I love these shoes. We have done a lot of life together. They have taken me places I never expected to go. They have also been with me faithfully through the daily grind that makes up a job on my feet. Back when I was using a pacer faithfully it was clear that I am putting in somewhere between 55-65 miles a week. Almost all of that for the past years has been done in these shoes.
Some people might have a color for every outfit. Others might have a pair for every occasion. Not me. I have a pair of sneakers for daily life, a pair of sketchers for nicer occasions, and a pair of flip flops that I will put on two or three times a year. If that. 95% of my life is worn in these sneakers and I have had the same pair for a bit over two years now. They have lived out their days. They have climbed mountains with me… but they will not cross oceans.
About a dozen years back I packed up and moved from Binghamton NY to Houston TX. In the packing I had to pair down my life to what would fit in my car. Anything I could not cram in to the trunk, the seats, or the turtle above had to go. Two years later I found myself doing the same thing when I was moving from Springfield MO up to Long Island. It was amazing how much I had somehow accumulated in the two intervening years.
This time more than a decade of accumulation has passed. This time having an entire car of packing space is a luxury I cannot afford. I have three suitcases. I have a hundred pounds. If those two guidelines are not met, something else has got to go. There are things that have just been sitting around accumulating space I won’t miss. There are other things it has been a joy to place in a new home. I have found takers for things like my tent, a space heater, coffee maker, toaster, jumper cables, a fairly large dvd collection, and more. Other things, like my worn down shoes, are only fit for the dumpster. But some things will be hard to give away. I started boxing up some of my books that will be donated to a local college. Lets just say there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What does it mean to live simply? This has always been a value in my life and I have tried my hardest to never become too attached to my “stuff”. Yet still the stuff accumulates. And still it is hard to let go. There are things I will need to buy when I get to the other side. Something to sleep on. A place to write. A new pair of shoes to do life in. Beyond that, how much “stuff” do I really need? How many of those I am going to be living for would have considered three suitcases a luxury when they were forced to pack up and move?