This Goodbye Makes Everything Else About Downsizing Seem Easy

downsizing Jan 24, 2019

The lunar eclipse took Rosie.

I felt so sure that what was before the eclipse would stay in the past, and what came after would be on the other side of some chasm, with no going back. Now we’re doing life without our beloved dog, with the excruciating understanding that change takes many forms.

It’s like living in an altered state, the first days after one you love dies.

The last time the sun was just over there sinking behind the winter trees, Rosie was still alive.

The day before, I left a half-filled glass of water on the counter and said a casual goodbye to the dog. The glass is still here, and she’s not.

I feel like all this work sorting for the move has been set back two months. I’m back to wandering this place with no idea what to pick up and what to leave.

Yesterday, the day after she died, the kids and I took Rosie’s wooden body to the vet and laid her on the floor, wrapped in a white blanket and placed in a blue canvas bag with...

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If It Should Have Been, It Would Have Been: Getting Rid of Half-Finished Projects

divorce downsizing Jan 20, 2019

In the process of downsizing, you’re going to come face to face with half-finished projects and reminders of hopes that never came to pass.

This is especially difficult for creative people with hobbies like sewing, gardening, woodworking, electronic tinkering, and even reading, etc.

I don’t care how much appreciation you have in your enlightened heart, or how many times you thank objects that don’t spark joy. The downsizing process challenges you to peel the memory from the object.

When you hold in your hands a half-finished quilt top or a video game you haven’t beaten yet; or a component of robotic hardware that hasn’t been programmed; it’s hard to uncurl those fingers and let go.

Last year I found a simple syrup recipe of hatch green chilis and spices. After testing it, friends and family certified it “Awesome” and I saved it to my files.

Thinking I’d make up some gifts, I bought 12 bottles and seals from an eBay shop for the...

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Downsizing after Divorce: The True Story That Begins Long Before You Move Out of Your Dream House

divorce downsizing Jan 17, 2019

My current obsession with downsizing is at its peak now, but this story started years ago.

When we moved into the two story house in the far reaches of the Austin suburbs 19 years ago, I told everyone, “I’m never leaving. Someday someone will have to clean out these closets and sell this place, because I’m going to die in this house.”

I loved my house and just knew it was our forever home.

In 2000 my husband and I decided to leave the San Francisco Bay area with our two-year-old toddler and settle in Austin. Tired of the frantic San Jose pace, the lack of elbow room, the high prices, taxes, and intense commutes; Austin was to be our new home base for the high tech research and development department my husband ran for a Silicon Valley company.

We sold our 1549 square foot starter home in San Jose and bought a 4000 square foot dream home on nearly 3 acres in Spicewood, Texas, close enough to Austin to enjoy its “weirdness” and culture, but far...

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