Venturing Outside “The Box”

There’s a place we all retreat to that is as comfortable as our favorite pair of old blue jeans.  We have a tendency to stay inside our box so we feel we are in a protected territory, comforted and safe from the world out there.  It is a place that, while not very adventurous, virtually assures us an existence of simplicity and familiarity; there is nothing wrong with that if it’s what we choose.

This was my year to go outside of my nice, comfy box and I knew it would take much self-talk to get it done.  Deep down, I love the idea of adventure, but end up being a weenie … kind of like the canary who dreams of being an eagle.  Numerous internal conversations between the many Julies that exist inside me said it was time to do things I had never done before … to go beyond my comfort zone.

I decided it was time for a little adventure.  Maybe it’s time to feel alive again.  Maybe it’s just a mid-life crisis.  Maybe it’s because I had a lovely, but very cautious upbringing and felt the need to break out of the mold just a little bit.  So here’s what I did:

I kayaked among Orcas in 1,200 feet of pristine water, admiring ancient forests from the ice age and bald eagles soaring overhead, as my paddles gently cut through the water.  Not a sound to be heard except me and nature.  Even seals popped up in curiosity.  I should have worn a diaper, but I was so awestruck, I didn’t even feel nervous.


Always afraid of heights, I encouraged myself to get on a tiny “bubble” helicopter and see glaciers and mountains from a different point of view.  Even though the pilot didn’t look old enough to drive, I really pushed myself to enjoy the adventure and it was exhilarating!  Truth be told, I was happy to have my feet on the ground again, but would have denied myself this beauty had I not gone high in the sky.  Here are some images of that flight.



Look at the gorgeous blue glacier lake on the white snow from 5,000 feet up.  It looks like Tide detergent on a white sheet!


I trekked the top of a glacier, hearing crunches and crackling of ice with every step I took.  Some steps looked as if I was walking on water as you could see running water under the clear icy surface.  They say some of these pockets are several hundred feet deep and I certainly didn’t want to end up in one of them.  But, how many times will I ever get to walk on a glacier?  That is what fueled my feet to go further.


To see a gathering of humpback whales working together to feed was an incredible and incomparable experience.  They say it is rare to see this, but we saw it several times.  I was lucky enough to catch a photo, with my husband holding onto me in the back of a rocky boat and me hanging over the edge to get the photo.  I was the only one to get it too, because I was willing to go over the edge, with a little help from hubby.  How awesome is this?


We ventured farther into Denali than most.  To see this vast, protected land with wild animals and ecosystems that work in sync with each other was really a sight to behold.  Thank God for the people who conserve such places.  Mt. McKinley (Denali) is breathtaking!


I did not go on the world’s biggest zip line.  OK, so I chickened out on that one, but I figured, “Why tempt fate with a dinky metal cable?”  No matter how much self-talk I engaged in, the answer was always “NO way!”

I am blessed!  Blessed that I was able to have these experiences, blessed with wonderful family and friends, blessed in many aspects.  Ultimately, the ability to go outside our comfort zone is a very personal decision.  All I kept asking myself during this trip was, “What if I hadn’t done these things?”  Look at what I would have missed!

So here I sit in the comfort of my office sharing this with you.  I can honestly say I didn’t miss riding the biggest zip line in the world.  Now that I can live with!

©2013 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising.  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation.

Published in: on June 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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Why No One Wants Grandma’s China

Have you seen the prices of china services lately, outside the retail market?  What a nosedive!  China services, from my perspective, are low and heading lower.  Several reasons explain this.

  1. Too much supply, not enough demand.  Our Depression Era mothers who loved their china are sadly passing away.  This will flood the market with a huge supply.
  2. Our Boomer generation already have their china services and don’t have the space to take more, because we have too much already.
  3. The Boomer’s children, Generation X and Y, have no interest in it whatsoever.  They simply do not want grandmother’s “old stuff.”
  4. Generation X and Y want to visit IKEA and buy an everyday set in their colors, and when they tire of the color, go buy another set in a year.  Why?  They come in great colors and are affordable.

So as you can see, we have a definite downward turn in the market.  There are some very fine porcelain manufacturers in the world and some of them are extraordinarily and beautiful.  There will always be some people in the world who will pay exceptionally well for a china service, because they feel it is heirloom quality.  The question is: will they want it?  And will they ever get the $$$$ back out of it.  The majority of the time, the answer is no.

Are there some clients who are grossly disappointed by this?  Oh, yes!  My elderly female clients are aware the grandchildren don’t want these things.  They have confided in me that they wish the grandchildren did, because the china was so important to them and their generation.  People change, and times change!

Rarely do we entertain anymore, let alone cook.  Most women will tell you they do not desire that cooking and cleaning overload, after a tiring week at work.  Remember that our mothers generally did not work out of the home.  Today’s woman is a professional multi-tasker, part of the sandwich generation, works full time, travels, raises kids, care-gives for older parents, and is absolutely exhausted!! 

If today’s woman can’t put it in the dishwasher, she doesn’t want to use it.  Our mothers washed it all by hand, and with pride! 

These are my thoughts on why china, like Hummel figurines, is almost a thing of the past.  The young girls are simply not interested.

© 2010 Julie Hall