Entertainer Denise “Ding Dong” Drysdale decided not only to sell her Gippsland home of nearly four decades but everything in it too. She put all her possessions up for sale in a local community hall in September last year – including mementos of her long show-business career, costumes and dresses worn to award ceremonies and all her household stuff.
She had no plans and no commitments except to head north in her car with her dog in search of a warmer climate and simpler life-style. Apart from her dog “Buddy”, an ancient teddy bear and her four Logie awards and a few items of clothing, the rest of her enormous pile of stuff was sold. She called it her “life sale”.
“I’m getting older (she was 65) and I looked around at all this stuff that I’ve got and I thought, this is ridiculous.” “I’m having a break-out, it’s an adventure.”
At the beginning of 2015, her Neerim North property sold – for far less than expected – and Denise was free of the four bedroom, two bathroom, spa room, billiards room burden with separate cottage.
I’d love to know what has happened to Denise since. I know she is working and has appeared with Josh Thomas in “Please Like Me”. She’s also hosting an escorted cruise next year to Italy aboard the “Constellation”.
But what I really want to know is how she feels about shedding all the “stuff” in her life. How and where is she living now? Did she regret selling it all – including mementos of her long and colourful life and things she had collected and held on to for decades – or is she happy to be living life lighter?
I’ve been doing some serious culling lately and with the help of garage sales and market stalls and resisting the temptation to replace things when they wear out, I’m slowly getting there.
Denise’s decision was an incredible and unusual one. Most of us just couldn’t do it and when we lose our stuff to fire, flood or other catastrophe, we grieve for it and then start replacing it. But what if we didn’t? What if we chose to simply Live Life with Less – less to clean, less to maintain and smaller insurance premiums? Less house needed to store it all in. Less resources consumed to acquire only as much as we need and far less to worry about. Maybe owning less stuff really is about allowing us to have the big adventure.