The decision to downsize is often made along with another difficult life transition, such as divorce, death of a spouse or kids moving out. A life transition is always painful and difficult, resulting in a plethora of complex emotions. Downsizing highlights the reasons for the transition, making it even harder.
I'm currently in the middle of moving house. I've moved six times in eight years and, people, it never gets easier. There is something about putting all of your earthly possessions into boxes that is spiritually draining. And don't get me started on the soul-destroying nature of switching over one's internet.
When I tell people about picking up my life and moving abroad permanently I am often greeted with a similar response: something along the lines of "you're so brave" or "I could never do that." While leaving Canada, where I was born and raised, and moving to England on my own was certainly a daunting prospect, I don't consider myself brave.
You might be surprised to learn that you don't just need to go to the gym or bundle up for a power walk to stay fit. Your daily chores can help burn calories and can add up to a personal fitness routine as well. There is a reason they call it housework. You can burn some serious calories during a marathon cleaning session.
I know the uncertainty and pain of saying goodbye, not knowing when or if you will ever see your home and friends again. But I don't know what it feels like to flee with just the clothes on your back and a small bag of essentials. As hard as moving is, it is nothing compared to the trauma and constant upheaval of living as a refugee.
Once the wheels were in motion to sell our house, I started to reflect on the idea of change and what that would mean for us. I'd have to quit the job that I loved, working in the culturally rich Winnipeg arts community and vacate the life that I set up for myself since moving to Winnipeg from Toronto.
Have you ever noticed that history has a way of repeating itself, especially if you haven't paid attention and learned the lesson the first time around? I say this because I have just realized that I am facing the same situation I first dealt with when I was 14. A couple of months ago we moved full time to our farm, just an hour from where we used to live. Now, I can see that I need to focus my energies on making new friends.