For the first 50+ years of our lives (my husband and I), the word “finite” was permanently replaced with its antonym. We ate, shopped and lived every day as if tomorrow was guaranteed and provided not a single worry. We mostly considered tomorrow a tool used to edit the mistakes of the current day. The problem that frequently occurred is that our do-over day morphed into a carry-over instead. This led to us weighing 300+ pounds more than once in our lifetimes. My blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol were unstable and he had health issues as well. We could barely breathe in our clothes and we were miserable and unhappy. This is where our similarities end.
I had a wicked shopping problem. Obtaining goods was my therapy. At one point I realized the devastation of our finances but did little to change my habit. Money left our bank account as freely as water flows from a faucet. I amassed mounds of stickers, beads and various decor type items. None of which were unpacked right away. They normally existed for a while in their plastic-cased divided homes. My husband was better at buying large items infrequently and various tools all of which he actually needed. Several stop signs started appearing and I even headed a few of them right away.
In November of 2016, I was rushed to the hospital over my blood pressure. I was admitted to the ER for observation and it took the balance of the day for it to go down. My health was giving me a good slap in the face and so I enrolled in a weight loss program and as of today have dropped 55 pounds and everything but my cholesterol is lower, and I continue working on that. If this was the end of our story, things would have changed a bit for a while. Then I would probably give up and eat unhealthy again having benefitted slightly from my recent loss.
However, in March of this year, my best friend was diagnosed with cancer. We didn’t see it coming and it has severely limited her. Her prognosis is good but she is quite frequently sick and I have to witness first hand how your health can slip away. On its own, that is devastating enough but then my husband was sued. One of the credit cards we used frequently and had stopped paying on had been turned over to a lawyer. We were in the process at that time considering selling our house and buying a cheaper one. With this suit now on his credit record that plan is over.
We were devastated and other financial blows just kept coming. I was looking on Pinterest at my board of debt free when I discovered a pin. It was for a documentary about minimalism and I eagerly paid to watch it. (It’s now on Netflix) We desperately craved a solution to our ever growing problem. Glued to the chair, phone ringing off the hook, I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen. Staring at what appeared to be genuinely happy people with few possessions. How could losing everything make a person happy? Well, it can and I am here writing to you about the day I sought the answer. Is happiness achieved by losing instead of gaining? The answer to that question for US is yes. I had already experienced a loss that made me happy. The pounds that I shed from my body had increased my well being.
The decision was made that day for us to sell the house and go tiny. We plan to purchase a travel trailer and live on a small piece of land. We will own our own tiny home out right and be able to pay off debt at the same time. Our mortgage and upkeep for this house is expensive, and not having that will turn into debt free living eventually. On July 31, 2017, the first item left our home. In the days since many items have left. We are not living minimally yet, but we are well on our way. The for sale sign in our front yard is a reminder that one day we will leave here and begin to live intentionally.
We all have a “finite” amount of days on earth and we plan to enjoy ours infinitely but with stability. My husband has since joined me on my weight loss journey and he too is feeling better after losing 20+ pounds. Minimalism became our finite path to freedom. Make sure you take the time to carve out your finite path, whatever that may be. I have an acquaintance who recently decided hers was travel. Whatever finite is to you don’t wait as long as we did to find your synonyms for it.
*link to info about documentary https://minimalismfilm.com/