Man Abandons Blog for Two Weeks in Cab of a Moving-truck! Authorities are Investigating.
Planning this trip I had high expectations about how much fun the prep would be. I planned to test out new tech products; itinerary plan with new tools; learn Spanish with an app, blog about the excitement; throw away all our useless stuff; learn my GoPro; set up meetings with companies all over the world and prepare magic clouds to take us between our destinations. The reality of launching our family on the road was much harder and much more prosaic than I expected.
One thing kept me away from blogging, from learning, from enjoying my last few weeks at home. Stuff! Stuff that had become a burden but is infused with meaning on so many levels. There are things that Anne loved, things that Anne hated but now I was free to keep. We have gifts of Anne’s, and things that Anne had chosen for some unknown reason to save. Each of those added a twist to shedding our stuff.
Our family may not be hoarders, but if there is a spectrum, we lean towards hoarders. We have 24 years of accumulated mementos, school work, books, furniture, equipment, and clothes. I knew this would be a good opportunity to reduce our stuff footprint. And for the next seven months we will be living with less than 200 pounds worth of gear. However, the process of getting the stuff distributed correctly continued until the last night, and the process of reducing stuff took the better part of a month. Even then we were only partially successful. Anne was such a good organizer that some things were easy. I knew the crates of receipts from the 90’s had to go. But most things were more difficult. Do we need four sets of dishes and how about 120 book boxes; no and yes. How much Christmas/Halloween/Easter do we need? What about tools or things we haven’t used in the last three houses?
I was shocked that it took me three weeks of pretty solid effort. I even received some much-needed help when I was joined by my parents for half that time. The energy my parents pack into their septuagenarian bodies moves me. It was all I could do to keep up with them.
I bought a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up to try and help, but didn’t have time to read it. We ended up with about 15 trips to Goodwill or Deseret Industries, five dump runs, a few things sold on Craigslist and multiple items gifted. I was then able to fit our stuff into a 10×35 foot storage unit, a section of my sister Kat’s basement and four big backpacks. I hope to reduce our stuff again when we get back. If we can survive on 200 pounds of stuff for seven months, all that extra feels excessive. But then again those turkey hands the kids made in elementary school are pretty special.
I walked away from my battle with stuff with an even larger appreciation for all Anne did to keep us functioning and not drowning in our possessions. I also appreciate all she and Paula did in our previous moves. I and some of the kids have “the consumer” disorder. None of us like shopping but there are always things we need, and Amazon supplies the immediate fulfillment of all our needs, moreover Costco somehow tricks me into thinking I need more than I do. I love Amazon like my grandma loved QVC, minus the awkward personalities. But Costco and Amazon have oversold me, and it cost me time taking care of the stuff, and now costs me the price of a storage unit. Perhaps there needs to be an Amazon on the disposal side. Do I need a blender, a Vitamix, a hand blender, a Cuisinart, a spice grinder and cake mixer? Apparently I do, I might cook again someday.
Exhausted, I used the plane rides to sleep and rather than start blogging when we landed, decided we needed to hit the ground running in Chile. And I wasn’t exaggerating, we did 26,000 steps the first day. We will get into a blogging groove in the next few weeks. For those who followed us on the last trip, you will find this trip will be a little different. On sixintheworld.com, we were always publishing 2-7 days behind our travels, but you didn’t know because we weren’t connected to social media, which gives you immediate pictures or location information. That time between living and writing was important to digest experiences; to fully see a story through; and to gather other information. In today’s social media world that means you will see things on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat days before a thoughtful post is published. I am not sure if this will ruin the experience or enrich it. That will be part of the 200daysaway experiment.