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Lately, I’ve been cleaning out my mother’s storage units. Longer story here but after she passed it’s been a slog to go through and “let go of” her and the things that hold memories.

This month I’m selling off some of it. I’m being particular of who I sell to (I really want her memory to breathe life into some of the families that need her beautiful belongings) and most of it I’m selling pretty cheap. It’s been healing. Each person or family has been so excited. And it’s making me happy to let it go. I keep getting texts saying how perfect it fits or that the kids loved it…etc.

recycling the love! I know my mom would love helping others have special items for their families-she was generous and loved people.

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A wonderful thought about your mother's belongings breathing life into a new family. A recycling of love!

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That’s wonderful that you’re parting with her belongings so intentionally and that those receiving it are so appreciative.

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Thank you! It’s been both hard and healing.

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Yes, I'm so impressed that you're taking such care. That's love.

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So beautiful, Jeneane. Thank you for sharing this - it will stay with me.

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Wow-that means so much, Dana. Thank you.

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Jun 22·edited Jun 22Liked by Sarah Fay

When I need to let go of something I love, I picture the person finding it in a thrift shop or garage sale (or FB Marketplace) and think to themselves, "Score!" I especially think of people who could never afford something if they didn't find my "treasure." Recently, after trying unsuccessfully (several times) to sell my Spode "Blue Italian" set for half of the price listed on the Spode website, I let it go (service for 8) for $200. The woman who answered the ad had always wanted these dishes and thought she could never "in a million years" afford them. The look on her face when she picked them up took out "most" of the sting of that transaction. LOL Recently I had to think of some of my "art supplies." I went through a stint of loving to paint furniture and had "all the things," thinking I could sell my pieces. I ended up moving to an area so rural that shipping was impossible and the hours it took me to lovingly restore and decorate pieces were never rewarded by buyers willing to pay. I put an ad and gave it all away...at least $1000 worth of supplies. The people were so excited about it that they made it easy to let it go. That's what I think of...the people who are so excited to get free or bargains.

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That's beautiful! I love the look on that woman's face. I can picture it. That excitement and joy over something we're parting with.

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Most of the things I've loved have been lost or taken from me, so I do my best now to not form attachment to things. I have pictures and maybe a handful of items that I have kept from my childhood, but anything else I have now is just stuff.

I used to hold onto everything in my youth, but once the things I loved the absolute most were taken away and destroyed.. I decided it wasn't worth the heartbreak to get attached to anything again. Anything I give away now, I do so freely without worrying about it or feeling one way or another. I may have a memory or two attached to things, but it's not enough for me to say I love the thing.

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I'm sorry it came from a difficult place but what freedom you have!

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Thank you Sarah! That's how I feel about it too - free ❤️

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Jun 22·edited Jun 22Liked by Sarah Fay

I'm letting go of the things that don't support my well-being and adding more of the things that add aliveness and joy. None of this pertains to material things. I'm not really into having "stuff." I live a somewhat spare existence as far as possessions are concerned. Thanks for asking the question. It's a good one!

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You are so full of aliveness and joy, Nan! Even just via Zoom.

I'm with you: not stuff so much as me trying to heal my mother.

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Oof. I feel this one.

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Oh, Sarah! We should talk about the mother thing. Because me too!

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Yes!

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Beautiful, Nan. And that aliveness and joy comes through in your writing!

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I’m letting all my subscriptions expire: Netflix, newspapers, Spotify… I feel I need a mental cleanse to reboot and figure out what is important to take up in my brain

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Powerful message!

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I just did this! I never really got into reading the news, but I recently stopped streaming. I found that I was watching garbage (often violent) I didn't care about. What's strange is how little I think of it.

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Jun 24Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

So you are not mad that I unsubscribed from your other Stack just so it wouldn’t auto renew? I am letting go of a well-paying job I loved until I didn’t, in favor of a passion job (with nail-biting margins). I hope to be able to let go but also hold on? Here too, for strategies!

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Not at all! We all go in and out of subscriptions. You stayed on as a free subscriber, yes? I give a ton away for free.

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Jun 25Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Oooh I’m so inspired to do this now. Thank you!

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Jun 25Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Really! I'm so thrilled. It's hard. Had an hour long conversation with my son on why, even thought I love music, I'm cancelling our family plan to Spotify. I may renew at some point but there's so much noise in our lives. So glad you are trying this.

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I give myself time to get used to the idea and then I let go with a great deal of appreciation for what *it* brought to my life. For everything there is a season and I let it go. My house that my husband designed and we built was the biggie so far. I couldn’t have imagine not being in that house and now I’m not, but I love where I live now, on the ocean, and haven’t regretted decision to sell. But it took me at least a year or more of getting used to the idea in my brain before we made the leap.

