Downsizing. Or as author Akiko Busch puts it, the art of shedding possessions. It’s a task that many baby boomers face. But where to start, and what to choose? For boomers, it’s not so easy. On the website of our friends at PBS, NextAvenue.org, Busch explains that getting rid of things involves careful deliberation along with emotional insight.
Do you realize, there is no precise terminology for the process of what we generally refer to as “downsizing?” And we could really use one. Because when it comes to the art of selection, I find myself more interested in what to give up than what to collect.
Maybe it just has to do with the natural balance of things. After spending much of my adult life bringing things into the house, I am now more preoccupied with getting them out. I am not alone. There are many of us who are passionate not about taking possession but rather about relinquishing it. And surely the latter is more difficult.
Thoreau knew something about this, noting in his chapter on “Economy” in Walden, “I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of.”