getting closer

Well, the house is finally on the market. Went up last Friday and we left for the weekend so open houses and showings could more easily happen. We had a good time not doing anything important this weekend—was a much-needed break from the 15 hour + days of house prep.

Now we wait. The market in Portland has been “hot” for a while. Our agent says it is cooling a bit so the offers won’t be like the stories we hear all the time of people selling their house in a week. So we hang tight and keep the house in immaculate shape. We hope the process doesn’t take months because of the finite aspect of my job but even more so, we’re terribly anxious to get going on this trip we keep talking about. We know how expectations and plans go—often not the exact direction or in the exact way we would like them to. So we’re practicing being mellow and relaxed while in limbo.

A state of surrender to what is. The gift of this phase is that we have time now to see our friends—to make memories before we go.

We have more simplifying to do before we leave the state. More stuff, still, than we want to keep. It’s been interesting to see how attached we are to things that represent moments, ideas, goals, dreams, plans, etc. We’re guilty of not tossing much over the years, thinking we would complete art projects and the like—or feeling sentimental about something and not ready to let it go. We’ve done a good job keeping things out of the landfill by giving, selling and donating. Portland has a strong reuse/share community and we utilized it many times over the last couple months.

This weekend we looked for John’s front bag and started talking more about our plans. Both of our main bags are 45 liters. And our front bags will be pretty modest. Mine is 12 liters and John’s will be about the same. We don’t want to be burdened by a lot of stuff on the road. We’re taking the necessities and expect to donate some things along the way as we discover we never use them—and buy region-specific things we need. I tend to be a hyper-planner, down to the tiniest of details. So, I will learn if that detail of planning will pay off or if I wasted time obsessing over some things.

There are a lot of lessons to be processed through all of this. One of the biggest is that we realize how much the things we own have been haunting us… weighing us down. How our house is too big for 2 people (and too old, at 105 years, for people who don’t enjoy house maintenance). We also realize that ours is not necessarily an issue of filling up the landfill but in not scrutinizing what comes in to begin with. We don’t need stuff to be happy and, in fact, the more we get rid of, the happier we are becoming. We want to live a backpacker’s mindset long after our trip is over.