don’t use it. There are so many items in my life that I have not touched or even looked at for months. Some not for years! Clothes I never wear. Books I have read and tossed aside. Knick Knacks…what on earth am I doing with knick knacks?

Getting rid of these “found items” has been extremely liberating. As I work I’m keeping all the things I do use in one small space in my bedroom. They are what will end up in the van when I finally close the door behind me for the last time. A duffel bag of clothing, a container of supplies, a box with my “camp kitchen” items, my sleeping bag and tent. Necessities only.

Minimalism is a way of living that includes getting rid of unnecessary things in your life. Not just household items, but also jobs, events, people, anything that you do out of habit, but does not add to your quality of life. It’s a philosophy. It means looking at your life and all the things in it and evaluating what each thing does. You must determine what feeling an item gives you. Does it give you joy? Keep it. Does it bring back a bad memory? Dump it. Is it something you bought because you thought you had to cause everybody else has one? Give it away.

One reason I chose the nomadic lifestyle as my retirement is that I really don’t like keeping a house anymore. (Some of you know my opinion on housecleaning.) The less stuff I have to keep track of, the happier I am. I’m a solitary person so I don’t need the trappings of social life – enough dinnerware to entertain, a large screen TV, a kick-ass stereo system, etc. I enjoy going to parties, I just don’t like to reciprocate. I really don’t think that is selfish, just realistic for me.

There are many websites where you can find out about the concept of living simply. I won’t bore with a list, but I will mention one I find inspiring. The Minimalists. Two guys who have been on the forefront of the movement for several years. Read their blog, watch their videos, if you are interested in how this way of life can enrich your life.

Are you a minimalist? Do you wonder how much more rich you life could be with less stuff? Let’s start a conversation. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Time to Get Busy

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I’m in Fort Wayne, getting ready to clear out the apartment. I’m trying to think of it as THE apartment instead of MY apartment because I’m leaving a place I’ve enjoyed living in for the past nine years.

Change is always hard. Retirement, the big change, was relatively easy, I’d been planning for it for 40 years LOL. The change in living locations has only been on the list for a couple of years.

When thinking about living in a vehicle as opposed to a building, I kinda made a pro and con list in my head.

Pro – I won’t have rent to pay, I won’t have utilities to pay, I won’t have house maintenance tasks, I can live anywhere

Con – I’ll need to find a place to sleep every night, I’ll spend more on gas

People ask me what I’ll miss about living in a house Not much actually. Being in a van I will be able to do everything I already do  – eat, sleep, read, surf the internet, watch movies and TV shows, write.

Here’s what I won’t miss – house cleaning.

All in all I believe this change in lifestyle will be good for me. During the past several years I’ve spent a lot of time in a kind of limbo, sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing. Not what I want my “golden years” to be.

So, time to get to it!