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We need to talk about… How to let go and let things go

Are you attached to your things?

Are you attached to your stuff? Recently, while listening to Jim Fortin’s podcast, he said something that really stood out to me: “Don’t hold on to things.” (If you’re interested, Jim Fortin is an unconscious transformation coach, and you can watch his podcast here.) He went on to explain that by stepping away from things, you can actually bring more abundance into your life. You literally make room for other things. The question lingered in my head. Am I attached to my stuff?

When we sold our house in Colorado, we stocked up a lot of our stuff; Not furniture because you sell furnished houses here, which felt really great, but all the other stuff like clothes, sporting goods, kitchen stuff, etc. I remember worrying about what to take to storage and what to leave in the house . It felt like a series of really hard choices. We basically stocked… “let’s take it” for most things and then had a pretty full storage space which you can see below.

After renting a house for a while, we decided as a family to take an epic cross-country trip and then move to Spain. At the time, I had two suitcases and a duffel bag. When we got back to the US we still didn’t have a house (we are building a house that is almost finished). That means our family has been living out of suitcases for 9 months already! Wow.

Before moving into our new home, Chris and I wanted to make sure we really wanted and needed everything in our storage unit. Looking around, we were both totally overwhelmed. We have no furniture and yet somehow we had collected SO MUCH STUFF. I looked at Chris with a bewildered expression and said, “We don’t need any of this!” I meant it. He immediately agreed, adding, “What were we thinking about preserving ALL this?”

Living with so little for so long gave us a certain freedom and lightness that we both not only accepted, but really loved. And as we looked at all the stuff, the heaviness was palpable.

Jim’s quote was top of mind. “Don’t hold on to things.” I realized in this moment of overwhelm that there wasn’t ONE THING in that unit that I really cared about.

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tin mirror hanging on a stone walltin mirror hanging on a stone wall
the mirror

I didn’t even care that I keep that one piece I’ve had since my early 20’s…my tin mirror (pictured above).

I bought this beautiful mirror at a New York City flea market for my studio apartment on the upper west side. It was my first “adult” purchase and has always been very special to me.

I’ve moved that mirror 5 times in 20 years! It was the first thing I hung in our home in Boerne, Texas (above). I also took it with me when we moved to Telluride, Colorado. It felt like an important piece…and a connection to my old self and past life before I was a wife and mother.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the paint on my mirror was peeling. I immediately panicked a bit and then asked Chris if we could dissolve the paint and restore the natural silver color of the can? He asked me, “Do you really want to do that?”

I paused, then replied, “No. No, I don’t. Let’s donate it.”

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Let go and move on

The thrift store told us it was “too big” to store and sell, so Chris named The Free Box. The Free Box is a place where people put free stuff into Telluride.

We have carefully placed the mirror next to The Free Box. I paused before getting back in the car and staring at this beauty one last time. I took a picture, wished him well and smiled. I smiled, knowing someone would find this mirror on the street, and excitedly scooped it up. It will no doubt be the perfect piece for their apartment…as it once was for me.

As I drove away, I realized that I don’t have to hold on to any part of the past anymore. In fact, I don’t need a “thing” in my house to make it feel like a home. All I really need is my family, our dog, Travy and a few suitcases.

Erin Busbee signature

Are you attached to your stuff? Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you’d like to get more blog posts like this delivered straight to your inbox, along with some great resources for women over 40, sign up for my newsletter here.

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