We use to have a really nice car.

I don’t miss it. In fact this morning, walking back from the pool I was thinking that most of the time I don’t miss owning a car. I mean, really,  I live in a building without parking in Ramat Gan. Do I have to draw you a picture of how difficult it is to find a spot around our house.

What did Cheech say during the first Gulf War, “it may only take the Scuds 15 minutes to get here, but they’ll spend an entire day looking for a place to park”. While schlepping ninjas back and forth is a pain, not having a car has made me simplify everything from how many groceries I buy to planning all doctors appointments in one go.  I’ve had to eliminate all the excess.

Last year I was really struggling with cutting the excess, it made me uncomfortable.  I’m not going to lie, I love nice things.  I mean one small comfort is that I still have my Ralph Lauren 1000 thread count sheets and beautiful French furniture (all of which I paid for in cash, and have nothing to do with the Luemi Card affair).

Does simplification mean I’m going to shred my sheets and allow the Ninjas to use the Breakfast for Lag B’Omer kindling, don’t bet on it.  But it does mean that I’m no longer evaluating my self-worth by the H. Stern adornments I use to own. In fact, I can finally walk past Panadi’s window and not feel like I’ve failed because my Tahitian pearl earrings aren’t big enough.

I’ve discovered that there is freedom in no longer wondering what will happen if I lose my ring.  There is less to worry about, and when I do worry it’s about the big things. I’ve also learned the difference between need and want. This use to be a huge issue for me, I use to think I needed vacation, rather than just wanting to go to Rome.  OK maybe I need to go to Rome, but it can sit for a while.

A year ago when I started this blog I would have freaked out at the thought of losing my things. I couldn’t understand that my things aren’t me, they are just possessions.  In fact, in many ways they weighed me down. I spent so much time being worried about losing them rather investing the same energy into doing something positive.

It’s taken hitting ground zero for me to understand that success comes when we accept ourselves as we accept our children, without preconditions of what they must own. If Yoni comes to me and says, “Mom, I going to live on the beach in Mexico in a VW van”, I will be happier for him than if he says he’s buying an apartment on the Upper East Side (after he’s earned his PHD of course). It’s not because I am the ultimate beach bum, it’s because he’s not basing his value on things.

I’ve made a new promise to myself, I am no longer striving to achieve the latest and greatest gadget. From now on I’m striving to achieve the latest and greatest me.

Breathe, Meditate, Learn, and Pay it Forward, this has become my Mantra.

Albert Einstein said, “The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.”  I’m just sorry it took me almost 40 years to figure it out.