The process of letting go

I work best under deadlines, and I have a knack for knowing exactly when I need to dial up the effort in order to hit that deadline. Alas, this strategy doesn’t work when you’re selling everything you own and moving overseas. Everything takes longer that I’d anticipated, especially selling and giving away whatever I truly don’t need (which, when it comes right down to it, is nearly everything.)

It started out simple enough. I’d done my homework and discovered that shipping my favorite items via shared container would only be around $1800. Since my brand-new sleeper sofa cost more than that, I figured this would be a no-brainer. So I proceeded to sell off everything that didn’t matter much.

About a month later, I’m researching places where I might want to reside overseas. I decide to do a recalculation of shipping costs to a different port, and discovered a critical little box I’d failed to check the first time around. You know, the one that tells the system to add the cost of getting your stuff to the port in the US, and from the port to your new home in your destination city. Well… this ground-shipping part of the equation added about $5,000 to my total. Oops.

Mind you, it’s Saturday night. I have movers coming on Monday morning to move my favorite stuff into a storage unit, and I realize that it’s time to quickly devise a Plan B. I leave a message with the movers and storage unit to cancel, and then advance into Marie Kondo purge mode. It’s now time to let go of whatever doesn’t bring me joy, and be pretty brutal about it.

Does this sofa, or my fabulous contemporary dining table with leather chairs, or (and this was painful) my absolute favorite faux-fur bean bag chair from Restoration Hardware bring me enough joy to spend nearly $7,000 shipping them to my new home? Marie… you’re killing me. It’s all gotta go.

But it’s still all fun and games until I discover that contemporary furniture doesn’t really sell in Santa Fe. All my fabulous stuff from San Francisco I should have sold when I had the chance. When you get to the point where your move date is fast approaching — and one you can’t push out — then it’s time to start giving stuff away instead of selling it for pennies on the dollar. And no more write-offs due to the new tax laws, unless it’s over $12,000 individual or $24,000 for couples.

And magically, when I’m up against the wall and have no other choice, perspective shifts. I am reminded that abundance thinking has always worked for me in the past, and it will work for me now. That when I stop holding on to stuff and let it flow to someone else who needs it, then I open myself up to receiving the flow of goodness in the future. I tap back into the joy of giving for giving’s sake, and happily watch the guys from the local donations place carry out my beloved dining room set along with a silent wish that some needy family will enjoy it and use it more than I did.

I confess that I do have a few boxes sitting in a storage unit in Santa Fe. And you’d laugh if you saw the size of my 2 suitcases and backpack that I’m lugging from Santa Fe to my mom’s place in Florida, to a few days in NYC, to a few days on the Cote d’Azur for my birthday, and finally up to Geneva where I’ll put a lot of this in a holding locker (seasonal clothes, photo equipment, etc). I’m certainly not a poster child for the “travel light” digital nomad. But I’m getting there.

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