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A major life leap required a philosophical life change.


I consider myself a minimalist, independent thinker, environmentally friendly, and health conscious free spirt. The closer I moved towards retiring the more I minimized my possessions and shifted my thoughts away from our dominant culture. The plan was to give away or sell everything in my condominium and only keep what I would need for a year of van life. Digital files were created from printed photographs (including portfolios from undergrad and grad school), mementos (including childhood trophies and various travel souvenirs), documents (including honorable discharge certificate from the Navy), and college diplomas. Basically everything in the form of a hard copy became digital and then trashed (including thousands of negatives and slides). The process of minimizing possessions not only included furniture, contents of the kitchen, garage, but also clothing items. I kept a weeks worth of summer/spring and fall/winter clothing including footwear. I no longer own business attire or suits. No khakis, ties, or dress shoes. My nephews were both outfitted with a variety of tools and my daughters with an assortment of dishes, utensils, various pots and pans, and kitchen gadgets. When friends came over to visit I encouraged them to take something off the walls, grab a framed print, a few souvenir pint glasses/coffee mugs/shot glasses/magnets, or something from the garage. Everything not given away was donated to local thrift stores. I would soon discover other life changes relating to cooking, entertainment, hygiene, and using a phone where I once used a laptop. Change continued to take place organically shaping my new lifestyle. 

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