Big news

“I have good news and bad news” my husband texted me one afternoon while he was at work, “but I’m not going to tell you until after we go out to dinner with your family.” Yeah right, I thought. He walked in the door a few hours later with flowers in one hand and I just knew it. He got a job assignment out of state.

“You got orders, didn’t you?” I asked him point blank. A look of disbelief came over his face. “How did you know?” I told him he better tell me immediately where we would be moving, I was not going to wait a few more hours. He slowly hands me a folded piece of paper and it confirmed what I had already known in my heart: we were moving to England.

Excitement washed over me and I just smiled. I knew it.

Then my brain goes into hyperdrive – we have to sell the house, we have to sell the cars, we have to get rid of more stuff.

The past six months to a year I had been very successful in donating and selling items but I knew with definitive plans to move, it was crunch time. Time to make tough decisions and say goodbye to things that would not be joining us on our over the pond move.  Time for no more excuses and to put into practice what I had been reading about and partially following for the past eight years. england-big-ben-palace-of-westminster-1024x460-1

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Visualizations and goals…

Since first stumbling upon minimalism back in 2008, I have been consciously trying to aspire to this lifestyle – simple, less stuff, focus on experiences instead of things. I am never one to donate, sell, giveaway items that no longer bring me joy or make me happy.

When I first met my husband, he had a one bedroom apartment with a TV sitting on the floor, couch, desk, bed, side table, and of course a sign of a true bachelor – plastic drawers. He embodied the ideal of minimalism. I wish I could say I’m just like him, but I still struggle with getting rid of all the things, but I’m working on it.

How does wanting to move to England coincide with minimalism? I knew moving overseas meant getting rid of all of the unnecessary so once I became determined we would move to England, I began a major purge of items. For the past six months to a year, I have sold, donated, given away probably thousands of items – all with the mindset of, “Do I want to move this with me?” I’ve made over $1,000 in cash and hundreds of dollars in trade (for children’s clothing stores and a local sports store).

Along with purging items, I have been visualizing (bear with me, this sounds super new agey, but I’m a crunchy mama) everything about living in England. Each day, I’ve envisioned living, shopping, traveling in the area I used to live; every little detail not overlooked: what would I buy at the grocery store, the weather, shops, etc. I’ve even looked up rental properties to see where I’d want to live and I watch as much British television as possible. Seriously, when you want something so bad, you’ll do whatever you can to get there and visualization has been the key to getting me to my goal.  And guess what? It worked.

An obsession…

“I can’t watch House Hunters International with you anymore.” My husband said to me one night. “You just get too angry watching all of these people move overseas and you’re not.”  He was right, you know. I was one of the lucky ones many years ago. When I was the tender age of 19 and married just three days (to my now ex-husband), I moved to England for his job. It was a love/hate relationship (more love than hate) for six years and I thought I was ready to move back to the States. Boy, was I wrong.

Sure, the mountains and dry weather of Arizona allured me, it was love at first sight. Wal-Mart! Target! Restaurants! Places that don’t close at 4pm on a Sunday! It was incredible. I was happy to be “home.” But then…I started missing England. The quiet, slow-paced lifestyle to what I had become accustomed. The crappy roads and crappy weather. The people. The markets. Europe. England was suddenly “home” and I felt as though a piece of my heart had been left when I moved and I was desperate to get back.

For the next almost 10 years I have researched dozens of ways to get over there from jobs to ancestry (totally not kidding – my mom could become a citizen due to her grandfather being born in Wales, but me…nope) and nothing short of the winning the lottery would get me back there, I thought…but I did not give up hope.  I knew someday I would be back. I just knew it.