Lessons Learned on the Journey – Part 2

I can imagine you might be wondering how the plan to downsize is going? (Subject of my last post) Dianne and I have been working on it for a year and a half now.  I’ve drawn some conclusions, (but probably have as many questions as conclusions). As I stated before, the downsizing process involves settling on a new understanding of the rhythm of life.

By this I mean “what we value…and how we choose to pursue what we value, whether things or relationships. The value we place on these dictates the pace we maintain to possess them. It’s what we value and how we seek fulfillment.” Thinking about that pursuit forms the picture in my mind of Gollum in Lord of the Rings. Gollum was the Hobbit who was driven to possess the ring and what it could do for him, …at any cost. Ultimately, it cost him his own life. It literally destroyed him.

I have come to realize the objects of my affection, the stuff I’ve collected, sticks to me like gum on the bottom of my shoe. They can become an idol, a false god. In holding my affections I become a slave to my own choices. The things I pursue become my master.

Here are some things I’ve discovered about this rhythm of life.

  • It’s a liminality I can control. I can control it because I created it. Since to downsize is my choice, those choices abide under my own authority and management. Do I let them control me or do I have the will to demand they sublimate to my authority?
  • Contentment plays a large role in my attitude and motivation to stay the course of downsizing. It opens the door to tranquility, challenging me to accept contentment…divest myself of all the frenetic activity required to maintain it.
  • There is the inner drive to create beauty and the environment of serenity and peace. To have things look nice, ordered, is restful, even worshipful. I am drawn to God in loving response; to see him in all his beauty; the God of order and beauty who created everything we call beautiful.
  • Shrinkage of stuff can cause expansion of soul. I take more time to be intentional, to ponder and think about things I otherwise would not have time for.
  • This rhythm of life is a gem, unpolished and unshaped. On my mental work bench, I contemplate its every facet. It affords me constant opportunity to go deeper in myself. I grow in understanding, aiding the possibility of permanent implementation in my life.
  • Our personality conditions and guides our response to all this. I’m task and goal oriented. It’s natural for me to focus on all this, to organize it, to order it in to a goal – to let it become the way forward. It’s the path for me to walk.

There is a great German word that catches the spirit of what I’m saying. “Torschlusspanik” This word speaks of the fear that time is running out as I get older. I need not fear time when I have slowed myself down and am less encumbered by the stuff I think I need and the pace I need to keep up to maintain it.

A refreshing consequence of downsizing is a slower and more ordered pace of life. I want to continue to learn to smell the roses and enjoy doing so.  How about you?

About collardg

A knight errant; defender of honor and promoter of integrity among men of good will and Christ's Kingdom dwellers.
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