The times, they are a changin'. I put my zip code into a real estate tracking site a couple of days ago and found out there are 463 homes listed. Of those, 411 are bank owned. What a wild ride it was, eh? All those credit cards, the big waferboard houses with prestigious price tags, garages full of toys and tools, all those fabulous funds from refinancing that made so much consuming possible. The rules have now shifted though, right in the middle of the game and with them large numbers of the middle class have slid to the level of working poor. It is crushingly sad for many. I've thought a lot about it and reexamined my relationship with money and with work and with security. The choice for me is really pretty clear cut; I can keep all I have if I continue to work very hard or I can make do with very little and spend my time living. It is easy to make a case for either choice; the worry I feel about my kids being cast adrift without our home as a base is on one side of the equation and freedom from the stresses and worries inherent in maintaining that home is on the other. In the end I have to believe that the right choice is the one that leaves me in the greatest position of strength. Not financial strength but real, internal, emotional, physical strength. The less I have to maintain, the less stuff I have, the more of myself there is to give.
Today I let go of:
1. A small framed picture of a saguaro cactus
2. Another bag of markers
3. A silver napkin ring
4. A three hole paper punch
5. A phone line splitter and phone cord