Here is most of an e-mail letter I sent to a friend early this morning who is undergoing similar transitions in his life. I was discussing my current efforts at down-sizing and making my transition.
Good Morning, Art --
I'm glad Art (my friend, Art’s, son) can put some of that stuff (older computer equipment) to use. I hated to have to take it to the dump if there was a way to see it still provide some usefulness to someone. I just don't have the time to do any of that stuff myself. I've reached a point and an age where I've finally come to realize I'm not "Superman" and I can't do it all. And even more importantly, I don't want to do it all anymore. I'm going through some kind of metamorphosis . . . transforming to a new person, a sort of rebirth, if you will.
I love seeing the exuberance of youth, I remember myself there. There was nothing that could stop me or daunt my enthusiasm and ambition. Boy, it's a good thing that we don't have all that much wisdom (the wisdom of living and experience) when we're at a younger age or our society would never progress. That's not to say that I don't still have ambition, ideals, dreams, etc. - it just means that I've tempered them and realize that there are very few people who actually have what it takes to be a Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, Sam Walton, etc. Each of us, in our own ways, are extraordinary people, but few are the super extraordinary and many (maybe most) become complacent fairly young.
So, as I'm going through this metamorphosis, I'm really experiencing a very major introspective reevaluation and restructuring of every aspect of my existence - mental, physical, spiritual, fiscal, social and so on. WHO am I NOW? What can I DO REALISTICALLY in the future, based on who I've been in the past and what I've done in the past. And, maybe a lot more selfishly, HOW do I WANT to live my life in the future for MYSELF. I still have a very strong drive to want to do things that positively impact and make other people's live better - but, I, much more significantly then ever before, want to smell the roses, experience the beauty and wonder of the world around me and gain personal fulfillment and happiness. I think this is not only based on my own life experiences, but has been significantly impacted by my associations with people like Charlie, Dave and some others - in different stations in life - and, without question, even my association with you. You are younger then me, but old enough to know better - and you inspire me with your thoughts and ideas about the present and the future for business and society. While you and I are both being challenged - I feel a strong camaraderie and I hope I can contribute to you as you contribute to me.
Well, enough philosophical stuff. I'm glad Art enjoyed getting the goods - it really helped me, too. At one time I would have sat there counting pennies and nickels to see how much I had just lost - this time, it was a feeling of lightness - to me that stuff had become anchors pulling me down and to Art it is opportunity - same stuff. I felt lighter and better for seeing it go and knowing that he can do something useful with it.
As far as you still working! I understand. That's part of my metamorphosis, too. I'm gaining so much new insight into my philosophy of living and working free through this experience. When I get out of this house, it will be the first time in my adult life that I will not have a monthly rent or mortgage payment, utility bills, household insurance premiums, a wired telephone line (or three or five), lawn maintenance expenses, pest control, major household cleaning/maintenance, etc., etc. Some people just can't imagine ever being without a home and all these accompanying expenses - to me - it is FREEDOM. Of course, when I get into a motor coach, I'll regain certain of these expenses, BUT I'll still be freer then I've ever been before.
FINALLY, letting go of all of the old NSA stuff, old records from my parents record cabinet, old equipment, old clothes, etc. has taken a lot of soul searching and created a lot of stress and distraction for me. But, now I've made the commitment and I'm burning the bridges. There is very little in the way of physical stuff in my life right now that I actually NEED. Making this determination is changing how I look at "work" and how I can encompass work and living into a more symbiotic and harmonious way. I HAVE to start doing some "living and working free" seminars and workshops, do some serious writing, create some audios, etc. This seems to be the "ministry" if you will, the life's work that I may have been searching for (and still am) and working towards - thus, my term, metamorphosis. I'm just not sure how to go about it all. But, as I eliminate all the dead weight, it will open the doors I need to go through. I hope the same will happen for you. You have obligations, responsibilities, in some cases, anchors, at your age that I have already shed through experiences, age and choices - mostly very difficult. Your path will be different then mine and, I hope, at least a little less tumultuous. But, we'll both get THERE - wherever THERE is.
Ref the NSA stuff. Hey, as I looked at a lot of this stuff, I realized that I will never have time nor interest in listening or using it again. So, it either has to go to the dump and become so much more landfill - or it can go, as did the computer gear yesterday, to others who can gain some positive impact from it, ultimately improving their own lot in life and hopefully, making a positive impact in a very shaky and negative world. But, I hope it will be without greed and personal gain at the expense of others. I'm sick of the attitudes in this country - it's money, money, money - accumulate it, acquire it, horde it and buy stuff that ultimately will have little residual value - even psychically. But, recycling is good and I hope, however it is dispersed, it is useful to whoever ever receives it.
Well, time for me to get going here again. I really hate doing this "Moving Sale" stuff - but at the end of the day, tired, beat up, dirty - I feel better because there is less stuff here. So, hopefully all this really heavy stuff will be gone. Oh yeah, and I'd like to see the 18 or 20 cartons of books (lost count) gone, too. They will probably end up at one or more used bookstores and maybe a jail or two. So, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go.