Friday, August 30, 2013

Anyone can change

Anyone can change.  We discovered years ago that if we want something different, we have to be willing to do it.

We may not have been the traditional "black sheep" but we both always thought & acted a bit different.  So maybe it wasn't a big leap to change our ways of thinking & acting.  And yet... the power of the pack is nothing to scoff at.  We each supressed some of our non-conforming ways under the pressure of family & peers.

Over time, we began to honor our differences more often - and the new directions of thought we were discovering.  New directions of thought began to drive new actions and new actions began to drive new directions of thought. 

Our current changes revolve around downsizing our life. It has been exciting & frustrating & terrifying. We make strides forward & then stumble back. An entire room in our house was empty at the beginning of the summer. And a few weeks ago, it ended up full of furniture again. So, we have learned & we move forward again.

Some changes that we have made met with disapproval, some have met with strange looks, some with resounding applause.  That isn't important.  Let me repeat.  That. Isn't. Important.  Never change for other people.

Anyone can change.  You just have to want it.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our back story...

We were fairly typical 20 somethings. We worked & saved our money, went to school & got degrees.  When we joined the "professional" workforce (both accountants), we were living in a modest 1 bedroom apartment with a moderate amount of possessions.  I distinctly remember being able to clean the entire apartment in a few hours.  Even before the (what we thought were) big paychecks, we had all the standard wants - house, nice cars, gadgets - but we didn't have the money.  And we were happy.  We could come & go as we please, little debt, few worries.

Then we had money.  Our wants (disguised as needs) changed & got stronger.  And bigger.  We bought into the theory that a mortgage is better than renting.  We ignored the positives of renting completely.  But not just any house would do.  We Needed the 4 bedroom, 2 car garage, 2000 sq ft, big backyard house.  And we bought it.

Fast forward 6ish years.  We had the house & all the things to fill it.  And we were (moderately) miserable.  We couldn't do what we wanted, when we wanted - we had a house to keep clean, or a lawn to mow, or something to fix.  We both hated (and still do) our jobs.  And we knew something was wrong. 

We realized that up until that point, everything we had bought or done was because that was "how it was supposed to be done."  But no one could tell us why.  We looked around & felt trapped.  That was when I discovered an article about minimalism that led me to some blogs (who I will reference, probably frequently).  I was amazed.  I told my husband.  And we began the slow process of changing our attitudes.  We began to get the idea that if the "game" isn't working for us, leave the "game." 

In the 2 years since our "Ahh Ha" moment, we have begun to downsize.  We are in the same house but some of the rooms are empty or much reduced.  We have stopped buying things (mostly).  We still have a few weak moments (like books).  We have been giving away or selling a lot of what we already had.  We have begun to look for a smaller house - with a smaller mortgage.  We are arranging our finances so we can leave the "traditional" workforce within 5 years.  We are encouraged by our progress, and frustrated all at the same time.

A work in progress

We've never done a blog before.  Please be patient as we figure out how to format this and add content. Here's to trying something new!