Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dispossessed


The closing on the sale of our house has happened. We have now officially cut our property ties. We have a few things in storage but the stuff we use routinely fits into the back of our truck. We live now on four wheels.

Our march towards this freedom began about a decade ago when we first visited Guatemala. On this trip we saw people filled with life, enjoying family and friends, and doing it with very few belongings. We learned that things are not what's important.

Yet, we are constantly stuck with getting and having things - houses, cars, even to some extent a job/career is a thing. All these things are part of the trap.

Once you start owning you need a job to support them. Once you have a job, you need things to enable it. We become trapped in this cycle and most of us find no way out. With retirement comes escape.

We have no jobs and now, no house. Our obligations are now where they belong - to our family. This is where true joy resides.

In the song, Me and Bobby McGee, we are told that freedom is having nothing left to lose. This is partially correct. It is having no thing left to lose. We are free to pursue our passion and finally get our priorities in the correct order.  Yes, we still have things. But now they are dominated by things we choose to have. Those things we must have to maintain this lifestyle are not mortgaged or require ambition to retain.

Once we pay off some bills, we will be debt free for the first time since we got married. Before the 20th century, the common idea was that you were only free if you had no boss. Those at the bottom of the social order were tightly bound and only the royalty at the top were free. This was part of the logic that taught that a proper gentleman did not have a job to encumber and bind him.

Today, this freedom comes to us as we become homeless retirees.