Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Letting Go - the Case of the Briefcase

When I went vegetarian, I began to feel conflicted about using my beautiful leather briefcase I purchased during my first year of working.  I loved that briefcase...or at least I thought I did.
The case...and a Maggie in the background.
Turns out, I was totally okay letting it go. I felt pretty being vegetarian (and later vegan) and carrying around a big briefcase made of animal. I hemmed and hawed for almost two months about whether I should sell it or keep it. Eventually, I sold the briefcase to my husband's friend and for Chanukah, I asked for a vegan messenger bag to use for school.

I love my new bag because I feel good carrying a bag made without animal products. AND, it's handmade by a small company. I love that my husband's friend is using my briefcase and that it will hopefully be loved for many years to come. This was the first possession of mine that I sold and felt I had some sentimental connection to. Ultimately, I barely think about it and when I do, I'm just happy to have let it go to make room for other things in my life.

Sentimental items or items that we think we "love" can be hard to give up but after we let it go, it most likely will turn out that you do not even think about it that often. And if you do, you can ALWAYS save up and buy another one. (But you shouldn' should use what you have and be all minimalist about it.)

Some awesome links on giving up sentimental items...
Letting Go of Sentimental Items from The Minimalists (a new favorite!)
Letting Go of Possessions from Zen Habits (Check out Leo's "Uncopyright," he's so awesome.)

In the Beginning

(See what I did there?! If you don't get it yet...pick up a Tanakh or Old Testament. Get it now?! Hehehehe. It's funny because I'm in rabbinical school.)

In the beginning...of 2014...I stumbled upon blogs documenting peoples' lives or journeys as minimalists.  PFttt, I thought, minimalism? That's not for me. I collect things. I love things. I have lots of them and do not really plan on ever getting rid of anything I don't need to get rid of.

I got an itch to ditch all of my superfluous items. I started with clothes because I had so many extras that it was a simple place to clear things out. I attacked the front room and got rid of anything that wasn't being used. I slowly started to give away things that just sat around unused.

When I began looking through all my possessions, I quickly realized that I own much more than I need. That much was easy to see right away. What I did not know right away was that once I started to pare down my possessions, I would begin to feel freer and excited to get rid of even more superfluous stuff.

My journey towards living a more minimalist lifestyle is ongoing. Sometimes, it still feels difficult to part with an item but then I remember that if I doubt the item's use in my life, I most likely really don't need it anyway.

And the best part about all of it? If I no longer have it just sitting around, someone else has the opportunity to get real pleasure from it.