Thursday, 13 October 2016
Just five days until our house sale goes unconditional and I should really be packing and trying to work out how I'm going to fit our whole lives into a camper van but I don't want to jinx anything between now and next Wednesday. When we reach the point of no going back, that's when I'll really swing into action. For now, I'm just using this time as a quiet time of reflection. A time for walking, a time for thinking. Thinking about the past, thinking about the future, who I was and who I am. I'm about to embark on a huge journey; but when I look back over the past few years I've actually been on one all along.
Tomorrow it will be six years to the day since I moved to Whangamata. It's a funny old place, I love it and hate it at the same time. It has been both my paradise and my prison. It will always have a special place in my heart and I will miss it dreadfully - but I will also be glad to leave. I never thought six years ago I would be saying that! It doesn't matter how beautiful a place is though, if you are not happy there you might as well be anywhere. This time I have no plans, no expectations. My only wish is to live a peaceful life, a simple life.
Which is just as well because with each day that passes it occurs to me what I am choosing to live without. Every time I do the vacuuming or hang out an enormous load of washing from my 7kg washing machine I think to myself 'Wow, in a few weeks I'm never going to have to do this any more!' I will no longer have to worry about mowing lawns, washing floors or a million other things I usually have to allocate my time to. Instead I'm concerning myself more with things such as 'how am I going to get rid of all this stuff?', 'how many clothes should I pack?' and 'will we have room for...?' It makes me happy, to be honest, the thought of not having much stuff any more. It's very liberating.
When you're downsizing to the extent we are, you really do have to consider every little thing and the point of it, its use and its worth. Even something as simple and mundane as a bottle of moisturiser has to be considered. 'Am I really going to need this?' I ask myself. 'Yes Jack, you have wrinkles, you cannot live without it', comes the reply. Fair call. Not to mention it's the only product I actually use on my skin. For several years now I have used nothing but water to cleanse my face and my skin has never been better. A far cry from the old me who used to spend a fortune on Lush products and thought I could never survive without them!
And then there's my wardrobe. I don't wear hardly any of the clothes in there now so the chances of wearing them any time in the future are even less. I guess I'll just have to narrow it down to my favourites. Same as shoes, I don't think I'll be getting too many opportunities to wear heels from now on! I really don't care though. I don't feel sad at having to leave any of my possessions behind. I think I've been decluttering and unconsciously downsizing for so long that I don't have too much left anyway. At least Ali will be set up for when he gets his own place - TV, microwave, washing machine, furniture, he can have it all! The only thing I'm keeping is Roger the writing desk and a beautiful marble topped table I bought years ago which is going to be the main feature of my tiny house kitchen. They'll both have to go in to storage until the time comes.
When I think about it, I've been an extreme minimalist for a long time time now; I've just been stuck in a regular house with all this other stuff because I've had to be. Let's face it, an empty house looks a bit weird! But the few things I do treasure bring me such immense joy and they will continue to do so in our tiny house when we get one. One of the things I'm looking forward to most is the lack of screens and technology - oh lordy I'm looking forward to that! Not wasting my time scrolling through crap on the Internet, not being constantly interrupted by messages, alarms, reminders or notifications. Obviously I will still need a computer and Internet access to be able to do my work but I am planning for this to be as limited as possible.
What I am really looking forward to is cooking on the road. Sure, it's a bit more challenging but that's half the fun! I've been researching it a lot and I think we'll manage just fine. I'm also looking forward to spending our time more simply; playing board games, listening to music, reading and being more creative rather than watching movies. Finding new locations to explore and taking our fat little spaniel on leisurely strolls in beautiful places. It will be a whole new lease of life for her as well as us! And one thing we definitely intend to do is invest in a video camera so we can document and share our travels and our journey to finding the perfect spot for, and building our tiny home.
Living on the road may not be as easy as living in a comfortable house but I'm interested to see in how the change and pace in lifestyle will affect me healthwise. I know Gareth is worried about me as my immune system isn't the best but I actually think the freedom of our new way of living will have a positive effect. These past few years have really taken their toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally. Most days I literally feel 100. OK, intellectually I still feel about 12 but physically I am really not reflecting that! I am hoping that the simplicity and reduction in stress levels will give me a new lease of life and an increase in vitality.
Most of all, I am excited to be embarking on this new chapter of my life with my soul mate. Every day I still pinch myself that this beautiful, gentle soul chooses to share his life with me. I never dreamed that I could be so ridiculously happy and content. These past six years have been one hell of a rollercoaster and I have undergone a huge shift as a person. I have hated myself, my situation, my decisions and my life to the point I have wanted to end it. My children were the only thing that stopped me walking into the sea. The only other thing which really kept me going was the belief that I was a good person and that good things happen to good people. And right when I started truly believing that and became comfortable with who I was, that's when I met Gareth.
Why am I sharing that? I don't know. I've never really told anyone, it's not the kind of thing you just casually bring up is it? Certainly not when you're going through it anyway, I guess I feel able to now having been through the darkest times and come out the other side. I guess I'm also sharing it to give people hope, because somebody out there might just need it. If there's one thing I have learned through all these years of writing about my life it's that there's usually someone reading it who is going through the same, or worse. And every time that happens I realise how important it is for us all to realise that we're not alone. It's even more important for us all to realise that things do get better. Some people say that if you want your life to get better you have to make things happen. I don't know if that's true or whether they just happen anyway but there's no harm in trying. I may not have had a choice when it came to selling my house; but when it came to choosing my future I most certainly did. In fact it's more than just a future, it's a dream! Not bad for a ditzy chick like me ay? Just goes to show, when you hit rock bottom there really is only one direction you can go - and that's up!