Have you ever wanted something but you felt like everyone else would think you were crazy if you went for it? You thought that you’d be unaccepted by your friends, or maybe even your family? Well, that’s how I felt when I dreamt of living a simple life. I’ve thought about it for years, but could just never quite give up all the “stuff” and do it. I knew that all those possessions were just material things, but I liked a lot of that stuff and in today’s world, how do people survive without all the “stuff”? Right? I mean, aren’t we all trying to keep up with the Joneses?
Downsizing became of interest to me several years ago, actually before all my kids moved out to their own places. It took a lot of prayer and consideration, but eventually I gained enough faith to step out and just do it. Looking back, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. After all, it’s just STUFF. Here’s my story.
I was once a very tidy house keeper and exhausted myself daily doing the 9 to 5, which was an abnormal 7pm to 7am twelve hour night shift in my case. I’d rush home take the kids to school, rush back for a couple hours sleep and then try to get up and clean up around the house before time to pick them up in the afternoon. Once all three kids were home, I was busy with homework, cooking supper and getting ready to go back in for another 12 hours at the local factory. Yes, I was exhausted, and I was getting nowhere fast. At least that’s how I felt. Several years of misery later, I decided that the big house on the lake and all the stuff was just that, it was STUFF. My kids needed me, not all that STUFF. I still had to work, and I did for a long time but I had a different frame of mind and I had a plan. A plan to change things. Before long though, I was right back in to the same old grind, working all the time and for what? STUFF.
It’s hard to break old habits. We think there’s no other way to do things than the way we’ve always done them. I once heard a saying: You can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results. It’s true. If we don’t make changes, then nothing will change. I had to make a change.
Marty and I married in 2008. Our goals and dreams were much the same and we talked for endless hours of how we’d like to save enough money to pay off all our debt and be able to do anything we wanted. That’s everyone’s goal, right? Both coming from unstable financial relationships made our determination even fiercer. I began to log all our plans in just a regular spiral notebook. I’m not even sure if he knew this. He’s more the computer kind of guy, and I’m old school, I like a pen and paper in hand. All that said, that’s how it began. Just a common dream from two people and notebook. I’ll share more about my notes in later blogs.
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