Sometimes I just want to be able to sit and let the world pass me by. Is that a waste of time? Or does it allow refreshing and recharging the batteries?
I rarely feel I waste time, although often I reflect and may not have used my time most productively. On the other end, then I end up racing around with limited time to pause.
The last couple of weeks have felt like the latter. So much so that I’ve achieved an awful lot, although when I have sat down, I have let the world pass me by. It’s been easier to watch something on Netflix than do something practical.
However, when I have been busy, I’ve achieved a lot.
I guess the work ramped up when I received the phone call from my landlord’s agent. They are ready to start advertising for new tenants. Another step reinforcing my move away.
As a landlord myself, I believe in good tenants and I’d like to think I am an absolute diamond of a tenant. Rent paid on time, anything that has needed doing I’ve done. The house is clean, tidy and well cared for.
But when I get the phone call from the agent, I have still gone into showhome mode. Patio and drive jetwashed, facia and windows cleaned, hedges and bushes trimmed, garden tidied up, bathrooms and kitchen cleaned, and the vacuum has received a shock!
Yet again, I surprise myself that I have the urge to clean the house for visitors than my everyday cleaning. Why? I still don’t get it? Nor do I understand why I give the house a spring clean in the days before I go on holiday. It’s almost as if the house is cleaner when I am not there than when I am. I’m puzzled.
However, the cleaning continues to help with the minimisation and decluttering. More items of furniture are gradually being sold. Cupboards are being emptied of items that, quite simply, I haven’t used since I moved in.
The boxes of items to sell at a car boot sale are increasing, bags have been dropped off at the charity shops and the recycling and general waste bins have been the fullest they have ever been.
One room is now empty. A second is almost bare. Day by day there is less and less in the house.
Early on I made the decision that I would be taking as little as possible to Portugal. When I weighed up the cost of transportation, the age and quality of some of the furniture and the limited number of items I use regularly, the route I went was minimalisation to the extreme.
Yes, I know I will need to buy some things once I arrive in Portugal but I will challenge myself before I buy anything. Asking three questions… Do I need this? Will I use it more than once? Ok, but do I really need to buy it?
I’m not an impulse buyer. I take my time weighing up purchases. I only buy what I need. But I still seem to have “stuff” that I’ve only ever used once, or I’d managed to convince myself to buy and not get the value out of it. There isn’t anything still in the original packaging, but there are definitely things I’ve only used a couple of times.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve been working out how much I can fit in the car. I’ve still got a way to go in reducing my belongings, but I have a much better understanding of how much I can take. This is also helping focus my mind on what items are really important to me.
It has also helped me make decisions about some items that I was dithering about whether I was going to take them. I’m sure the pendulum will continue to swing from keeping or disposing of.
Realisation and tough times
The last fortnight has though enabled me to spend more time with one of my daughters. Four days out and meals. Lots of fun and chatting. It’s been busy but in a really good and positive way.
She then came and cleared most of her bedroom and took a few boxes away. Sorting out the things she’s had since being very small. I’ve been putting away every certificate, school books, programmes and tickets for events we’ve been to, photos, drawings, cards and memories from holidays. Three boxes of memories. Actually, she’s more ruthless than me as three become one.
But I’ve found it tough. I could feel myself welling up several times. Maybe it was because of the memories, or the laughs we had looking back, or that I’m challenging her to declutter and minimalise too. It’s interesting that some things I thought she would want to keep she was decisive that she didn’t want them. Likewise, I was surprised by some of the things she wants to keep.
I know my move to Portugal will have a massive impact on my daughters. Partly because the decision is out of their hands, but I believe they understand that I need to make changes in my life. Both daughters want the best for me, but I know they’d prefer it if I remained ten minutes around the corner.
It’s going to get tougher over the next couple of months. And I know I’m going to wobble. And there are going to be some big wobbles.
I am making absolutely the right decision for me. But am I making the right decision for my daughters? I believe I am, but on the surface of it, it probably doesn’t appear that way.
But there is never a right time, and I don’t want to fall into the trap of “yesterday you said tomorrow” – and tomorrow never arrives. But life is too short and I don’t want to live with the “what if?”.
I’m not going to sit and let the world go by.
As always, I’d like to thank everyone who reads my blog. I am humbled by your interest in my little world. I write for myself and I write in the way I read. I’ve always approached this as my personal blog. Please do get in touch or reach out by adding a comment below.
Featured image is used by kind the permission of Alin Andersen
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Thank you. Muitio obrigado, Marc