2016: Not a moment too soon

img_7299A lot of people are saying that 2016 is not ending soon enough. A lot of bad things have happened, they say, and it’s time to turn the page and move on. We have lost a lot of good people, many long before their time. We had a contentious election. We poisoned our water and are ignoring the weather’s signs of coming doom.

img_7296I guess I’m a water-bottle-half-full kind of girl. Even if the water in that bottle is questionable.

As I sit here in my office overlooking the hillside of the new home my husband and I chose during this “awful” year, watching the gorgeous pinks and blues of a late-December sunset, I can’t help but think how lucky I am. It’s been a good year for Bill and I. We pulled together and cleared out our house and our lives to make room for new ideas, new work, new play, and new – as well as old – friends.

I try to think of every day as a fresh start, a clean slate on which to do better than yesterday. I’m not much on resolutions, but I like to have goals.

Our biggest goal in 2016 was to move out of a house that was designed for a family of four that entertained frequently to  one that was the right size for two people who rarely entertain. The desire to “clean out” and the theory of Rational Minimalism came directly after that decision, but as I said in previous posts, the impetus was always there. Selling the house and moving made it imperative.

We may not have completed that goal, but we sure made a big dent in it.

Next year will include more downsizing, I’m sure. We moved some items from the storage img_7297unit to the basement of the new house because we weren’t sure if we needed the items or not. Over the last seven months we dipped into those bins for items we were looking for a handful of times, but we also have taken some things to community recycling groups and I can see that by next June – a full year’s cycle – we will be even more streamlined. I doubt that we’ll ever be fully “cleared out,” but we will have a much smoother, less cluttered life.

On a personal level, some of my other goals for 2016 included working on this blog so that I wouldn’t forget the hard work we did and the elation and terror we felt as we stripped away our old life. It’s not the first time either of us have changed our lives dramatically, but this time we were older and more settled and doing it as a team. It was a new experience for both of us and one that, ultimately, benefitted us in ways we never imagined. The blog is my reminder.

I wish all of you a wonderful 2017, full of adventure and joy and the pleasure of starting every day anew. Cheers!

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This blog post is part of a series called Downsizing. It is the chronicle of moving from a 2475 square foot home to one approximately half its size during the first six months of 2016. It takes place in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

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