It’s a lovely Sunday morning and I’m lounging with the four dogs and drinking coffee while Ron is getting a practice ride in for his upcoming bike race next weekend. It’s been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks, lots going on as we continue on with our plan and squeeze in a little fun occasionally. I’ve been meaning to take a moment or two to give a status update on how everything is going and this morning seems like the perfect opportunity. Gotta grab those when they present themselves!
As far as our plan to sell everything and become full time fifth wheel dwellers, the work continues! We made this final decision in April, only four months ago. Sometimes it seems like the process is taking literally forever, but I think that’s only because it’s so all-consuming. We’ve sold off so much already, when I stop to think about it it’s mind boggling. We’ve sold my Audi, our older boat, our enclosed trailer, our old plow truck and so many smaller items I can’t begin to name them all. We’ve used Facebook Marketplace (which is useful but an immensely frustrating and time consuming process), we’ve sold many items to friends and family in need of what we have and two weeks ago we finally held the dreaded GARAGE SALE. So much work to organize and set up, our entire weekend (which was sunny and gorgeous, by the way. Those are rare here in northern MI.) spent sitting in our garage while strangers rifled through the items that have made up our life for years. We were able to get rid of a pretty good amount, though. Several larger items like a lawnmower and an ice fishing shanty along with tons of small stuff, tools and kitchenware and linens and more. At the end of the weekend, we’d sold about 70% of what we set out and made just over $1,800.00. As Ron put it, “we did better than we expected but not as well as we’d hoped.” It’s a little tragic to watch everything that you own, that you hand-picked and loved, looked at with distaste, bargained over and finally sold for literally pennies on the dollar. I didn’t struggle so much with letting it all go, more with my own internal, head-shaking disappointment in the amount of money I could see wasted in all the “stuff” that we have. But there’s no point in dwelling on that or beating ourselves up, our priorities and plans just changed and this is what we have to do in order to make our dream happen, right?
We’re taking truck loads of the smaller, unsold items to different donation centers a couple of times a week, the stuff that isn’t probably going to sell or make us any significant amount of money. I’d love someone to be able to make use of these things if possible. We still have a few larger items to sell – a riding lawn mower, an open trailer, a large generator. We’ll continue working to get those sold as we go, along with our house. I had the carpets cleaned last week and I’ve been cleaning like crazy because I’d like to get our house listed in the next week or so. Our entire plan really hinges on the house selling and netting a specific profit so that we’re able to use half to purchase our fifth wheel in cash and put the other half in savings. I’m positive and hopeful that our home will sell quickly and for a very large amount of money, the more the better! Once we’ve got the closing in sight, we’ll have one final “Everything Must Go” sale to unload all of the furniture, miscellaneous items we’re still using now and anything else left unsold. The only other item on the checklist is upgrading our truck, which is proving to be such a hassle! We’ve had several bad experiences with different dealerships, so we finally went to our bank and just worked directly with them for our loan. Now that we’ve got that set up, we’re searching for the perfect truck and it’s definitely not an easy task. We’ll get there, though. The good news is that we’re not desperate yet, we likely still have a couple months before we buy the camper. I’d rather have it all wrapped up as soon as possible, though. I don’t want to have to settle because we’re in a rush later. We’ve narrowed down the camper search and we’re pretty confident that we know what we’re going to buy, but of course it’s not set in stone yet. The saga continues…….
As for the personal detox I embarked on a couple of weeks ago, I’m happy to say that it’s going really well! Some things have been easy and wonderful while others have been a real struggle. Social media has been a real challenge in many ways, honestly. At first, I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone completely and for a couple of days, it was great. But then the garage sale happened and because our house is off the beaten path a bit, I thought it would help increase traffic if I shared the sale with some Facebook garage sale groups. Of course, pictures help with these kinds of posts and I use my phone for pictures so in the spirit of expediency, I added it back to my phone, took some pics and sent them out to all the groups. This of course led to two full days of nonstop messages and comments, people asking questions about what we had for sale. Even though I had our address and the hours listed, I got a barrage of questions about that. Really? It did help increase the traffic though, several customers said that they’d seen the ad on Facebook so that’s good.
