September 20, 2012 in Simple Stories
Thanks so much to Pamela for sharing her story! I love her Gifts of Experience. Gifts and minimalism are a challenge and often how it is handled can cause bitter feelings. This is how she handled it for ‘the best of both worlds’. The following is a guest post by Pamela.
My downsizing journey began five years ago, but at times I feel like I’m just getting started. As a former pack-rat and collector of all things eBay, my path to simplifying has been a long and winding path from my closet to the local Goodwill. Trust me, it’s only in the past 6 months that have I been able to see empty area in my junk drawer.
I’ve approached downsizing from many angles, but the “don’t bring anything into the house” method seems to work the best for me. It’s the plan that has been helping me work through my unhealthy stockpile of Bath and Body Works Lotion.
When my last birthday began to loom on the horizon and I knew I needed a plan. If I was going to succeed at this downsizing thing and stop bringing new things into the house, I wanted to enjoy my special day with NO new things.
First I just told my family that I really didn’t want to have any more things – whenever anyone would ask, I would say that I really didn’t want anything at all.
However, my sweet family didn’t like my no-gifts idea. They knew I had been downsizing my possessions, but my family still wanted to show they cared about my birthday. In other words, they knew that Bath and Body Works had some new lotions that I didn’t have in my stockpile.
So I hatched a new plan.
Whenever anyone asked, I would tell them I was interested in Gifts of Experiences. Instead of things for my birthday, I wanted experiences that I could enjoy alone or with my family.
My birthday was last month and my plan was a success. I was showered with Gifts of Experiences:
- From my husband, I was given an afternoon off to enjoy the local art museum without the kids.
- My sister gave me with tickets to the symphony.
- My father knew I would like tickets to see a special science museum exhibit.
- My family spent an enjoyable evening with my aunt viewing classic cars.
The only physical gift I received was a set of fine lotions (of course) however I have been enjoying them each day and will soon be finished with the set.
My birthday was entirely different this year, one that I will treasure and remember well. As I continue to downsize and live a simple life, I hope I can always remember to cherish my Gifts of Experiences.
Pamela has visited 41 states and 16 countries and now calls the beautiful Pacific Northwest home. You can find her writing about books, homeschooling teens and her terrible cooking on her blog at I Read. Do You?. You can also follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IReadDoYou and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/ireaddoyou/ .