How a robbery improved my life

November 4, 2018 Published by
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Susan Honey Good

It is Sunday morning. My ultimate concierge is leaving to meet his high school friends for brunch, in the burbs. How special is that to continue your relationship with your friends from your school days? Afterward, because he is the ultimate, he is picking up my alterations, saving me a trip. What am I doing? I am taking stock of my material possessions including my relationships with friends and family. I have been in an audit mood, darlings, that began almost one year ago to the day. What was the turning point? A robbery. That’s right! Today, I am sharing the shocking story of how a robbery improved my life.

The robbery one year ago

I am packing for our annual trip to California, but with a caveat. I am auditing my wardrobe so I can optimize and make the most effective use of my possessions, so I can fully enjoy them. You see, darlings, I learned over the past year, to ‘let go.’ It was the robbery, strangely, that put me on this path to positive change. So often, these types of hardships only make sense in retrospect, as is my situation now when I look back.

It has never been an easy feat for me to let go of things or people. Or for you, I imagine. We, women, are gatherers. We love to shop, and most of us hang on to all of our relationships, many going back years. Therefore, it is not easy to audit. That is unless you have an awakening, which I did when I was robbed last year. And, in a crazy life twist, things were taken for me and yet I walked away gaining something much more valuable than the THINGS that were stolen.

It was the robbery of several of the designer handbags that set me in motion to audit, to organize my lifestyle so I could optimize, make the best use of my possessions and, ironically, my relationships.

The robbery episode, one year ago, gave me a new take on my life. I came to realize that I am happier with less.

This helped me to learn that I wanted fewer possessions. Time with special people, instead of many people, was what I yearned for. The benefits of this type of
‘decluttered’ lifestyle were indisputable.

I mean, darlings, how many black slacks does one need? How many people, including family, make our hearts sing?

MY NEWEST RULE OF THUMB: OPTIMIZE BY AUDITING.

How a Robbery Changed My Life

The robbery

One year ago this month, I was robbed of several of my designer handbags that I packed in our car along with other belongings. Our car was handed over to a trucking company for the long haul cross country to our home in Rancho Mirage. My husband had used this trucking company for several years, and I had historically packed many of our belongings in our car with no problem.

Last year, however, there was a problem. Our belongings arrived minus many of my expensive designer handbags. These thieves knew precisely which ones to take.

Needless to say, I was filled-up with emotion, and we put in a first-time homeowner’s claim to our insurance company. They paid us a hefty amount of money which we deposited into our checking account with the understanding I would use it to replace my much-loved, designer handbags. One year later, the money is still sitting there.

I have not replaced any of my designer handbags! Can you believe that? And, I live in an area with stores all surrounding me, a shopper’s paradise. So, believe me, I tried! I set out on several missions, from my condo in the sky, to replace my beautiful handbags. I visited every store in my turf with a handbag section! Each time throughout the past year, I left empty-handed, and yet strangely I would finish each shopping excursion with a sense of well-being and relief.

The robbery was a positive lesson that less is more

I also used the lesson from the robbery to take stock of people in my life. I want to spend quality time with friends and family members who radiate their warmth, vulnerability, and positivity; who motivate, inspire and support. Too many people in anyone’s life does not allow the establishment of deep relationships.

Darlings, I am sending my learned lesson your way. Take an audit of your lifestyle. Examine your true needs. Examine your true feelings. Self-awareness will be the key to optimizing a happy outcome. Then, you must audit, audit, audit, audit!

In my closet, I removed many things that I have not worn in one year, even if it still had its price tag. I gave my clothes away to those who will enjoy them. I know it is tough to declutter if you are a saver but I am hopeful after reading my musings you will try and audit so that you will have a favorable outcome.

In the people department, I accentuated my positive relationships and eliminated the negative ones. Darlings, surround yourself with amazing friends and family who lift you up, not pull you down. It is not easy to disengage from others, especially if you are an empathetic woman. You will have to weigh your options. If you decide to move on you can still be friendly. What you have done is not disengage but move a person from category 1 to category 2. It is as easy as that.

I will end with this thought. Enrich your lifestyle by surrounding yourself with people and possessions that make your heart sing. You are entitled to give yourself this gift and, best of all, the peace you will find from “decluttering” in this way belongs to you, and you alone. This peace can never be stolen.

I would so love to hear your thoughts on TwitterFacebookPinterest, Instagram or in the comments section below.

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9 Comments

  • Pamela Sherman says:

    Honey, thank you for saying – and clarifying – what becomes so obvious – after I read what you express! There is such power in your authentic sharing, your willingness to be open – touches a good part of me. Thank you for that and please carry on! 💕

  • I’m constantly picking up and assessing items in my home, with the following phrase in my mind (like a “bubble” above my head) – “Do I need it, do I use it, do I love it?” If an item doesn’t fall in one of those categories, I get rid of it! I am 67 and I love your column! Thank you!

  • Beautiful! Such a valuable lesson learned. Life can be lighter and much more joyful with less. Less things, less tense relationships and more time, positive energy and JOY

  • Lynne Clarke says:

    Honey, you’re so right. I am teased sometimes because of my minimizing (you use the word “audit, but it’s really the same idea)., but that doesn’t bother me at all. Actually they all want to minimize/audit but don’t know where to start. You had an experience that pushed you in the right direction. Check out Josh Becker’s FB page: becoming minimalist

  • Dina Heile says:

    Hi very interesting read. I audit my stuff all the time and find that I always regret getting rid of something once I do. I don’t want to “audit” again for fear that I will regret it in a year. How would you deal with this? Any advice would be appreciated.

    • J Erwin says:

      I feel the same way. Especially if it has sentimental value. I have way too much stuff, I come from a line of hoarding women, and since they did not throw “family treasures” away, they passed them on to me to be the keeper of the treasures. So there is a guilt aspect that must be dealt with for each family treasure that is parted with. I try to find another family member that will appreciate the treasure, thus no guilt for me getting it out of my house. And some of those decisions, I have regretted. We just have to trust that when we need these items again, they will show up for us then, just as they are leaving our realm and going to a place where they will be used up and appreciated, showing up for someone else just when they need it.

  • LuAnn Penland says:

    I love these wise words at this particular time. I have some family, extremely close up family, that continually pull me down. So, I made the decision recently to not let their/her negativity impose on me any more. I feel so very relieved and happy. This writing of yours reinforced my decision. Thank you.

  • Terry Murphy says:

    I lived most of my adult life on the East Coast. In 2014, ny husband and I made the momentous decision to pack up and move to Los Angeles to be with our son, who lives in Santa Monica. At the time, we were living in an historic Quaker town that was founded in the 1600s. I took a look around at the rooms of my home, furnished in expensive, reproduction Federal-style furniture, and thought: This just won’t do for California! I had an estate sale, and anything that didn’t sell went to auction; anything remaining after that was donated to charity. Four years later, I am living a minimalist life, and never looked back!

  • CarolAnn Warnecke says:

    Thank you. Sometimes we know what we SHOULD do, especially in regard to those people who are not good for or to us, but we don’t always do it. You have given me courage.

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