As parents of two grown daughters, our nest has been more empty than not over the past years. Kalyn is married with a little girl and a home of her own….thankfully, they live close by. Taryn has been at Penn State a little over four years, with a semester in New Zealand in the Spring of 2016. She has been home over the summers and does get home a weekend here or there. But, that is all about to change. She received a wonderful job offer this week from Amazon. As there are no locations near Pittsburgh (YET), she will soon be moving somewhere to take on her next big thing. She will find out in a few weeks where her next adventure in her “Adulting” process will take her. We are very proud of her and are so excited for her to be “launched”. That is the goal of parenting….to raise responsible adults. We will be cheering her on as we always have…not for soccer or tennis or diving….but as she takes on the career world. We are thrilled for her, but it means our too large a nest will be even more empty. We have not broken the news to our West Highland White Terrior Max….He is just turning 10 and sure loves his girls.
We have loved raising our girls in the county on a 20 acre property…with privacy, views, and peace and quiet. But it seems that we are working so hard to take care of this place that is much too big for two adults and our fur babies. So what is next?
As baby boomers get closer to retirement, they need to have a reality check on what it’s going to cost them to take care of themselves and their stuff for the rest of their lives. For us, we keep coming back to…..it’s time to “downsize”. But how do we do that, where to we even start? Having lived in the same place for over 20 years while our girls were growing up, means we have a lot of stuff. Today, I spent most of the day getting stuff out of my house to give to the girls or to charity. Looking at how much money is tied up in that stuff makes me wonder why I bought some of it in the first place!
I have read several books this past year by Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and my favorite, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. It has changed the way I view shopping and bringing new things into our home. If it can’t be consumed, or if it doesn’t “spark joy”, it’s not coming in. However, what to do with the stuff that is already filling up the closets and drawers and garages?
We have made a commitment to chip away a little each week and every weekend. I have told both girls to let me know what they want. I try not to over think it….if I did, I would never get it done. I understand it is going to be a process. It does feel good to see boxes ready to donate to those in need and closets that are starting to look a little less crowded.
At my husband’s class reunion a few weeks ago, someone told me that their financial advisor told them to sell their boat because it was going to “sink” their retirement. It seems that the upkeep on our property….snow removal, grass cutting, landscaping, maintenance, taxes, etc. on a house that is too big for us, may not be the best use of our financial resources. So stay tuned….this will be a process….not sure of the outcome…but excited about the journey!
Here’s to “unstuffing”,
Sunset……this I will miss….