Going Mobile

This morning, my wife and I saw some friends off at the airport as they began the next stage of their life: Moving to France. They have wanted to do this for a few years now and after being faithfully dedicated to their vision, they sold or gave away the majority of their possessions and set out for new horizons.

On one hand, I am sad. My wife and I don’t have too many “couple friends” and our “best couple friends” were now moving far away. On top of that, my wife told me that her heart hurt for the physical loss of her friend. I just about cried when I heard that. Yes, I cry. I am actually a very emotional person, but I digress.

On the other hand, it is refreshing and encouraging to see people pushing all their chips in and going for a dream that could end in one of two ways: success or failure.

As I watched my friends prepare for and pursue their vision, what stood out most was the reality that they had to become mobile. They couldn’t be tied down with too many possessions or obligations. They couldn’t own a home or have too much debt. They couldn’t be hoarders or collectors. Everything they own had to fit in two carry-ons, two personal items, and four check-in suitcases weighing 50 pounds each. They had to strip away the expectations of The American Dream and prepare for a life foreign to them in multiple ways. I am in awe of them.

I look at my life and I am not mobile. In fact, my life is one giant anchor. I’m rooted. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I’m a hoarder and a collector. I like stuff. I have a lot of it.

I can look at this in two ways: One, my life is meant to be rooted where I am, or two, I made some horrible decisions along the way. Fortunately, I lean more towards option one.

There is still a nagging doubt deep inside that says maybe I made a mistake, even though I know that while I have made mistakes, rooting wasn’t one of them.

The nagging doubt is more of a gut-check: how do I live a rooted, yet mobile existence? How do I avoid the anchor chain from rusting in place so that the anchor can be freely raised when needed? How can I develop a new attitude on possessions and stuff?

The adage says: “Home is where the heart is.”

It does not say: “Home is where the stuff is.”

Instead of building my home around my things, I should be building my home around my heart, around the things that are meaningful and mobile (like friends and faith) as opposed to things that weigh me down (like TVs, computers, books, and just about everything in my kitchen).

I’m not sure if I’ll be mobile anytime soon.

I least know that I want to be.

How mobile are you?