Living Without the Stuff

I miss my shower.

Trivial right?

Says you!

You, my friends, haven’t met my shower. Dependable hot water and a powerful jet. The kind of shower that you brag about and offer to house guests who reluctantly step in but then emerge smiling and shaking their head and saying “Wow! You’re right! That there is a seriously good shower!”

I love that shower. And I miss it.


This is not my shower but it is what my shower feels like.

And I miss my office too.

I love that space and the way I can write in it when the sunlight streams through the window. And the way I can hear the neighbourhood kids as they make their way home.

But that’s it. Not one thing else.

This is one of the most surprising things about being away from home for me. We live in a fairly large house and when the time came to pack it up so that we could rent it out for this yearlong trip, it took us months to get everything squared away. All of those toys and games and clothes and shoes. Trinkets from trips past, papers that seemed so important they were indexed before we left so family could find things in a pinch. Music CDs and movie DVDs. Big screens, small screens , hard drives and zip files. Big comfy couches and the chair I sat in to read.

So. Much. Stuff.

And all I miss is my shower and my office.

Backyard Hangout

my backyard hangout: miss the people but not the stuff

Makes you wonder how much of it we really need. And how much time we invest (and lose) in keeping it. And how much of it is really holding us back from living the life we want or are meant to.

There will be tough decisions to make when we get home. Do we unpack it all and settle in again or do we start by editing, paring down, living with less?  I vote for option number 2. I hope I can maintain the will to do so.

What about you? Could you live with less? Do you want to? Is there something you’d do if you didn’t have your house/your car/ that new dining room set? Let me know in the comments below.

And if you’d like to read some other bloggers take on the subject peek at these:

Windwalker Duo: Living Better With Less

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 32 comments… add one }

James Anok November 21, 2011, 10:24 AM

It’s amazing how much “stuff” can obscure what’s really important in life: the experiences that shape ourselves, out relations to others, and to the world. Having lived out of a suitcase for almost a year for work, I came to realize how little I really “needed” on a day to day basis, and how much materialism had been shaping my life. Because of this, it has become more important to me to interact with the children in my life via “experiences” rather than gifts of “things”.


Heather November 21, 2011, 10:34 PM

I totally agree with you. Christmas will be very different for my two  this year as well. I asked them to name two things they missed from home and they had a tough time. Guess all those toys won’t be unpacked when we get home. 


Lisawsdream November 21, 2011, 8:31 PM

The only thing I miss is my bath! Hubby misses his oven! But for everything that we had…nope dont miss all of that stuff! We love our simple lifestyle, and we think that is the way we will always live ;)

PS – Gosh I love that shower!


Heather November 21, 2011, 10:35 PM

:) And the more I look at that shower the more I like it too. :)


Mary November 21, 2011, 9:22 PM

Interesting perspective!  I agree that there is so little I miss about my US consumer driven life.  5 years out I think all I miss is the people, honestly!  The stuff was so in the way and I didn’t even realize it!  Here’s to keeping things simple and maybe meeting up on the road one day:)


The Nomadic Family November 22, 2011, 12:25 AM

Ok, so I miss your shower. Heavenly! Reading your post, makes me miss my shower too! What a great post. Thank you for being so honest, and inspirational.

This is my first visit here and I can’t wait to click around and read what other great things you have to teach me.

Honored to write with you,


Heather November 23, 2011, 12:33 AM

Uh oh. I think I’ve created shower envy across the web ;) Thanks for peeking around. We’ll be following your jouney too.


Marilia November 22, 2011, 9:54 AM

This is great, I miss my shower too! I miss that it was abundant water, and I could let my daughter play and waste some. Now we  use water from a well that´s often threatened to dry, so we really have to watch our water consumption. 

Truth is now I watch everything I consume very well and like you, I miss the people, but not the stuff.


Heather November 23, 2011, 12:31 AM

Oh my boys would say they miss the bathtub for sure! I sympathize!


With2kidsintow November 23, 2011, 9:54 AM

Interesting about the water consumption…we have the opposite experience while on the road.  We live in Australia where we have been in extreme water restrictions for years now, due to a long draught that has only recently ended.  As such, water wastage is a mortal SIN!  but now, in SEA, its abundant (and free )  and for the first time, we can take long showers and the kids can play in it, although we do feel guilty for wasting it.  But water play is so theraputic for them, especially in hot weather! 


Heather November 25, 2011, 7:45 PM

It’s funny how things change, isn’t it? At home bath time is routine for my boys but on the road a tub is a luxury and they treat it that way.


Diya November 22, 2011, 10:08 AM

I would love a shower that feels like that right about now!


Heather November 23, 2011, 12:28 AM

Me too! :)


Monique Rubin November 22, 2011, 2:12 PM

I’ve got a big house, and there’s a LOT of STUFF in it. I could certainly live with less. The problem I’m having is going through it all and editing. I’m working on it…


Heather November 23, 2011, 12:27 AM

I’m struggling with editing my email inbox so I know the house won’t be easy. Wish you the same luck I’m going to need!


With2kidsintow November 23, 2011, 9:49 AM

You are so right about how much ‘stuff’ we have all left behind, yet so much of it that we actually miss.  My hubby and I probably miss our bed/mattress the most, as you sometimes get what you pay for in ‘budget’ accommodation!  The kids miss having their bikes and trampoline.  But other than that, not much else, and like you, we had so much more!  Not sure if getting rid of the stuff once you get back will be the answer, but at least not adding unnecessarily to it might be more in order.


Heather November 25, 2011, 7:47 PM

We have things in storage that we haven’t opened since moving to our home almost 8 years ago. Time to get rid of them. I still remember how freeing it felt to leave home in July and be able to walk away from the stuff. I’d love to live my life with that feeling. It won’t all go but I see Kijiji and Craigslist in my future.


Rebeca November 23, 2011, 11:26 AM

I will miss my king sized bed, my family, and some of my kitchen stuff. But it will be so worth it! 


Heather November 25, 2011, 7:43 PM

So, so worth it!! Those things can always be replace and the experiences you’ll have far outweigh them.


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