I deleted Facebook again after the sale and enjoyed another couple of days without it, but then I posted about a blog post from my computer and realized I’d missed several messages and pictures of my daughter’s adventures. So I decided to go ahead and add both Facebook and Instagram back to my phone, but I turned off all notifications and I hid the icons in a folder so that I don’t readily see them. I check into both every other day or so, for about 10 minutes. I also un-followed a large amount of people that I really don’t care to see anything from so that when I do log on I’m scrolling less and only seeing what I truly care about. I use both platforms mostly for learning about RVs and full time RV living and I find it’s helpful to learn directly from those who are doing it. I check in with a few people to see how they’re doing, but I’m not sitting on these apps for long periods of time anymore, scrolling and scrolling just to pass the time. I don’t miss it at all, either. So that’s a win!
I’ve also been doing great on the no buying rule. I took Ron to Beaver Island for his birthday last weekend and I’ll admit that I did buy a cute t-shirt and a hat, so I failed there. I also bought another HydroFlask bottle last week, but I use those constantly and it was PINK! But otherwise, nothing! It’s a work in progress. The no alcohol rule has also been going great. Ron and I are both doing this one together and we’re both feeling so much better. In the spirit of honesty, we have shared a bottle of wine over a nice dinner a couple of times and that’s ok. But we’re not having a couple drinks each in the evening during the week, we’re not having two with every meal we eat out. We went to the Olive Garden for dinner one night and had iced tea and when the bill came I was shocked. Without all the wine, it’s a whole lot cheaper! We both feel better, I’m sleeping a lot better and best of all we’re both down several pounds! My real goal with this one was not to cut it out completely forever, but to stop making it such a central part of our life. We’ve been bike riding a ton, getting out and finding other things to do, which in the wine and brewery-centric area we live in is no small feat. We’re loving it and sticking with it.
The last two rules, no dishonesty and no negativity are going extremely well! More than anything, having placed these rules upon myself I’m finding that I am first recognizing and then changing my behavior when the impulse to be less than honest or to be negative arises. For example, instead of glossing over something that’s bothering me or answering a difficult question with a half-truth like I’ve typically done in the past, I’m checking myself internally and not allowing it. I’m forcing myself to address the issue as it comes up, to see that I’m not being fully honest or that I’m judging myself or someone else negatively and I’m taking the time to sit with these feelings and seek to understand where they’re really coming from. I find that when I have the urge to be dishonest it’s typically because I’m afraid of upsetting someone or of their potential judgment of me. But in all reality I know that it’s better to be 100% genuine and open and that in the long run, I have no control over how someone reacts to me speaking the truth. Their reaction isn’t my concern, though I don’t seek to hurt anyone intentionally of course. Being honest is just so much easier than trying to put on a fake smile or a facade that’s hiding part of who I really am.
With negativity, I’m working hard to isolate those thoughts as they come and examine where they really come from. Why am I upset with that person or situation, where did that harsh judgment come from? Why are those thoughts of self abuse and hatred the first place my mind goes? I’m learning to recognize that they are very much a force of habit alone and that by seeing them and simply refusing them and letting them go, they tend to break apart and disappear like a cloud of smoke. I can’t ignore them or pretend they won’t come, but they’re just thoughts and they don’t have any real power over me. I’m being gentle with myself and with others and instead of allowing the negative thoughts to take control, I’m actively replacing every one that I encounter with something positive. The car that just cut me off, I sure hope he’s not in a hurry for anything seriously wrong and I’m thankful that I’m in no real rush. My reflection in the mirror showing more curvy flesh than I’d like to see, look how fast my hair is growing and aren’t I lucky that it does! My husband not getting all of the tasks completed that I’d like him to, he sure works hard and does a million little things that I don’t even ask him to take care of, I’m a lucky woman. No matter what the negative thought is, there’s always a way to turn it into something positive. There are real issues that come up in our lives, times when we need to deal with something negative happening and in those times, we need strength and courage and fortitude. I’m not trying to pretend everything is rainbows and sunshine, I’m just taking the day to day stuff out of that category and choosing not to let the negative side of life to rule me. Why do that, when life is so much happier without all that negative bullshit?
So that’s my update for now. I’ll check in again soon on all of this but in the meantime, thank you for taking the time to follow along with me on this journey! It’s not for the faint of heart, there are more ups and downs than my favorite roller coasters but in the end it’ll all be worth it. Cheers!
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