Hi everyone! I know it’s been a minute since I’ve written but we are officially living in our R.V now! The mister and I decided awhile back to minimize our lifestyle due to our physical limitations. Fast forward to today and we are now currently settling into our 1991 Winnebago Warrior! We have a lot of work to do around here but we need a few days off to rest now. This was one of the hardest moves physically and emotionally that I’ve had to make.
We decided the first thing we needed to do was get rid of a lot of stuff whether through selling, donating, or simply discarding useless junk. We gathered up the things we wanted to sell and decided how much we were going to ask for them. You would think with all the new apps out like “letgo” and “5miles” that everything would go without a hitch. I wish! For starters, we had a lot of people “interested”, meaning “Hey, I really want your mini-fridge and I’ll be there to pick it up at 6:00 pm” but 6 pm rolls around and you end up with a no show and you’ve wasted 9 hours of time that you could’ve used to find that person who really wanted it. The garage sales and flea market weren’t much better. A lot of looking but no buying. We had our good days and we had our bad. On the upside, it was a learning experience and I’m glad we did it even though it got pretty emotional at times.
There was also the “emotional” attachment aspect that I tried to prepare for but you really can’t. You just have to go through it. That first “wave” of stuff you want to get rid of is easy. It consists of the things you’ve been meaning to sell/donate/give away for ages and you just haven’t had the time or felt good enough. That ugly sweater, that horrible book (yes, there is such a thing), those chintzy ceramic cats (what were you thinking?!). The second “wave” started tapping at the emotions. “Well, I don’t need this many pair of shoes do I?” or “I really like this old sheet set grandma gave me for Christmas in 1992 even though I can see right through them”. Yikes. (It really was like that because I am a ridiculous sentimentalist). I had to play 20 questions with myself every day for 2 months. “Okay- out of this beautiful blue bowl you bought at that one cool garage sale with Sherry in 2005 and this unabridged dictionary set that you love because you have that weird reference book fetish, if all the sudden God zapped you and said, “You can only keep one of these, which would it be”? (I’m seriously laughing out loud right now as I’m typing this because it is SO true!!!) I also did the “I have 10 of these so I will pick my favorite out of all of them or well, I’ll just keep 2 because if one breaks later then I’ll have one left”! (Laughing again).
Some days I exhausted myself with the insanity but we powered through and eventually we weeded out enough of our stuff to fit into our 30-foot R.V and a 6’ x 6’ storage unit. My goal is to get that storage unit GONE. Living with chronic pain has taught me a lot over the years and one of the most important is the realization and acceptance that if I want to truly start taking better care of me, then I am going to have to direct my energy into me and not “things”.
See, the “thing” about stuff is this: most stuff needs to be maintained. It needs to be dusted, oiled, scrubbed, organized, filed, put away, etc. I can’t tell you how much of my life I have wasted on worrying about “Look at this place! I have so much to do. I need to dust and vacuum. The bathroom is a mess and I can’t remember the last time I made the bed but the sheets are clean, right? What if someone comes over and they think I’m a lazy slob?! I have a whole box of stuff that needs to be shredded. The curtains haven’t been washed in ages. Look at all those dust bunnies. Oh God- I am lazy! What’s wrong with me?!” Yep. That scenario plays at least once a day like a broken record. So now, not only do I have the worry of the mess itself, but I am now worrying about what other people think of me. All that worry is not good for a healthy person much less one who is battling an autoimmune disease. I concluded that the less I had, the less there would be for me to worry about and maintain and the energy I spent on worrying about and maintaining it all could now be directed into better health for myself instead of being mentally and physically exhausted all of the time.
Being exhausted is a daily battle for us. Our energy levels are low at best. You have the rare day where you wake up and you have to pinch yourself 10 times to make sure you’re really awake because you’re not in pain but you don’t believe it. I think most of us are alike in that we push ourselves too much. There is such a crushing weight on society these days to be doing everything. Little league. Cheer team. Soccer. Get togethers. Overtime at work. Yards to mow and weed eat. Crafts. Church activities. Trying to keep up with all the new tech and world news and social media. Doing your best to keep up with the rest of the world so you don’t get left behind. But then you realize you did get left behind. Because you are now spending most of your waking and sleeping life in bed or a chair and everything is changing except you and your pain. It’s a constant. The one thing that has become more dependable than anything else in your life. People will let you down. Life will let you down. Your loved ones will let you down. But your pain won’t leave you alone for anything in the world. The pain is your ride or die. And that is exactly why you need your rest.
I’m still in the process of “learning to let go”. (I have ALWAYS hated that saying- I really can’t stress enough how MUCH I hate that saying…grrrr) But nonetheless, even though I really, really hate that stupid saying, it’s the cold hard truth. I have got to start letting go of all of it. I have been weighed down for far too long by way too much. Opinions, boxes of scrapbook paper, old greeting cards, ugly sweaters, hurtful judgements, past due bills, sickness, loss, old shoes, transparent linens, chipped knick-knacks, and sentimentality. It’s time to let it all go and rest for a while.
And that is exactly what I am going to do. The dishes will be there tomorrow. Take care of you today- let go and get some rest. Breathe. We’re human and the quicker we accept that we don’t have to do everything, the happier and healthier we’ll be.
Peace & blessings,