Monday, February 22, 2010

Letting's not easy

We knew that in order to transform our lives, we would have to let go of lot. Not only are we purging excess 'stuff', but we are getting rid of almost everything that has defined our adult lives. Our house, our furniture, our cars, our careers. Many of the things have a lot more emotion attached that you would ever think. We were warned that this would be difficult. We follow a lot of full-time bloggers and they have all gone through it. And I think they all agree that what's waiting on the other side makes it all worth it. So while we knew this wouldn't necessarily be easy, I'm surprised at some of the emotions I've experienced.

First the job. I have mixed emotions about leaving my job. I like what I do for the most part, I believe the company has a good mission, and I work with some really good people, but I've been frustrated and dissatisfied for quite awhile. I kept hoping that things would work themselves out and I tried to persevere, but it became apparent about a year ago that something needed to change. I updated my resume and started looking for a new job. But my heart really wasn't in it. It is obvious to me now that I needed a bigger change than just employment.

So I was really looking forward to the day when I could give my notice. Because of the people I work with, it was important to me to be able to give enough advanced notice to ease the transition. Be careful of what you ask for, right? I gave my notice in late December and had given a tentative end date of late January. Late January pushed into mid February, which has now expanded to mid March. My hours and my role have both been significantly diminished (per my request), but I have found it hard to just walk away. I suppose some of it is out of pride for the work I have accomplished and don't want to see suffer. I know some of it is also due to fear about walking away from a career and a steady paycheck, not knowing if I'll regret it later. But there's also a part of me that likes the feeling that I'm indispensible. I know I'm not and I know they'll be fine without me, but it's nice to be recognized for some of the value that I did provide. When my "final" week arrived a couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of concern expressed about all of my knowledge going with me, even though I had already spent a lot of time trying to share that information. So I agreed to stay on a few more weeks to provide further training.

Furniture has been another love-hate relationship in this process. On the one hand we just want to be rid of all of our furniture so that we can move forward. But most of it is of good quality and I didn't want to just give it away. So our first challenge was pricing, which I'm sure is not uncommon. It's been difficult to find a happy medium where we feel like we're recouping a little of the value while still attracting buyers. But throughout this entire process, I've worked really hard to look beyond the monetary value and instead focus on the value of freedom.

But what I didn't expect is to care so much about where the furniture is going. When we bought our house, which is the first house Tracy and I have owned together, we wanted it to be OUR home. We bought most of the furniture together and painstakingly shopped and shopped until we found just the right pieces. So we feel like all of our furniture says a little bit about us. When we began the purging process, we started with friends and family. Then we started listing the remaining things on Craigslist. We've had good success, but it's been a bit of an eye-opener to have complete strangers taking pieces of your life. Some of the folks seemed to appreciate the quality and recognized the good deals we were offering. Others just seemed to want the cheapest deal they could get and didn't give the sense that they would care for it like we did. I know it shouldn't matter. These are not pieces that were in the family for generations and they are all easily replaceable should we ever find ourselves in a stix n brix again.

So I'm trying to focus on the end goal and not get hung up on the emotions, but it's hard. Even though I know this is the right move for us, I still frequently hear that little devil on my shoulder asking "do you realize what you're doing?" and "are you really sure? ". I just have to remind myself that we are not defined by things or job titles, but rather what we accomplish.


  1. We can relate to every single thing you wrote here.

    While we were going through getting rid of everything we were also told that once done it would all be worth it.

    And it has been!

    To have people tell you that it is worth it is hard to believe when you are in the middle of getting rid of everything you have identified with for years.

    We just kept saying we hoped they were right.

    I don't think there is anyway to know what it is like being full time until you do it.

    We have found everything we were looking for. Of course we are on a journey and there is more to come but we love what we are experiencing day to day.

    During our hardest moments we just kept focus on where and why we were going. It got us through.

    Now we look back and you know -- so far we haven't missed one single thing -- and would do it all over again in a second.

  2. We are just starting to try to purge our "stuff". We are no where near ready to put the house on the market but it is time to thin out and start getting ready for the final purge late this year. I knew Connie would have a hard time with it but figured it wouldn't bother me. It's just "stuff" after all. I find myself looking around my garage and trying to talk myself into getting rid of things. It isn't as easy as I thought it would be. The worst is going to be the house itself. I never knew how much I loved this place until we decided it was time for a new chapter in our lives. Good luck and give Hunter a treat for me.

  3. We totally understand the position you guys are in. We also are purging and selling. It isn't easy but we know it will all be worth it.

  4. As you have read from our blog, we understand! You are now a much stronger person for going through the entire "letting go" process. Congratulations! :)

  5. I like the fact that you're two individuals who do lead what are generally considered to be successful and productive lives, much like myself. I'm working on doing the same thing as you, but with a twist. I like your words.