Insight #1: Living on a boat.
I do not live on a boat nor have any desire to. I am moving to a small flat from a big house.
When I am in need of resourceful thinking, I often turn to my friend Naama. She has a wild creativity, unbridled passion for life and shares her family name and descendancy with Einstein. She even looks like him – wild white hair flying in every direction, clear evidence of the curly synapses of her quantum mind. If anyone could help, I knew she would.
“I’m drowning and I need some tips on living on a boat” I shouted into our broken skype connection.
Being Naama, she did not ask why? (she knows I am not the boat living type).She immediately launched into all she has to offer on the subject of living on a boat, based her love and many years of sailing:
“You have to bring your life down to essentials!” she said with a smile in her voice.
- You have to clean up right away.
- You have to be able to roll your possessions up into small balls and tuck them into small berths.
- You cannot procrastinate
- And most important of all: if you have an argument, you need to resolve it immediately. There is no place to hide on a boat.
I thanked her and we hung up with no further ado. I returned to the chaos of my Cape Town house of unpack, repack and don’t-pack, and she to her small farm in the North of Israel, that overlooks the Lebanese border.
So…my packing-up mantra goes something like this: Oh great wisdom of the universe, grant me the freedom to let go of that which I no longer need; the discernment to keep only essentials; and please please – the guts to know the difference.
“Make piles not plans” the universe whispers back to me.
Pile #1 Givaways Pile#2 Throwaways Pile#3 Sellaways Pile#4 (smallest) Takeaways to new flat.
The final pile #5 is the don’t-the-F**@#$k-know-what-to-do-with-all-this-this-Shite . OK then, this is the one I’ll get to sometime in the not-sure-when, when I start my d0-not-procrastinate resolution.
“Let’s just think of this as an adventure on a boat” I told my husband (who is shoveling his way through snowy Europe on the last legs of his working trip.) “This is our new and exciting life challenge” I said with enthusiasm. He knows me. Knows how I have this penchant to throw our lives into disorder once a new idea hits. He grunts on the other end of the line, probably wondering why he ever married me after three weeks of knowing me – almost 40 years ago. We knew then that the tone of our marriage would be this mad, this spontaneous, this shut-up-and-swim – you’ll understand what’s really happening later.
It is in this mode that we rented this Cape Town flat, sight unseen, from the faraway shores of our Canadian cottage where we live in the summer months. It “felt right” to do so, since it sits directly above the flat that belongs to my parents and we dreamed of sunset walks on the promenade of Sea Point with them, of quietly sharing our evening meals with them, of morning coffee chats together. All these possibilities overrode how small, how old, how minute the flat might be, knowing the vintage of their building. My mom assured us it had a great view…so how bad could it be? We would use this as an excercise to downsize and simplify our lives. Let’s get Zen!
Here I am, mopping up the details. And sharing this experience as I launch into this new blog chapter of opening up my insights and outsights to the big wide ocean that froths just beyond my new window. This is it…I will gaze at the sea of possibility that stretches endlessly outwards, and not bother about the limitations behind me. What an exciting way to enter this new year, 2010 that is a biggie for Cape Town adn South AFrica as a whole – I can see the new soccer stadium from my balcony – oops, I mean, from the deck of my boat.