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Wow! That's a big letting go.

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Oliver! I'm so sorry, Dee. What a beautiful post. It moved me to tears.

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Thank you Sarah. 🙏

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Is Substack algorithm free? Forgive my ignorance. I'm letting go of accumulated paperwork in boxes and storage. Time to recycle.

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The older I get the easier it becomes simply because I have no interest in owning 'things'. This month I tossed a box that was in the garage that I haven't opened for two years. If I haven't opened it, it can't be that important to my life.

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I love that. I know someone whose email inbox filled with 300 messages she couldn't get to, so she just deleted them all, thinking 'Well, they'll email again if it's that important.'

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And she’s right. Have done the same.

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I gave away a lot of stuff through the BuyNothing Project on Facebook. I became an admin for the group, had to vet new applicants through Messenger. I got hacked, badly, and left the group. I now donate - to nonprofits, as much as possible - but it's slow going. So much stuff! I feel wary of garage sales, and they're a lot of work. Blowtorch, maybe?

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Blowtorch. Definitely.

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Less of Substack. so much less that I may have missed the Growth Cohort Zoom meeting today but that's due to a new computer. still being updated and configured and my lack of technical expertise/

Regardless, I am more picky and choosy about who I'm reading and following and time spent commenting and responding to comments. Choices and decisions resulting in this:

https://garygruber.com/less-is-more/. I like having more time and fewer responsibilities/

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Gary! I am getting to your email. We missed you today, but I'll be sending out the replay and a summary.

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Thanks, Sarah. You're the best and I just gave your name as a reference to someone here feeling overwhelmed with too much Substack....is that Overstacked? If we can restack we can surely unstack the overstack. I will listen to the replay and hopefully e-see you next month with the Cohort.

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Absolutely! Overstacked. Brilliant.

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Jun 23·edited Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Had to let go of plans and control: Two weeks prior to our scheduled move to Cambodia - after months of deliberating over every detail and especially how to get our cats to Southeast Asia without putting them in the plane’s cargo hold or subjecting them to quarantine - our final flight from South Korea to Cambodia was canceled.

We were informed by email. There was no explanation. The flight was still accepting reservations so we think it was us? Problem is, that was the only way into Cambodia with cats in the cabin and which would get us there when the animal inspection section of customs was open. So.

We had two weeks to sort out a new travel plan and life plan. All while I was having the first visit with my parents in 10 years. Did I mention I’m a control freak obsessed with predictability and routine?

But I’m writing this from Thailand...where my Siamese cats are thriving. Everyone who sees them gushes over them, bows to them, treats them like royalty. ❤️

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author

So amazing! Wow. I want pictures!

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Oh wow… making plans and holding them lightly rather than tightly . Hard to do.

You had me at Siamese cats. 👑

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Yes! Holding lightly...

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

I'm moving from Beijing to Bali with my husband and two kids in six days (eek!) and at the moment I'm surrounded by should-it-stay-or-should-it-go-now boxes. Eight huge boxes are going to charity so far! It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in three years. I'll be taking a more minimalist approach in our new home, and mostly buying from charity shops. The poor planet, bowing under the weight of all of our brief wishes. 😳

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author

So wise.

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

I give them away to friends. Since I'm semi-nomadic (never living in the same place for more than 2.5 years), this is how I keep belongings pared down.

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author

Love that!

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Jun 23Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

This is apt as I just finished a move and realized how much stuff I have... It all fits in one room, but to me it felt like too many trips/suitcases. I have some hoarders on my mom's side so I gotta be careful of that tendency...

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The moving does it.

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Jun 25Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

I let go of things I love by giving them away, even if I could sell them for some cash. There’s just something about giving someone something without receiving anything in return... and it’s so fun to do with my kids. When they outgrow toys and clothes, we give them away on Facebook to families with younger kids. Recently, a mom sent me a photo of her daughter wearing my daughter’s old roller skates, and the look on that little girl’s face, plus the look on my daughter’s face when I showed her the photo, reaffirmed why we do this. It’s powerful and beautiful and magical.

What’s next to let go of and give away? Some furniture that I’ve been debating selling. Thank you for the reminder that I’ll be okay without it or the money I could make from selling it.

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author

That is so sweet!

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Jun 29·edited Jun 29Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Oh, this speaks directly to the words I published last Sunday, Sarah. We've just embarked on a seven week long tour of northern Europe in our motorhome and the clear-out for the housesitters who are watching the animals was WILD. Wild because I couldn't throw anything away. Things like the kids' milk teeth; dad's eye mask; a 9 year old goose egg in the fridge... Talismen, all. Maybe I'll feel differently about them when I get back?!

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author

That's genius! the 9-year-old-goose-egg must stay. Must.

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