The article recounts the author’s challenging year in 2009, marked by major life changes and stress. Feeling overwhelmed, she embarked on a journey to recharge her life, starting with downsizing her technology and eliminating unnecessary possessions. The process included selling real estate and transitioning to a smaller living space, leading to a sense of liberation and renewal.

Need to Recharge

In 2009, I sold my house, found a new place to live and helped my husband get prepared for his back surgery.

Oh and by the way, I cleaned the house, took the dog to the groomers and somehow managed to fit in my day job and pen a few columns for the web sites I write for. I was exhausted.

Looking back, I can only think of one other year (early first marriage, bad divorce) that was as traumatic, upsetting, scary and plain old hard as this one had been. I couldn’t wait to wave goodbye to 2009, and I don’t think I’m alone.

In the face of 2009’s adversity – financial and otherwise – I also had a serious realization – I needed to recharge. Not the typical have a massage, take a weekend away, spend quality time with family, kind of recharge, but a life-recharge.

The opportunity to step back and reflect on my first 49 years and discover what passions and possibilities might occur over the next few decades. To achieve this life-recharge, I knew that the first thing I needed to do was get rid of what has been weighing me down with stress during the day and waking me up with worry at night. And that’s just what I’ve spent the past few months doing.

I started with something that while it may seem insignificant and small, changed my whole world. I downsized my technology. I got rid of all phones but my cell phone. If friends, family, potential clients or telemarketers want to reach out, there’s only one number they can call. More importantly, there is only one voicemail I need to check.

Next, I moved on to tackle a problem of technological clutter that had been vexing me for years. I got rid of all my computers, except for one MacBook Pro lap top. No more wondering if this file was on the office computer, while that one was on the home computer. I sync it all with my iPhone and where I go, so goes my one and only computer. And yes, I do regularly back it up.

Now that I had tackled a few smaller items, I was ready to move onto an item that would score me big points on my life-recharge project. We sold almost all our real estate. With the exception of some investment property in Florida (don’t ask) we managed within a six week period of time to sell two investment homes and our main residence. The day I signed those papers I lost a bundle, but could feel my batteries stirring in my soul.

My husband and decided to rent and since our up and coming rental was a condo, 1/2 the size of our former house, I had more to purge as I pursued the path of the life-recharge project – one weighty item at a time.

 This post was originally published at Karen Leland’s Featured Small Business column on The Huffington Post.