As with all things in life, things change. Your passions wax and wane, your circumstances go from positive to negative and vice-versa. What lights one’s particular fire can be totally different in just a short time. For me, what is coming is something that has been many years in the making.
I have long been something of a materialist. I’m not a hoarder, but I typically don’t get rid of things and tend to fill whatever spaces I have available to me. This can be seen in the workshop and my home. I have more tools than really efficiently fit in my space. I have more video games than I will ever play, and have computer parts that are years obsolete. I have lamented my lack of space in both areas while continuing to pile up physical things.
I started to have thoughts that this might not be a sustainable path when we went to London and Paris in 2019. We spent almost two weeks in much smaller spaces, however we did spent quite a bit of time outside of the apartments in a wider world. A return trip to London and Edinburgh earlier this month has really set up the concept that I want to do a few things with my life as it pertains to sights and experiences on these two trips.
One, I think I have too much stuff, too much clutter, and would love to live in a bit smaller space that fits our future needs better. Or, stay in a similar size space and have plenty of room for kids to return on visits when they move out.
Two, I really want to live in Europe, possibly for the rest of my life.
Obviously, the first one is way easier to do than the second one, but also the first one would be a prerequisite to the second. Housing costs are significantly higher on the places we would want to be, and the salaries a lot less. It’s not an idea situation, even with the fact that one or both of us would qualify to emigrate with our professions.
One of the aspects of downsizing, at least in some part, is that it opens up more options for us in the future. Both of us want a better quality of life in our immediate surroundings, such as the ability to walk to destinations more, and be less reliant on vehicles to do absolutely everything.
So, what does that mean for the 144 Workshop? I am not giving up on woodworking in the immediate future, but I am reevaluating what I have, and what I want to do. Soon, I will be selling my lathe and turning tools. I never turn anything, and if for some reason I want to in the future, I would buy a smaller unit. This seems like a smart decision. I also will probably sell some of my accessory tools, such as the second oscillating sander, the corded drill I have, etc. I don’t really need duplicates, especially if selling the tool will make a difference in the space available or go toward other funds. As long as we have this house, I won’t give up the entirety of my arsenal. However, should we decide to move into an apartment or a townhouse, wherever that may be, the likelihood is strong that I will retire in some form.
This website will transition back to a free hosting site in 2023, when this hosting package ends. I don’t need to be spending money on my own site when I don’t have any plans to sell furniture, or invent cool things.
As for non-shop related stuff, I have already started a bit of the downsizing process inside the house. I recently donated quite a bit of clothes I had no use for or didn’t fit into the way I want. I am likely to start selling some of my video game collection, starting with duplicate titles I have. This will reduce some of my physical footprint as well as add some funds back to future plans. I have changed some of my work processes, switching from Windows to Mac. I got a couple good deals on some refurbished items, allowing me to reduce my energy usage, and be more mobile should my circumstances dictate. I have redesigned my dream office to fit in a smaller space, as I realized my 43″ TV that serves as a monitor should easily also work as the actual TV when needed. Put a couch behind where I sit now, and it’s an instant change of pace. This would allow me to move into another room easily should I need to.
Next up is starting to cull down the excess tech parts and accessories I have that I will never use again. Meaning, as soon as I get rid of it I will, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I have pretty much stopped buying trinkets and shelf decorations like LEGO. I’m not getting rid of any at this point, but I’m not adding. Some of these boxes and stuff I’ve kept will be going, like old tech stuff. I wonder if people still buy old Apple boxes?
Basically, I’m asking myself if these things make me happy, or can I use my money and time to get myself to a better state of living. I’m fine with digital copies of games now, where I was so adamant to have physical copies of things. I’m fine with not having every single mini console hooked up at the same time, allowing me to better cable manage my desk. Last year we gave away a good bit of our CDs, and I’ve largely stopped buying DVDs/Blu-rays.
Through all of this, even if our circumstances in our lives don’t change, perhaps I can use this time to declutter our lives, have more money to do things vs have things, and improve our quality of life where we have the ability to.