Trading In

Some of my treasures… Art Deco glass horse heads and handpainted bowl, chest of drawers, lamp glass…

I’m preparing for my big move to Scotland and my subsequent years pursuing my PhD …where, I don’t know.

So I’m selling off my business, which I created and built up for well over a decade, and most of my belongings. At first, I’ve felt no pangs. I’ve been yearning for a big change and the freedom to move where my interests, passions, and opportunities take me, and owning a home based business with inventory makes that very difficult. Though I’ve enjoyed the work, it’s time for all that stuff to go. But as I dig deeper, I’m uncovering the treasures and mementos I’ve packed away from my whole life thus far, and my heart feels little stabs now and again, sometimes of joy, sometimes of nostalgia, sometimes of parting-pains.

There are some things that will remain packed away and stored at my sister’s house (thanks, Bonnie and Jasen!) for me to retrieve when I’ve settled down again. My inked and quilted artworks, mementos, photos, most beloved fabrics, my first and favorite clothing designs, my sewing machines, and so on. But most of my belongings other than my clothes, shoes, and personal needs will all go.

But then I think of what I’ll gain from shedding all this stuff: the public goods the world has to offer. For this first year alone, the treasures in Edinburgh’s wonderful museums and great libraries (all free to the public!), the architecture, the rich history, the beautiful views on the old streets and beautiful parks, will all belong to me too. And so on throughout all of the places my endeavors and travels will take me in the upcoming years, as I’ll be light, mobile, freed from the burdens of ownership.

And when I think of what I’m trading in all my little treasures for, I think I’m getting the far better part of the deal.

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