Let it go

The last four months I’ve realized that there are things I just have to let go to get ahead. The first thing was I gave up was my food scale. For the last ten years of my life, I’ve weighed nearly every little morsel that I put into my mouth. I logged it into an App on my phone. Every carrot, salad, piece of chicken…all accounted for. I gave it up January 1st when I began the Whole 30 diet. It was hard at first, it was such a routine to weigh my food. This was one of the best things I could have done to start the year. I was being robbed of time, robbed of my self worth, confidence, and so many intangible things. 

Over the last eleven years I’ve practically lived at the gym, trying to attain the muscular female physique like my favorite athletes I follow on Instagram. What I perceive as attractive. I still find it highly attractive, but as of August 2015, I’ve given up (finally) my wanting to compete as a physique or strength athlete. What benefit would it serve me? None. No financial gains, no awesome new job, no cool new place to call home. I wouldn’t be provided any of the things I wanted or needed in life. So now I go to the gym three days instead of five to six and instead of trying to squat 275 I just try to keep my muscular shape while training for function. Now that the weather has been warmer, I’ve been enjoying hikes with the dogs and fishing instead for exercise. 

It doesn’t end there. I’ve sold or boxed up about 50-60% of my home, all the things I do not use or need. I have less things to clean, move, walk around. It has made me feel so light. I spend less money on useless crap. I eat more consciously, only buy what I need from the grocery store.  No stockpiling in my pantry or freezer. 
I regret none of it. I don’t regret selling or giving away one thing. I’m moving toward a different future. One where I enjoy life more instead of being stressed about things and money. A simpler way of life. It will take me a while to get there, but in four months I feel like I’ve made good progress. 

With letting go of some of these things, I’ve gained dietary freedom and has further allowed me to minimize my household by eating those things in the pantry that were “too high in carbs” per my old way of eating. I don’t worry about how many meals I eat a day, how many hours since my last meal, or carrying food with me everywhere I go so I don’t miss a meal. I’ve found the time to walk and hike with my dogs more. The time to learn how to fish again. The money to buy the necessities and fix my vehicle. I feel more at peace with myself. I feel like my goals ARE attainable. All these years I just never knew how to approach it. Turns out I was being held down by to many things. 

But I want it NOW

  

Ok, ok…
I’m trying here. I just want the next chapter of my life to begin already. I know there are still at least a few ‘easy’ steps in between, but the truly hard steps haven’t even happened yet. Easy steps=unloading the house of belongings. Hard steps=saying goodbye to my old dogs (not before their time of course!) and moving onto smaller, more affordable living spaces. Easy is also beginning to live, to see and experience life first hand…for once! 

I have been feeling like I’m living outside of my body, of my own life for months. It’s such a lost feeling, like I’m living between two realms, two lives. I so want to begin by moving onto a smaller sailboat or a RV to save as much money as I can for a Tayana 37 sailboat. I pay over double of what the cost of an average mooring or slip or RV park costs every month in rent. Not to me to mention utilities trash removal and New England heat!

So for now I’ll try to reel it in, take it little by little. Today I relearned how to fish for trout. I had been over twenty years. It’s just another component to the future. When I remember that there are so many things I should and need to accomplish before venturing off it makes more sense and I feel calmer. I’ll be sure to take the time to learn saltwater fishing this summer, get out dinghy sailing, watch more YouTube on blue water sailing, navigation, and see if I can dabble in some engine work and general building, painting, and problem solving. 

Even as I write this I realize I AM making a forward progress toward my goals. Even if my financial goals are on a standstill/backslide, I am making forward motion. Even if it is not as fast as I’d like. 

Reduce reduce reduce

  Ok, so over the last 3 months I’ve sold off/boxed up about fifty percent of my previous household accumulations. Tablecloths, shower curtains, CDs, books, piles of excessive Pyrex, clothes by the bag full.  Years of invalid paperwork.  It was incredible how fast it can pile up. It started fast and furious, so many things were obvious. Now it’s trickling, as I decide what heirlooms I want to hold on to for now, until that day comes when I have secured the next leg of my life adventures. Not one regret. 

It’s been very easy to let go, even more so, it has been exceptionally freeing.  Not many people have the same goal as I do, but I highly suggest letting go of even some of your possessions. It has been said with the minimalist type people-possessions possess you-owned by what you own, which is becoming ever so clear. When you have to move six things from your cabinet to reach one or you have to lift five things off a thirty square inch table to dust it and then dust those five things. When those things do nothing for you, you no longer even recognize that they are even there. They have become commonplace. Remove them, gain the free time and mental clarity from having cleared spaces. 

But hey, my latest infatuation drive has been to reduce my groceries by $100-150 a month, to eliminate as much waste from those groceries, and to figure out how to stop using as much plastic products all around.  Let’s just say I’ve found the cheapest way to eat is frozen veggies from Trader Joes and sale prices meats from the average local chain markets.  Not very in line with my plastic free mission. Farmers markets haven’t started around here as of yet, knowing I can walk away with veggies at about $1-2/lb with no plastic bags.  So a girl like me has to figure out where she’s willing to compromise. With everything driven by the dollar, I’m having to go with the cheap over ecological.  Hurts me to make that choice. I hope not for long. 

