It's About Time
Right mindset facilitates life changes
Most people prefer the status quo and the comfort of familiarity and plenty. But change is a fact of life.
For many, change involves moving and downsizing. Sometimes it's a choice, as in the decision to move to a smaller home or to a senior residential facility after retirement. But sometimes downsizing is thrust upon us by unexpected circumstances, as the loss of income.
Having to make decisions about which long-owned possessions to keep can be daunting and stressful.
At a recent presentation on "Decorating Small Spaces," Randy Ching, manager of the Honolulu HomeWorldFurniture store, stated that the first step in transitioning to a smaller space begins with a change in mindset. He knows from experience that it is possible to live in a small space, for he grew up in a 1,400-square-foot condo with his parents and two siblings.
Ching encouraged people to welcome change and be at peace with it, and know that change can be good, as it lets us get rid of the old and make room for the new. But downsizing, whether by choice or necessity, requires some difficult decisions to release and pare down possessions.
Here are the reflections of a friend who was preparing to move into a retirement community: "This is the opening of a new chapter in my life. My lifestyle will change, and I will have to make some adjustments. It is so difficult to part with things, but it is necessary, for I am moving from my 4,500-square-foot home to an 1,100-square-foot apartment.
"Ecclesiastes 3:6 has really helped me: 'There is a right time for everything: a time for keeping; a time for throwing away.' I tell myself, 'I've kept this for 25 years. Now it's time to throw or give it away.' Looking at it this way has been good!
"'Less is more' is true materially as well as psychologically -- the less psychological baggage (fear, resentment, worry) I have, the more happiness I will enjoy. And the more I accept the fact that I'm moving, the less stress, negativism and resentment I will have. I have decided to enjoy this new phase of my life, to be positive and to make the best of it!"
Such a change in lifestyle is challenging but made easier with the right mindset. Realizing the positive helps -- that living in a smaller space with fewer things leaves more time for what's really important, which hopefully is not just possessions.
Those who are younger need not wait until retirement to divest themselves of extraneous possessions. Why not get a head start by beginning now? You'll have more years to enjoy the freedom and space you'll gain!
Whatever changes you face in life, I encourage you to start with your frame of mind, for dealing with change starts as an "inside" job. See you in two weeks!
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813, call 488-0288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org