July 2, 2013: The Bachelor Pad

Home is where you put your dog dish...
Garrett sold his house yesterday. Not finding the perfect replacement, he has temporarily moved into an apartment. And he likes it. A lot.

With every trip to Goodwill, box thrown away, and downsizing exercise; Garrett has let out a sigh of relief. Simplification. As with most values in life, Garrett and I are on this same page with this one as well. Less is more.

As we happily emptied boxes and put final touches on his apartment this weekend (I have coined it his bachelor pad), we reflected on the last time either of us inhabited an apartment. Our prior "wants" in these youthful days was for more, bigger, better.

While living in our apartments, post-college, we dreamed of a big house. Then we dreamed of a new car and an even bigger house. Passing success markers meant affording better material possessions, for our kids and for ourselves. Our kids’ toy rooms were full and their lives full of select teams and private lessons. All as we sat back smiling at our accomplishments. Signs of success, right? Wrong. We had it all wrong.

Many of our kids’ toys were given away before adequate play; too many to choose from. Memories aren't built on plastic. Boxes of clothes and collectibles have been carted in mass to Goodwill from both our homes. The yearn for less and our regret in previously believing otherwise are looming large.

Garrett's new apartment is cozy. It will serve as a nice transition into his yet-to-be-found home. What he does know about his next house is that it will be smaller than the last and maintenance will be almost nonexistent. High on the requirements list are a comfortable neighborhood to walk the dog and close proximity to the foothills for a good bike ride. We laugh at our dramatic change in mindset from our house-hunting years of past.

Our quest for big now revolves around big ideas on how we should live our lives and use our hearts. These big items don’t come with a price tag or a need for a reserved space in the house.

I never thought I would turn into a minimalist, but I am…we are…and it feels good. A sign of age? Probably. Mid-life crisis? Maybe. Although we may never be able to completely pinpoint the cause, the resulting feeling of freedom is exhilarating. Freedom from material wants provides an open easel to the world. Let the fun begin….


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