It seems as if we spend the first part of our lives collecting things...

...possessions, accolades, and general baggage...

...and at some point we learn that all this stuff doesn't really make that much difference in our happiness and wellbeing.

And then we spend the last part of our lives trying to get out from under it all...

...and maybe patch up our damaged health and relationships that we sacrificed in getting all this stuff.

I've always been slow catching onto these things...until I was forced to confront them.

Like now. 

I had to get rid of almost everything to fit into this trailer (with the ocean view).

I carried stuff around for years like some bag lady with an overstuffed shopping cart.

Moved it from place to place...from home to home...

...50 years of junk I figured I just had to keep for some reason.

Before I retired to this trailer (with the ocean view), I had a string of garage sales...

...followed by a few trips to thrift shop collection bins.

Had hundreds of books...

...only kept a few.

Now I don't miss any of it. Can't even remember what most of it was.

In the process of getting rid of stuff I think I learned something...

...the more you unburden your life with baggage of one kind or another...

... the easier things are apt to go in your life.

Retirement definitely forced me to reevaluate things.

First, my income was cut in half. (Financially, I didn't plan ahead all that much)...

...which first meant I had to find a cheap place to live.

So I found this old trailer (with the ocean view) that most people wouldn't want...

...not too far from an abandoned motel that momentarily flourished a decade ago when tourists frequented these parts.

Moving here meant I didn't have a lot of expenses associated with the house I had been living in for 12 years...

...and wouldn't pay off for another 12.

Trading down to a much older and smaller car meant that I saved on car payments, insurance, gas, etc.

I figured giving all this stuff up would be a major sacrifice.

It wasn't.

Now about all I have to worry about is food, electricity, medical insurance, and the phone bill.

I did have to dip into my reserve funds to take my mangy old cat to the vet the other day. Had some stuff down in her ears that she got from the weeds around here.

Other than that she's pretty low maintenance. She eats dry cat food...and mice.

And we need each other.

They say retirement can be the pits.

Maybe; but I've learned a lot of stuff that I should have learned a long time ago.

For starters I should have prioritized things in my life...eliminated all those non-essentials...made my life simple.

I would have had a lot more time, energy and money for the important stuff.

Calling someone simple is considered an insult.

Ever look up that word?

Among other things it means without ostentation, guile, affectation, or deceit; unpretending, innocent and natural.

And we might add, "happy."