Brian Gilbert - Enlightenment

2012 Recap
Posted By: Brian Gilbert on February 26, 2013

2012 is in the books. And my recap is a little late.

Our biggest accomplishment was finally getting our camper, trading in the MINI's and getting the F250 to pull our camper. On August 28th, we started our full time camper living adventure and our blog

A lot of minor accomplishments came with making the decision to move in to a camper and travel while we work. We had to minimize....big time.

Getting rid of stuff we absolutely didn't need was somewhat time consuming and nerve racking. What if I need this? I haven't used it in 6 months, but what if I need it down the road. A lot of conversations with myself and realizing that if I haven't used something in a few short months, chances are it's not going to be used or would be rarely used in the future. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hoarder by any means, but money spent on an item is money spent. I don't want to spend that money again on the same item if I'm going to use it.

I also had to consider how much space these items I wanted to keep were going to take up. Moving into a camper, we weren't going to have a lot of room.

I would start with one pile of things and separate that out into two piles. Stuff to definitely get rid of and questionable stuff.

We then asked if we should have a yard sale or donate. I'm big on pets and big on donating so we decided to donate. We have a friend who runs a non kill shelter and donated the stuff to her so she could sell it and raise money for her animal shelter. We also have a friend whose family has hit hard times so we gave some stuff to her as well.

Once the first pile was gone, it was a liberating feeling. The questionable pile then became mostly donations. The next thing you know, more and more stuff was being put in the donation pile. These items were all sellable and the money earned could be put to better use than this stuff just collecting dust.

After the dust settled and we looked around, we kept family heirlooms, memorabilia, some clothes, and other necessities. That's it. All of the things we got rid of were just things. The stuff you buy because you think it'll have a purpose sitting on a shelf or a counter, when in actuality, it really isn't needed.

Other than the family heirlooms and memorabilia, we probably own 500lbs (if that) of clothes, toiletries, laptops, necessary paperwork (house documents, camper documents, etc.) and small kitchen appliances. This experience made me realize even more that you just don't need a lot of 'stuff'.

We traveled to Boca Raton, FL a couple of times for Charlie's job. We went to NYC for my job. We said goodbye to our basset hound, Milo, on our 8th anniversary. We became landlords for the first time. We spent some time with friends in Tampa while in FL.

Facebook has been a wonderful tool for getting in touch with old friends. I got to spend time with Mr. Pat Diester, whom I hadn't seen since we were stationed together at McGuire some 20 something years ago.

During our trip to NYC I got to catch up with Bob and Andrea Callow. I was in their wedding in 1990. Even though they're friends with Charlie on Facebook, they had not yet met in person until that trip.

But most importantly, we loved, laughed, and grew together as a couple. We made memories for ourselves and with our friends.

I once heard a man say he takes Ginkgo Biloba every day, but only takes half a pill because he doesn't want to remember everything. There's a lot of things I hope I remember as I get older. Some things more, some things less. But I hope I never forget what friendship means to me and how that's shaped me over the years.

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