It was ten years ago when we decided to make the move to South America.

For those of you who are preparing to move, we certainly identify! We had a house with three bedrooms, a large office–and an attic. We also had a garage–with an attic. We had an outdoor shed and believe it or not, the shed had an attic!

You’ve heard, I’m sure, that any task will expand to fill the time you have to do it. Well if you have three attics, trust me, you will fill them. How did we accumulate so much stuff? It took years! Of course some things belonged to offspring who had left the nest. But no matter. Those items still had to be dealt with.  We had garage sale after garage sale and finally ended up just giving a lot to the Rescue Mission in our area and a church thrift shop, just to finish the job.

That was years ago. Today we have exactly what we need and enjoy–food preparation items, a counter top distiller (we like to know our water is pure), clothing,  office equipment, a spinning reel and rod (essential equipment!), tools and other essentials. No junk weighting us down and it feels good!

We have heard other expats comment that they had no idea how good it would feel not to be encumbered with so much “stuff.” We see some  expats though who pay thousands to ship their possessions down and then tell us if they had it to do over they would just get rid of most of them and get what they need here. Not everyone feels that way though. Many families still ship–and not everything is available here as well. When you live here, you look forward to visits from  home by relatives and friends who are willing to haul an extra suitcase or two–for you.

But it seems like a lot of people have problems doing what needs to be done. We always like to hear from subscribers about their problems or, on the positive side, discoveries. And this is  one of them.

But We Meet  Resistance

Steven Pressfield wrote a book that we liked a lot entitled Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way.

Pressfield wrote about a phenomenon that he named Resistance. It is something that everyone meets head on when he or she tackles a large, important work. It is present when an author decides to write a book, when a real estate investor takes on a large building in need of much repair–and other pursuits. I would add–when he or she decides to shed unnecessary possessions that they’ve owned for years and move to another country.

Pressfield claims that we all have Resistance residing inside of us. If we have a brain, Resistance lurks there. It can cause depression, self-hatred, the feeling I can’t do this, what was I thinking? Resistance is out to mess you up–to keep you from succeeding. In fact he goes so far as to say it’s out to kill you. I’m not sure I would go that far. But we found, in our huge job of preparing to move, that Resistance was an unwelcome companion.

I have dealt with Resistance many times and how comforting to find out that it isn’t unique to me. We can do our research, even be excited about the project, but then when we begin it, it seems like it just doesn’t get done.

So many have told us about their struggles in  preparing to move overseas. For some it just doesn’t seem to get done. They describe Pressfield’s “Resistance” perfectly, only we didn’t know it had a name and neither did they.

For the tricks that Resistance plays to keep us from doing The Work, Pressfield has suggestions. First he says, don’t wait until you’re “ready.” Start before you’re ready. You’ve done your research,  you have your direction. Go ahead and get started. And don’t think. Just keep moving ahead. You can have all your research done and be excited about the idea, but as soon as you are ready to start you will meet Resistance.

My experience is that my attention is constantly brought to more enjoyable or pressing things I could be doing and the tendency is to do them now instead and do The Work later. But no! He says don’t think, keep moving ahead. Be stubborn. In fact, he says that when Resistance raises it’s head, be like a bulldog and bite it in the butt (I quote) and Do the Work.

Our job is to resist Resistance. And do the work.

We assume you’ve decided where you want to go. If not, there are many resources for researching countries. So do the research and decide which options interest you and your family.

But during this time, we suggest you be cleaning out those attics and having those garage sales. If you tend to find things you’d rather be doing, recognize Resistance and stay on course. Pay no attention and keep doing The Work.

We did it, and if we did it, so can you. Start today–or at least by this weekend. And once you start, don’t stop.  Don’t listen to Resistance. Just keep moving ahead and do the work.

And before you know it, we’ll be greeting you here in South America.

P,S. We invite you to comment below. It’s possible your experience and advice can help someone else. Tell us about it.
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