Tonight as midnight unfurls across the globe, Q1 of 2016 will have been laid to rest and we’ll stand at the door of Q2. In South Africa this means autumn leaves are showing, Easter holidays are a long forgotten Facebook post and the education system kicks in for another term. For me it also means the time has come again to move house and home, this time to Singapore.
Although I’ve been thinking and planning on moving again for a few months now, when the last weeks start ticking past and the administrative tasks are heaping up, the reality truly starts to sink in (nothing like seeing your apartment slowly empty). And now in the middle of this mildly chaotic time I’ve again been inspired by others in ways to shape my life:
My home and everything in it
Here’s a fun exercise (I’m lying, it’s so much work in reality T-T). (1) pack everything you own into boxes, (2) now only take out things as and when you need them. I bet you you’ll never come close to opening half the boxes you packed and it’s not simply that you have a lot of ornaments inherited from grandma.
The lesson I learned the first time I moved, and again every other time, is one of simplicity, detachment and downsizing myself (I believe your possessions become an extension of your self image). Each time I would eventually give away or sell a box or three and find that the next time there is a bit more that can go again.
It has become a bit of a personal challenge – to see how far I can push this theme – which is why people such as the following are very interesting to me: All my 111 Possessions.
My lifestyle now & then
Another area that has been under intense scrutiny for me has been the shape that our job force onto our lives. I can’t promise that everyone will always find an ideal job (I’m still looking myself), but it’s another area where you can make decisions that drive you towards lifestyles and situations you wish for.
One of the traps we set ourselves comes from starting with the things (possessions, vehicles, homes, etc) we wish to have rather than the experiences (relationships, discoveries, fulfillment, etc) that we wish to live. Starting this way means we immediately move to wealth and costs and restrict our decisions around these. If we instead started with experiences we could build a broader framework in which to choose our work-activities and ultimately be more certain that our lifestyle was a product of our aim for happiness.
I read an article today, a wife speaking about the pressures and pitfalls she and her family escaped by extracting themselves from the lives they built and redoing it with personal passions and happiness in mind [Have a read it’s short]. It’s similar to the news about Google employees that live in their car parks or even a monk leaving to become a homeless yogi for a period of time. All of these speak to me of freedom exercised, decisions made from a broader vantage point and driven towards experiences and passions.
So what am I doing?
Well I certainly don’t get it right each time but I’m working at it (: In this very week I’m once again removing excess possessions from my life, some will be sold and some will be donated. I’ve signed a job that fits with exploring the world more and growing my own capability as well (both passions of mine). So far so good…
But in the same breath I also declined a job in my dream country to live in for a period (Japan) and intend to purchase new clothes to suit the change in work environment, which grows my wardrobe again.
So time will tell if I’m making the right choices as I go along, but thankfully I know the choices are based on ideals I believe in.