When it’s time to make your retirement move, you must answer the question: Am I a pack rat or a minimalist?
I am not talking about the pack rats featured on those TV shows. You know, the ones who keep old newspapers piled to the ceiling in every room of their house. These are pack rats gone wild. I mean we normal pack rats who save stuff in the fervent hope that it will be useful someday.
The stuff we save is our hope for the future. Yes, I will exercise every day with the Lean Leg Machine…in the future. Yes, I will save these pants for when my waist returns to a size 36…in the future. Yes, I will call this old friend’s phone number for a long chat…in the future.
Or am I just lazy? To make a keep or dump decision I would have to examine the item, think about its actual utility, then make a decision. On the other hand, if I just save it, I don’t have to make a decision. Life is so much easier when you don’t have to make decisions.
For the minimalist, it all seems so easy. Examine. Decide. Move on. The mind is free. The path is clear.
But for a pack rat, the path is not so obvious. We know the twists and turns of life. The ruts in the road. The bandits in the bushes. Maybe we hope the stuff we keep will protect us from the uncertainties on life’s road.
Or maybe we are clinging to the belief that if this item is here, we, too, will be…in the future.