On September 6, 2012, I had an aortic dissection and came very close to dying. Only 25% of the people with dissections survive. I was lucky and truly blessed!
It took two years after surgery to become stable enough for my doctor to release me to resume most of my activities. During these two years, I was petrified of having my aorta split (and we all know what happens then) and became very depressed. I maintained my job, my home and my animals during this time but I did nothing else. I basically went to work, came home, walked the dogs and sat on my butt…afraid to move! I did not feel like cooking so became addicted to Kentucky Fried Chicken – 3 piece meal with extra biscuit – which I consumed daily. I gained weight and became lethargic and unhealthy.
After my doctor telling me the 12” stent-like device he had inserted in my aorta from my heart to my kidneys was “almost perfect” and doing its job wonderfully, I should resume my life. He continues to monitor my progress.
I took a few weeks to reassess my priorities – my possessions, ideas, relationships and activities. I realized the physical things I owned were not the most important things in my life and I wanted to get rid of the excess stuff that did not bring value to my life. I focused on what was really important and felt the physical possessions were hindering me from feeling free and “uncluttered”. I did not “have” to get rid of anything and didn’t want to just because I could. I knew if I did that I would just go out and buy it again. I had done this twice in the past when I moved and wound up just replacing it all over again. I was determined – NOT THIS TIME!
I started with the closets in the guest room and office. Both were stuffed to the top with junk and most of it was from the original move in 2008. These were easy and took about a week to pare down to mostly nothing. The collectibles where harder to part with but once I got going, I didn’t stop. There are previous posts on my methods. I took more time because I wanted to sell as many as possible and some were valuable. My church was having a silent auction… the perfect place to donate some really great items. I had a major “tag sale” with the small items and did quite well. The remaining items were donated. I spent the entire year with Phase I. Phase II started in January, 2015 and was a little more complicated because it included some renovation projects. I’ll cover these in my next post.
The minimalism motto is “less is more”. There is not one way of being a minimalist. It can be monk-like, living in one white room with no pictures on the walls and sleeping on a cot. That’s not me! It is about being frugal and not spending on unnecessary things…sticking to the essentials. Before I could get to this spot and feel free, I had to clear out the clutter!