Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas…

Is our ‘stuff’ what makes us happy?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Waylon Jennings song, Luckenbach Texas, it is a song about getting back to the basics of love and life after discovering that being ‘successful’ is more stressful than living a simple life.

For some reason, I woke up with that song in my head,  even though I haven’t heard it in years, but the idea is actually something I have really been thinking about a lot lately. We are getting ready to move into a smaller apartment, which means downsizing, aka getting rid of stuff. I have been lamenting over the fact that I am leaving a beautiful kitchen for something that just is not what I am use to. It is small, and has an electric smooth top range that looks something like this:

What I'm moving towards

This stove is the catalyst to me pondering the meaning of success and what truly makes a person happy. Is it stuff? Is it people? Is it achievements? Is it money?

I believe the answers are probably going to be different based on the individual asking. I use to think that being successful meant going to college, having a high paying job, and having lots of stuff. (Anyone else immediately think of George Carlin – or is it just me?) There was a time, when the kitchen I’m about to move into, would have been perfect in size. I know I’m from Texas, but seriously, when did bigger become synonymous with better?

Now this is one of those topics that will be talked about in several posts over time, because there is no way I can address everything I have to say about it in one post. So right now, I’m going to talk about how I have too much stuff. Stuff doesn’t bring happiness, it is an illusion, and maybe a security ‘blanket’ of sorts. Food has been equated to love for as long as I can remember, and it use to be a passion of mine. Reality – food is not love, and I lost my passion for cooking, a while back.

I have become a real fan of Tiny House Nation; watching these people go from huge homes to such a small space has inspired me to challenge myself. I am going to really try and determine the things I really need, not just things I want or think I need. I know I have a problem letting go of things, e.g. I have cookbooks* that I read once, but I will probably never actually use, so this will be a opportunity for growth (yes, there will be tears).

So here’s my plan:

  • Kitchen
    • Make a list of recipes that we typically eat
      • Daily
      • Weekly
      • Monthly
      • Yearly
    • Determine the items used for these recipes
    • If an item is only used once or twice a year:
      • can it be rented, borrowed, or purchased as disposable?
      • can the recipe be done away with?
    • Any item that is not used regularly, and truly isn’t necessary, get rid of.
  • Clothes
    • Get rid of things that do not fit
    • Get rid of things that have not been worn in the last year

I think that will be good enough for now.  The initial round will take place before the movers show up in July, and then a reevaluation will take place as I unpack. Will this get me back to basics? Probably not, but it is a step in the right direction.

*there are a few cookbooks that are worth keeping

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