Friday, May 23, 2014

Beat of Change: You Say 'Goodbye' & I Say 'Hello'

Our house of the future
Sometimes you’re so busy living life, there’s no time to reflect on it. Or blog about it. That’s been the case around here for the last three months, so it’s time to take stock.

We’ve made some decisions about our future and things are starting to happen. We realized that as we downsize, we are not quite ready to rent a house instead of owning again. We don’t need the flexibility yet: We want to keep St. Augustine as our base for a least five years. We also are not ready to go truly tiny. Our home needs room for our business and our daughter when she comes home from college. 

With that in mind, we discovered a neighborhood we had not noticed before, and it had one house for sale by owner that called our name. It is a smaller, newer version of the 1920s bungalow we live in now. We didn’t want to move until the Fall, and the homeowners didn’t either because they are building a new home. So we all got creative. We borrowed on our home, bought the house and are renting it back to the lovely couple and their two little girls.

Our house today
Over the next six months, we will continue our work of getting rid of stuff from our current house. Our daughter will leave for college, and pare down her things before she leaves. We will put our house on the market in the next few months. So we will have to live with less, which may be the only thing that will force my hand in the downsize department. Luckily, I do well under deadline.

The new place is trending tinier for us in more ways than stuff and square footage. Because it’s further from the water, it costs a lot less per square foot, and insurance is a small fraction of what we pay for our old house now. It’s more energy efficient and the upkeep will be easier and cheaper. It feels good to be buttoning things up a bit as we trend toward tiny retirement.

Housing is not the only arena that’s been in flux around here. For over 20 years, we have published, warehoused and shipped books in the disability field. Over the last few years, we’ve been converting to ebooks and on-line training. Bit by bit we downsized, reducing inventory storage units, our downtown office and shipping supplies. As we sold out of a book, rather than reprint we made the ebook version available.

The last of the shipping supplies
This week, on my daughter’s final day of high school, I shipped our last book. After two decades of shipping, and seven years of school carpooling, I wanted to do the happy dance and sing, “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks!” But my family frowns on my singing, which is fully justified, so I settled for just the happy dance. Now when we move, we won’t need a room dedicated to shipping and product storage. 

But don’t get me started on my daughter leaving for college. I’m not big on change, so it feels good to have some concrete plans. It’s a lot easier to say goodbye to what you’re used to when you can say hello to something new. 

You say "Yes", I say "No".
You say "Stop" and I say "Go, go, go".
Oh no.
You say "Goodbye" and I say "Hello, hello, hello".
I don't know why you say "Goodbye", I say "Hello, hello, hello".
I don't know why you say 
"Goodbye", I say "Hello".
Lennon-McCartney

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