This past month has found me challenged with some of the hardest manual work I’ve ever done. We decided to change our lifestyle, leave home ownership behind, and join the ranks of high-rise living. I’m here to tell you that this is not only hard work, but incredibly stressful. In fact, when it comes to the top-ranked stress-producers, the death of a loved one ranks No. 1, divorce comes in second, and moving your residence is number three. Having just lived through this, I can see why.
We had lived in our prior residence for more than 23 years, so packing everything up was a shocking experience. Although I consider myself an organized person, I cannot believe vast amount of “stuff” we accumulated. When there’s ample places for things to be stored, we accumulate. And somehow when it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind, and it simply just keeps accumulating.
And after 23 years, I’m not sure why we bought it or why we needed it or why we wasted hard-earned money for it. Moving makes one look at life completely differently. If you buy something, you eventually have to pack it, and you have to move it. I can’t tell you the times I asked myself, “What is this?” It’s downright depressing.
I never envied those who moved every five years, I thought that would be tedious. But now I see it as the recipe for avoiding the accumulation of unnecessary belongings, and the organization of life as to what you need and the elimination of what you don’t need. The wisdom that comes to us regarding earthly possessions truly comes to us too late.
I’m thrilled to be leaving the pool, the yard work and the gardening behind, along with it the painting, the grout repair, the roof repair and the general upkeep a house requires. I’m enthusiastic about being able to request the condominium maintenance staff to resolve those types of issues. I rejoiced at the call to my arborist and tree team to say, “Gentlemen, I will now look at my trees from above, and not be concerned with fertilizing, trimming, and insect protection.”
I’m ready to take the abundant time I spent caring for and maintaining a house and reapportion that time to reading, self-development, and participating in the Dallas arts, architecture and cultural scene. And I’m happy to become part of an urban life, connected to the city, living less than a mile from my office. I’m ready for a totally new outlook.
It’s a complete and total change in perspective. And while I enter it exhausted and completely worn out, I also enter it lighter, renewed, purged of unnecessary objects, and with a focused desire for more meaningful substance. It’s exhilarating!
Jo Staffelbach Heinz is President and CEO of Dallas-based Staffelbach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.