On Monday, I’ll head out on one of the biggest adventures of my life, a 6-week cross-country road trip to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
This will require over 40 hours of driving each way. With three teenagers. Send prayers. 😉
But truly, we are all very excited. Our family has never done anything like this and the energy in our home has built to an almost unbearable crescendo this week, as we finish packing and prepping, checking things off checklists, and wistfully noting the things that will most certainly not get checked off those checklists before we leave (deep scrub of the shower tiles, anyone?).
This is a big adventure, but it’s one that started over a decade ago, when I began simplifying my life.
Back in early 2012, I started questioning whether I needed to own all the things I owned. I realized the answer was No, so I started letting go of it. Lots of it.
Over the course of eight months, I let go of about 70% of my family’s possessions.
But the simplicity didn’t stop with my stuff. Clearing my physical possessions paved the way for other big changes in my life: letting go of my teaching job to become an entrepreneur, letting go of unfulfilling time commitments to create a schedule that felt more spacious and free, and doing the deep inner work of releasing the negative stories and patterns that had run the show for much of my life.
Please don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not perfect. I still struggle with all sorts of inner clutter. I get stressed. I say things I don’t mean and feel bad about it. I’m human.
But I’m sharing this with you because I want you to know that my minimalist journey has been about way more than physical stuff. And because of this, I’ve been able to create the space in my life to do something big and adventurous, something I couldn’t have imagined doing ten years ago: packing up and leaving for the whole summer.
I hope that my story inspires you, too. The big changes always start with the little changes: cleaning out the junk drawer, deciding not to buy that shirt just because it’s on sale, donating the extra kitchen utensils you don’t need.
All of those choices might seem like you’re saying No to things. But the paradoxical truth of minimalism is:
When you say No to things that don’t serve you, you’re saying Yes to things that do.
When you let go of all the things you don’t need, you’re saying Yes to a life with more room for what matters. You’re saying Yes to creating a life that feels good, inside and out.
I’ve pondered the best way to share this 6-week adventure with you. I’m not planning to write weekly blog posts, but I’ll probably put out a post or two along the way, as long as I don’t get attacked by a bear in Yellowstone. (Yes, that is my biggest fear!😂)
If you’d like more of a play-by-play, you can follow along on my Instagram story, where I plan to post pictures and videos regularly.
Ironically, I’d edited Instagram story out of my life last year because it created a constant “not enough” feeling for me. (Read more about that here.) I have mixed emotions about using it again, but I’m going to give it a try. As long as it feels helpful, I’ll continue to share there. If not, I’ll let it go and you’ll just have to wait for my blog updates to hear what I’m up to!
I feel like this is an example of how simplicity works.
Let go of what doesn’t serve you, but stay open to the idea that it might become useful again in the future. If that happens, it’s okay to bring it back.
Very few things in life are all-or-nothing.
Okay, friends! I have some bags to pack and a shower not to clean. 😉
I want to thank all of you for being such an integral part of my simplicity experiment. Knowing that so many of you read my words regularly makes me feel helpful and hopeful in the world. You allow me to do my most meaningful work, and I’m so grateful.
If anything in this post inspired you (or if you’d like to volunteer to clean my shower) I’d love for you to email me personally at [email protected] and let me know.
Cheers to the journey ahead!