It was Friday night, the last Friday night that we’d ever spend in the house that we’ve called home for the past 16 years. I cooked our dinner of fillet steak, garlic mushrooms and fries. Being a Friday we watched the latest episode of SV Delos on YouTube. I said to Aannsha “This is the last time that we’ll watch Delos in this house”. That was when the reality started to kick in.
In life there are many moments when we do something for the first time. Our first date, first kiss, first car, first job. But it’s not very often that we get to do stuff for the last time. As I switched off the TV and placed the remote where I’d placed it every night for the last 16 years, I realised that it was the last time I’d do that. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and looked at my reflection in the mirror, almost seeing the reflected image for the first time, whilst also knowing it was the last time. I lay down in bed and listened to the frog chorus and crickets bringing the silence of the night to life. It was the last time that I’d fall asleep in that bed listening to that unique sound. It was strangely sad and exciting at the same time. My dreams were crazy that night.
As dawn broke on Saturday morning I got out of bed and looked out of the window at the beautiful rain forest we'd created at the front of the house. Then I glanced towards the driveway, where parked in front of our garage was a 4 ton truck, it was there for the final dispersal of our worldly goods. Most of our furniture was being given to our son Luke and our white goods were being given to Gordon, as a thank you for helping with the house renovations.
Reducing everything you own down to 4 suitcases and 2 carry-on bags is a monumental task. There were 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, laundry, office, double garage and a sheds worth of possessions to be either sold, given away or thrown away. Storing stuff was not an option, because when you add up the cost of storage for, let's say 5 years, it eventually outweighs the collective value of the items being stored. One way or the other everything had to go!
I was a strange feeling making decisions about the value of each individual possession. Generally the things that surround us are always 'just there'. But when you have to make a decision as to whether something you own is actually useful and needed and by extension justified to be able to take up your limited space and weight allowance the balance changes, the way you value things changes.
Try a little experiment, open a cupboard or wardrobe in your house, randomly select any item and ask yourself "Is this something I need, is it useful, when was the last time I used it, does it have sentimental or real cash value, could you just sell it, give it away or throw it away?" We had to go through that process for every single item in our house. It's truly transformational.
At the time of writing this blog we are staying with our long time friends Sue and Oscar in their Airbnb accommodation on their beautiful property in the Sunshine Coast hinterland and I am finally down to making a decision as to which shirts and shorts I will have to sacrifice to make sure that my scuba diving equipment gets priority placing in one of my 23 kilo suitcases. Decisions, decisions!
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