Today I want to recommend a book for those who might be thinking about downsizing to smaller quarters or to a simpler life (could that be you?), to those who eventually will (but are afraid of thinking about it), and to the cadre of helpers and adult children who want to help (but have no idea how to support them in that transition and may be blind to the actual help and support they might most need.).
The book,'The Upside of Downsizing: Getting to Enough", by Dr. Sara Hart, captures the emotional journey of one of the most significant life transitions people will make, that of downsizing perhaps from one's own home to a smaller place or a retirement home.
Sara, in her characteristic way, is honest, funny, wise, and totally unvarnished about her ordeal. I recognize her voice in her writing because she's my friend. She's the owner and president of Hartcom, a consulting/training firm in the Bay Area, and a vivant and dynamic women engaged in so many things... but when I first met Sara a year or so ago, she was going through the trauma of downsizing to a new place. She said passionately then that she was going to write a book -- that the experience was that important -- that she had to be the voice for those who would go through this. I didn't realize until I saw it on Amazon last month that she really did it.
I'm not even thinking about downsizing yet, but when I read the book, I found her experience, advice, and insights helpful to me in identifying and articulating the challenges I was experiencing elsewhere in my life. It was as if she was speaking to me through the metaphor of the house as "self", and the downsizing experience as metaphor for shedding away worldly matters so that we can better know who we are at our core.
Her book is not about the "how to" - the mechanics of sorting, cleaning, and decluttering. It's an honest look at the emotional upheaval of downsizing and parting with a lifetime of accumulated things that represent so much and mean so much as we work to downsize and simplify life - and coming out knowing ourselves better..
As Sara says,"So, no matter how long we’ve been someplace or what kind of impact we’ve made, our “wake” will close fairly quickly, and those left behind will get on with whatever happens in that place next. That may feel sad, and it’s just the way it is. What that realization underscores for me is how important how we live each day is. And that is just as true in our new place as it was in our old one."
That is what I believe. Wherever you are, how you live today matters... that's timeless.
Thoughts for creating success in the second half of life.