The beginnings of my new project have gotten off to a slow start, but I expected as much. Can my questions about what constitutes the good life ever really be answered? I suspect not, but that’s no reason not to explore the question. So, here is what I’ve come across so far:

My first step, which I have actually been tackling for months, was to simplify by getting rid of things that I no longer need or use. What started out as a vague new year’s resolution has become tied into this new project with renewed intention. I have begun to get rid of things I have not used for years, bags of clothes I have never intented to wear, the possessions of a packrat.

I have suspected that greater simplicity would be part of the good life, or at least allow me to feel less tied down. Since I have plenty of things I hope to do before I “settle down”, I figured having less stuff would make it easier to move. Not only that, I have seen the more humble lifestyles of people I meet, and would have felt embarrassed if they were to see my cluttered room.

What I find amazing is that I have already gotten rid of many bags of old junk, and four bags of clothes, and there is still so much! I would picture a simple room with a bed, a desk, a closet and some posters on the wall, but the reality is still far from that. And I recognize it will take some time.

Initially, just throwing some things out that had some level of sentimental value or usefulness was difficult. Like old  id cards, a wealth of good and not so good drawings from years of art class, and an instrument I haven’t used since middle school. Especially interesting was the entire folder of written notes and emails from a bitter fight that dominated the spring of my 8th grade year in school. What do I want to keep that for??

But it has gotten easier to throw away, and once it’s gone I forget about it. Which confirms the fact that I didn’t need it! So, the quest to simplify continues. My next thing is a number of books I intend to read… The autobiography of J Paul Getty being one of them. If possessions or lack of it has something to do with the good life, I suspect the same goes for money. And Getty was a very rich, but happy man. I’ll get into that story next.

2 thoughts on “Beginnings

  1. Hey Rachel,
    I like your post. Moving from college to apartment to home to getting married has allowed me to get rid of a lot of stuff along the way…. its easier to move with less stuff! The sad thing is, it starts accumulating again. Hope the process goes well. I’d be interested to hear how it goes!


    • Hey Kim,
      Thanks, and you make a good point about accumulating things! Although I have to say that I have also seen people twice my age that had half as much stuff as me. Anyway, it’s coming along, ebay is quite fun!


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