Saturday, June 25, 2011

7 Boxes

When I was in Whistler last week, I met a lady who had just returned from six months in abroad where she lives in a community of like minded travelers, teaches yoga and makes jewelry with whatever she can find (mainly shells and beads). She loves this lifestyle so much that she has done this trip several times, once staying for up to a year and a half; she she returns to the Vancouver area and works in a spa, saving up enough money for her next trip. She was even able to completely write off one trip because she studied while she was there - that's a nice bonus! She says she thinks of every $10 she gets as 1 night's stay.
A view from our hotel room

Just before it's time for her to return she emails her resume to various salons or spas and by the time she lands back here, she's ready to start working. This lady is organized and efficient!

When I asked her about her possessions, she said she has it down to 7 boxes - no sense paying for storage unnecessarily. She said the first couple of times she edited her possessions upon her return; as she opened her boxes she realized she no longer wanted or needed those items. Now she says she edits before she boxes everything up.

I found her story very interesting and inspiring and I am grateful to have met her. Although I'm not that kind of traveler - I'm too grounded in one place to leave for that long of a time, it was interesting to ponder her life for a bit. I am guilty of having way too many things and have been working on hard not only on purging items but I have also greatly reduced what I bring in. Many times I have been in a store and decided I didn't really LOVE that item enough to bring it home. And thanks to e-readers and online magazines I'm also letting many of my paper subscriptions expire in favour of online subscriptions. (Even more so during our Canadian Postal Employee Strike). Don't get me wrong, I still love books and magazines, but I can greatly reduce the amount that stay in my small home but taking advantage of their online availability.

I have also stopped buying craft supplies unless I need something for a current project - no more buying for things I want to make 'someday'. And with my carpal tunnel, I have had to slow down my knitting and crocheting so I'm not even at the yarn store as much as I used to be, although they do still remember me when I have stopped in.

And I continue to think about her  lifestyle where she works in a spa and as a yoga instructor - she has chosen wisely, not getting bogged down with possessions or home ownership, not spreading herself too thin, focusing her time and energy on what she really enjoys. I choose to keep her in my thoughts and remind myself of her life,  and it's simplicity and realize how I made things more complicated than they needed to be. For example, my garden.
A tiny section of my garden

When I first moved here, the yard had nothing in it but an apple tree and a pear tree and because of the shape of the streets, seven houses could look into my backyard. In the beginning I spent hours each day working on my garden especially working on obtaining some privacy, but my interest has dropped off - being in the backyard garden isn't as much fun with the noisy neighbours, or the smell of someone's backyard fire, or the chance that the bear could hop over the fence at any time - and of course another year with rotten spring weather. Maybe I'll get my garden mojo back, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll purge and prune it back to simplify it as well.

Did I really need to make everything so complicated?


Carol Browne said...

Wow. That's a pretty cool way to live! 7 boxes? I'm no where near that. I think I'm going through the same thing as you these days...I blew off the garden this year and last. It really needs to be properly landscaped. We don't really have a lawn - it's all crab grass front and back. Since we rent, I'm kind of over the whole planting stuff for someone else. I've also stopped with all the buying craft supplies just in case. I did a big purge last year and found all kinds of "just in case" stuff that has been sitting around for AGES. I'm slowly giving up that way of thinking - more, more, more...I'll think of Nola, too. Thanks for sharing that!

My Little Corner said...

You're welcome Carol, it's amazing that she can be inspiring to you as well. And I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this! Thanks for your reply, it's very helpful as well.

Teena in Toronto said...

I adore Whistler and was just there last month.

I dunno if I could put everything that is important to me in just seven boxes. Interesting challenge, though.

My Little Corner said...

Hi Teena - I really enjoyed Whistler as well. You've been all over Canada, haven't you?

Teena in Toronto said...

I get around because of my job.

Next stop ... Winnipeg in a couple weeks.