Adulting is Not as Easy as it Seems

“When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure. To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”
― Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

It was a busy morning. Deciding what to buy new and what I could let go of. Not that I bought much. After all, what does he really need in his first place? Just the basics. Some things he is used to and will find useful. Somehow we debated over the quality of the garlic press and didn’t pick up a can opener. I suppose another trip is in order.

21 days and counting. Not that the one who is moving out is prioritizing packing, asking for stuff he will need or any sort of planning. He skips through the days like normal. School, friends, a little work. For him it is like nothing has changed yet. It must be nice to think like that. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but adulting is not as easy as it seems.

I can hardly remember what it was like to move out of my parents home for the first time. Yes, I was back after a year for a few months before I launched for the final time. Yet, that first place was the real thing. Learning how to live with someone who is not in your family is a big life lesson. Sharing was not something I was inherently good at. After decades, I like to think I’ve become a better house mate. Sadly, I don’t get to be the judge of that!

We try to convey what it will be like, sharing stories based on our experiences. How much is landing with him remains to be seen. While attending University, I remember weeks of eating soup made from chicken bouillon and the cheapest noodles you could buy in bulk because I had squandered most of my grocery allowance. He smiles and tells me not to worry.

Am I worried? Is that what my face looks like? Possibly. What I want to say is – enjoy yourself because it goes by so fast. While I don’t remember every detail of being his age, it doesn’t really seem like it was so long ago. Presently, I don’t feel like the person who looks back at me in the mirror. My reflection looks like a completely different human.

It is not a bad thing to become older and wiser. Luckily, I feel those two traits are amplifying in tandem. The more years that go by the smarter I feel. I work at it. There is no magic knowledge that just appears at a certain age. Even though it might seem I should have the answer, I still question myself. I curiously look for what others have learned on the path in front of me.

To that point, if you have not read about Marie Kondo’s methods I strongly encourage picking up her first book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘. Follow her instructions to the letter and you will experience a life changing effect. Except for those who are already minimalists, everyone has too much stuff. Before leaving for our family around the world trip, we downsized so many items. Yet, today I’m able to go through the house and gather enough stuff to launch my son without effecting our ability to live well. Possibly I have not learned everything I need to on this topic.

Yet the latest advise from Marie Kondo is sitting on my desk, waiting to be studied. ‘Joy at Work‘, is a topic near and dear to my heart since I spend more waking hours at work than I do in my house. (I’m lucky enough to have a home office which is a separate space in the backyard). I’m very eager to see what kind of magic Marie Kondo can help me create in my professional life!

Until I manage to read the book and apply her methods, I’ll continue to work through the categories of my house once more. Keeping only the things that spark joy for me and letting my son take his pick of the rest. What I know for sure is that possessions are heavy. Putting down the weight of them leaves a horizon to learn and grow into. That might be wisdom from being my age, or just common sense. Maybe a mix of both.

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