And our relationship to Stuff. I've written on this topic before, and most around us know our views on stuff and the acquisition of it and/or attachment to it... but the events of this week are forcing us to revisit the topic.
It's tough to say that we've had a horrible week, far from it actually. We found time to help a friend with a backyard pergola project (huge fun) and got insulation blown and drywall started at the studio (hugely rewarding)! In terms of progress, thats a big week.
We also still have our health and everything is going smoothly enough... but a few events this week tested our resolve and prompted this post. We had scheduled Karma for a minor surgery on tuesday to remove a few lumps from her eyelid. Nothing too serious, but putting a dog under for surgery at her age is always a risky proposition. This in turn caused stress for us...a bit more than we admitted to ourselves straight away.
We actually started coming up with excuses for canceling the surgery and even went so far as to setup a second pre-surgery visit with the vet to try and talk them out of pitting her under the knife (or at least postponing it). As it turns out... our fears are not a valid reason for canceling a surgery that needs to happen sooner rather than later, and they insisted we move ahead.
If you're worried that something happened to karma...don't. She's fine (except for being fairly upset about having to wear the "cone of shame" for the next two weeks), all went well and the fear/stress was for naught. But while she was under the knife we saw someone had stolen the teardrop camper we designed and constructed 2 years ago. Seriously??
What kind of person... nevermind. It's not worth trying to infuse logic to a situation that cant possibly use it. Needless to say, we were less than amused. It's a horrible, tragic, sad, mean thing to do. But i think that the theft overlapping with Karma being in surgery made it easier for us to shrug off as "just stuff". Yes, it is (or was) a beautiful piece of stuff as far as stuff goes. It's a one of a kind piece of functional art that we dumped our heart and souls into over almost 3 months straight of 20 hour days and spent way too much money on. It's a beautiful thing we did once together than can never be replaced. But...in reality, it's still just stuff. And the fact that I can calmly say that and not be stressed out or even angry at whoever took it- seems to be proof that we have indeed found ourselves in a different place.
Our focus over the last handful of years has been on reducing and simplifying so that we can live free and in the manner we choose. A large part of that has been willing to live with less. We have spent the last few months moving from place to place as AirBnB guests choose to stay in one place or another, and sleeping in a construction zone or in the bus when no other option is available. As a result we literally move our necessities with us everywhere we go and it usually amounts to about a shopping bag full of stuff.
The old question of "what would you take with you if you house was on fire" seems pointless to us. It's already in a bag. And frankly, other than the hard drive full of photos (many of which are backed up right here on the blog) we could replace almost the entire bag without stress or worry.
It's truly amazing how lightweight that makes us feel. How free we are by comparison. It might be the single most important shift in our lifestyle over the last few years. In no way does it mean that we lack sentiment or are uncaring...quite the opposite. It just means that we focus more on embracing the things that are truly important to us. The people around us who we care about, the experiences we have, what we can do to give back or how we can make both our and their lives better...those are the things that matter.
We have posted the camper on all local media sources we can think of, and the reaction from neighbors has been nothing short of heartwarming. So many stories about how people looked forward to seeing in on their bike ride home or walk to work. How their kids always wanted to go on a walk just to see the trailer. It seems to have in a short period of time become a fixture and a part of the neighborhood that others enjoy as much or more than us, which is awesome and makes us feel like the whole thing was worth it, even if short-lived.
The teardrop is missed certainly, but we've already moved on. I hope deep down that whatever prompted this person to steal it is being fulfilled. We like to imagine that the thief needed some excuse to propel them into a life of freedom and travel, and if our teardrop did (or is doing) that for them- then perfect. That would mean that it had greater impact than we could have hoped.
Don't get me wrong... It would have been great if they simply would have knocked on the door to discuss their dreams, to tell us about how they have always dreamt of hitting the open road towing nothing with them but a handmade bamboo travel trailer and how they planned to share that experience with others and spread happiness and joy to the world along the way. I would like to think that we would have invited them in for a glass of wine, discussed their dreams and goals and just handed them the keys and suggested some great options for campgrounds on the way out the door.
They didn't give us that option, but we still have the memories and experiences that it gave us, the friends and neighbors we met as a result of having made it (and even a new client or two because of it)...and thats really all that matters. And now, i guess there is also a little extra space for us to plan and make the next interesting conversation piece for the neighborhood.