I’m still going to explore my options. I have a running list of price per pound of prepackaged items at Trader Joes vs bulk bin at Whole Foods. I will post it once I have my commonly used items all tallied out. Even with a whole foods diet, there is still so much waste involved.  

Check this out Plastic pollution coalition. Stop using straws. Try cloth diapering. Stop using plastic applicator tampons (go back to the old fashioned cardboard applicators). Stop using toothpastes and face cleansers with ‘microbeads’. Check out the link…consider making even one change. 

Everyday I get lighter

  Little by little, day by day, my house becomes barer, more empty. It’s so relieving, enlightening, and humbling. I’m down to the things that are daily use or heirloom. So you might say things are getting real. It’s amazing how I felt once I started to sell/give away all those insignificant things. I feel so free, light, and simplified! 

It’s a hard decision to get rid of family heirlooms, I want them to go to a member of the  family that will be able to take care of them, have room for them, who remember where they came from and on what anniversary. I’ll always remember that I had them, enjoyed them (somewhat-who likes to dust?!?!), I’ll always remember my Memere telling me the story behind them. I know that once I pass them on it’ll be another relief, but it is hard to  think that I’ll be without some very old, sentimental items my dear, dear Memere had handed off to me. I hope there are enough family members to take on the amount of heirlooms I have. It’ll certainly be a wow moment.  I’m using the family gathering at the end of the month of April as a deadline to make decisions. 

Working on using up all those extras. I’m sure you know, the bottles of hair conditioner that outlived its shampoo counterpart, the 15 different teas, all the dried herbs from last seasons garden… It’s fantastic to see all these get down to the end and see the shelves become bare. In society, it is all about how much you have. I have found so much joy in how little I have. My daughter and I laugh when we visit my parents or sisters homes. Their pantries are jam packed, unable to see what they really have, so they buy more, only to toss out the older of the lot. What a waste. The refrigerators are the same. We throw out no food in our home. On the rare occasion our spinach gets away from us a little, the chickens get it. No waste. 

It’s hard to imagine how much can and cannot fit into a RV or a sailboat. I’ve seen suggestions that say to put it all into one room of your house and that’s it. I’m anxious to obtain that space, the RV or sailboat, to start making it mine. After much consideration I’m finding the RV will come first so that I can work at my current employer for the time being. They are good to me and the goal is to save as much money as possible for that final destination on the warm waters of Central America and the Caribbean.  I have a specific sailboat I want to purchase and of course, as a premier blue water boat, it’s not cheap. 

Things may feel as if they are at a standstill currently without my moving home under my ownership, but I still feel as though I’m making accomplishments week to week. And for this I am so thankful. 

Enjoy it while it lasts

I’m trying to enjoy my large screen tv, my gym membership, my long vouch, Serta mattress, and fullsized fridge for as long as I can. Found a few RV options , even a boat option. Don’t feel like the boat is a good option, being that it’s 10′ shorter than I’d like and it’s a bare bones boat.  

Ideally I’d be out of my rental by June 1st, so that I can start really saving money for the actual sailboat I want. Further reducing my home inventory, yet holding on to the heirlooms and the ‘what if’ things, don’t work in my favor things. I need to find my happiness. I hope to find my happiness. I know I won’t find it instantly.  I know it will take some time. But I need to try. Life is so short and has no guarantees. The love of my life is 3,000 miles away.  I don’t know if I can ultimately be truly happy and free from that sadness, but I can try.

I am sure I need and want change. My life has always been determined by my financial circumstances. I need to be in charge for once. Maybe along they way I’ll find myself and maybe I’ll find something else I’ve been missing for too long. 

Another stepping stone

It’s nerve wracking. To make life decisions on your own. No one to bounce ideas off of, weigh out the pros and cons. At times I feel trapped inside my own head, no outlet, no release. 

I’ve told only a few people about how I think living in a RV will be the best way for me to save for a sailboat to live upon. None of the people are family, I am the black sheep after all so I suppose it won’t entirely surprise them. In due time. 

I have turned to the interwebs. Everything is there, including extensive writings about living full time in a RV. At least it gives me a small amount of peace, the information has answered some of my many questions and concerns. 

But yet my goal is the sailboat. $70k is what I need to save, JUST for the boat. Doesn’t include possible brokers fees, the survey, the haul out, and the dubious repairs that come with having a sea worthy vessel. Oh how I wish I could have it now, not waiting at least 5 years until this could happen. Hoping for a miracle…

In the meantime, I’m going through all my stuff and selling anything I don’t use daily. It’s trickling down. I’m finding less and less things to sell. It has been a great source of extra income, but now I am finding less in the house that needs to go. 

I’ll be going to look at a RV in Maine soon. About 4 hours away. Right size, and recently remodeled inside. Through a friend of a friend so it’ll be worth the drive I hope, find a mechanic up there that will give it a once over before I purchase.