Living With A Lot Less

It has officially been a week since I moved into our new mountain town loft.  I arrived with a Ford Focus worth of belongings and a couple of sea kayaks strapped to the roof.  (Sea kayaks in the mountains?  Their next iteration is high-altitude lake kayaks!)  In the car was the following:  my laptop, a folding camp chair, an air mattress, a sleeping bag, the pea quilt, two suitcases full of clothes (one entirely full of work dresses in the event I landed a job as fast as I got an apartment — eternally hopeful, I suppose), a pillow, a towel, two plates, two bowls, a coffee mug, a smattering of utensils, a pot, a pan, a coffee maker, unfinished quilt blocks and my sewing machine.  Of all these things, there are still many I haven’t used.  Not once have I used both plates or bowls.  And I certainly haven’t worn any of the dresses I brought.  I haven’t missed anything, really.  Except for my boyfriend, I miss him — and for right now, that’s it.

I have been able to cook three meals a day without a bevy of implements.  I have used the insides of cardboard boxes as cutting boards and a pot lid as a strainer.  There hasn’t been a single moment where I’ve pined for something else.  And, we have no internet at home which has meant no New Orleans jazz station and no temptation to binge on streaming videos.  Instead, I’ve gone to the library, I’ve listened to all those discs stored in my laptop music library and I’ve taken a few naps.

All this has made me think that I really could live with a lot less.  The last week has been a lot like camping indoors, with running water and a full kitchen.  I haven’t been uncomfortable in the least.  The space feels empty, but there is also something very zen about it at the same time.  Tonight, I’m sure that I will collapse upon the sofa and place my weary feet on the ottoman very grateful for the arrivals.  I believe that my gratitude will be less about my belongings and more about the driver’s safe arrival, and the ability to settle into our new life.  The most important thing arriving later today isn’t an object, it’s a person, it’s the beginning of our next adventure.

The apartment will fill up with our possessions and we will wonder how we accumulated so much stuff.  I’m sure that I will, once again, cull some of my belongings and reduce even further.  I’m already dreaming up all of the craigslist ads for sale.  But all of that stuff is later today and right now I am just going to enjoy my coffee on the floor, sitting in a sunbeam and marvel one last time at the emptiness of our new home, wondering about all the things that will happen within.

When One Door Closes . . .

Closing up the coop

Closing up the coop


When one door closes, another door opens.  How many times have we heard this proverb, and yet we still need a continual reminder that things often happen for a reason.

After a couple of tough years roughing it out in the wild east of Oregon, I am now a resident  (so says my lease and my library card) of an idyllic town nestled amongst the mountains of southwestern Colorado.  I have vowed to take advantage of all there is to see and do here, all the while eating green chile every day.  I take this latter vow pretty seriously.  In leaving Oregon, there were many goodbyes, but I know in my heart these will soon be followed by many hellos.

It can be very hard to wait patiently for a change in your life, especially when you are a person that believes in taking action.  This time around, waiting has proved to be invaluable as we did not flee to some place to stay for another couple of years, instead somewhere I can really imagine a present and a future.  I  have landed in a place where I don’t have to think about commuting except on the weekends to be in nature.  I am in a place where people take life seriously with a lot of fun involved.  I am in a place where people care — and this point alone makes everything worthwhile.

Closing the door on the old life wasn’t totally easy, no matter that I was pleading to the universe for a change.  It was hard to say goodbye to the chickens and to our home brimming with our crafts and fond memories.  I learned to quilt in that town and left behind some wonderful people, who will always be in my memory whenever I sit down to sew.  I said goodbye to getting hugs from kiddos at the grocery store and to being a familiar face around a small town.  I have no idea what will happen here — what career form I will adopt, what new hobbies will engross me and just how much green chile I really can eat.  It’s exciting this new life and all of those doors I closed, all of the goodbyes I shared will be counterbalanced with openness and welcomes.  I just know it.