Living Like Koi

There are certain species of fish that are rumored to grow as large as their environment allows. I say rumored because the validity of that statement cannot be wholly substantiated on the great wide internet. It’s alleged that Koi fish are one of those fish who will grow in that manner. Koi fish are beautiful! They are similar to common goldfish in coloring, temperament, and their docile nature. Interestingly enough, I’ve seen more Koi on human bodies via tattoos than in the world.

Moving. We are moving. Not my favorite thing to do. This time we added another little stress into our move: downsizing. What a chore. When we rented our little piece of Shangri-La at the beach it was a summer house that we took a two year lease. Then another year… and another… and finally another.

As each kid moved we assumed their rooms with our necessities. Can you hear me laugh? What you discover when you move – especially when you downsize – is that there are precious few things in your house that qualify as a necessity. We’ve found things in here that we forgot we had! Things that we absolutely HAD to have when we moved here but never took out of the box.

This house currently holds 2 adults and two dogs with a combined body weight of 16lbs. Why on earth do we have 5,000 coffee mugs and bunch of stuff we won’t use? Things we just had to get to make this easier or that more convenient only did this: deprived us of cash and space. Apparently, we are Koi fish. We will utilize every ounce of space we’re given.

Clear, purge, reduce. It’s almost like weight loss in a way. In order to lose weight you have to reduce what you eat, purge your unhealthy habits, and learn how to positively handle and address your emotions… almost like a clearing. You discover that everything that weighs you down isn’t yours to carry. You learn to let go.

There’s actually something beautiful in letting go. Everything we touch has a memory. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how many memories we had in this house. Kids having friends over, graduations, grandkids visiting, our parents visiting, our grown kids visiting! Our annual summer family gathering. We even hosting a wedding in our backyard! We are now tasked with holding on to the memories without holding all the stuff.

The big items will move to our new place today and we’ll reside comfortably with 3 less bedrooms and free from all the things we just knew we needed. I’m looking forward to utilizing our space better, more organized, and for the first time: with what we actually need not what we think we need.

The trick will be making sure we really are like Koi and will keep in size with our new environment.