Do you ever look around your house at all of your stuff that seemed so important when you purchased it and say to yourself, what was the point? What was I thinking? What the hell am I going to do with all of this stuff? My grandmother used to say that we spent the first half of our life collecting things and the second half getting rid of it all. I concur.

I had a free day on Saturday so after gardening all morning, I decided to take a good hard look at my surroundings. Holy stuff. I really had the urge to have someone just come over and take every single thing out of the basement and just get rid of it. I almost feel smothered with it all. This is not good for recovery, feeling smothered. Actually it is not good for healing at all, super bad feng shui as a matter of fact.

Step 1- call Jay’s Junk who apparently is about to be my new best friend and is scheduled to come a week from today. The stellar woman who surprisingly answered the phone on Saturday assured me that it would be a quick visit and that the guys are fast. I used to get a total rush shopping for things, I now have the same feeling anticipating their visit and promptly started assessing what would be going.

I mean it is pretty shameful that I have the quantity of stuff I have, but I know a lot of it has to do with owning two businesses too (at least this is the rationale I have come up with). I began my lists and actually started feeling calmer as I began this next phase of my life-reducing. I am sure all of this is perfectly normal. Our children begin to exit the home in their slow and steady pace as they weave in and out between being away at college and being home from college. This seems to be a natural next step in the steps of aging especially coupled with cancer diagnosis.

Oddly, I really enjoy the process of this phase of life and there is an added gift in a twisted way with catching cancer early-twice. The sense of urgency is alive and well and I teeter between the burden of preventative care and the luck that I get to be in the preventative’s corner. This makes me really conscious of my next decade. I mean the chances of recurring cancer especially since I have had it twice in three years seem more likely than the average Jane. I am not wishing for anything bad as I have written about my pragmatism in my pieces prior. But there is a feeling I have that is let’s get on with the stuff I must do in case “it” comes back and I can’t. My brother on his early deathbed looked me in the eye and said he just wished for one more bikeride, even around the block. He had bought a VW bus that he and his girlfriend were going to take across country. He didn’t get to do that trip and he gave me the bus instead. I kept that bus for over ten years and loved driving it. When I finally found the right person to sell it to, it was to a young guy who was my brother’s age who was going across country with his girlfriend. I sold it to him for the same price my brother bought it for and was so happy that the bus finally got its trip. For me, my trip will be in much more luxury than a 1982 VW Vanagon with no heat and a shifter that has to be held in fourth gear, (afterall I do have my standards). I want to learn how to tow an Airstream and drive across country in a minimal unit with barely any stuff except a few sundresses and some sunscreen. I want to see my country and be free of the ties that bind. The pull is intense. My partner and I discussed meeting up along the way for weeks at a time so he can still work. I love the flexibility we have together. It is unique and mature and I am so in love with our life. I see myself writing along the way, biking, walking, and meeting our beautiful country. I want to do this for me, for my brother and most of all to honor the short time we all have as the specks we are on this little planet.

Because of my aunt’s new diagnosis, there is a different sense of urgency in my mind because now it is way closer to the likely and probably than maybe. I don’t want to be on my deathbed wishing I had done the Airstream trip. I also don’t want to be on my deathbed worrying about all of the stuff that I have and what is going to happen to it so come fall, my store Miss Alayneous will be opening in my existing Bristol business. For those of you out there who love re-purposed stuff, this will be a cool way for you to participate in a chick recycle, for me it will be a great way to move through my things and start cleaning out the ties that bind. I look forward to this next phase and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. This sense of urgency is a strange gift and I am looking forward to its significance in my life over the next few years. Funny-life- we just never know the re-routing and detours, but I have always found that though the detours may seem inconvenient at the time, they usually offer a new perspective on a road less traveled. After all, the scenic route is usually so much sweeter on a drive when you least expect it.

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self proclaimed lover of all things beauty, business + lifestyle, I write because it feels good.