The Quintessential Gentleman’s Guide to Assisted Living: Part 4

Anxiety over Downsizing
Pardon My Crumbs

Anxiety and doubt roughed up my edges like a piece of burnt toast. I became impatient with myself, for good reason. During a continual loop of identical thoughts and questions, I’d temporarily have authority over my emotions, to then have them turn on me in an instant. The entire episode felt like a slow -motion action sequence, minus the action.

I had troubles with downsizing

I like to refer to this next chapter as a pain in the keister. For me, it wasn’t the physicality of downsizing that was difficult, though it did have its challenges, rather it was the emotional toll that tested me. For whatever reason, in the damp, musky corner of my internal basement, still lived the notion that I’m the same guy from 10, 20 years ago.

I battled with my ego, which was tied to my independence, family, favorite chair, the ability to shove things in a closet or garage corner and not think of ever again.


When I peeled back the delusion of being my decades younger self, vision and rational aligned. It was the experiences, and unique items that triggered those memories that I had been mourning. It wasn’t about losing the days of running through shallow creeks and catching scurrying critters with neighborhood friends, the skinned knees and bruises that piled up over long summer days, the friendships, loving relationships and exciting adventures. I experienced that, I was there. It was about relinquishing the precious collectables that helped tell my story, that frightened me.

I came to grips with it by thinking of my “stuff” this way; I didn’t partake in fun adventures and big events so that one day down the road, I could talk about it to someone. It was for the experience. So when Eden and I have a great night with friends at a community event, we don’t grab a slew of keepsakes.

We already took away from it what was important, sharing time with one another, and having a wonderful time. Still, we have our fair share of memorabilia so dear to us that parting with it would’ve taken a federal pardon.

Boxes, bins and bags

We came up with a method to get the ball rolling. In my mind, if we categorize by value, not intrinsic value, by sentimental value, we can eliminate the soppy Hallmark Movie scenario and shoot for a Storage Wars auction. We’re pretty settled with letting go of the Disney collector mug from 1982, not our 50th wedding anniversary photo album. Whatever is placed on the folding tables set up in the yard, we’ve already parted with.

We started with piles, many many piles.

Check Out the Rest of the Guide !

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 5
Garage Sale

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