Over recent years my husband and I have been on quite a journey together, we’ve had lots on in general life and we’ve had our ups and our downs. We’ve moved house (twice), both of us changed our roles at our current workplaces, we’ve taken part in a renovation project (this bit’s still ongoing), I’ve studied, set up a new coaching business and so many other things – too many to mention. But, the real journey that has affected us more than anything else has been the journey that we’ve been on together as a married couple and family.
It all started for us back in 2014 when I embarked upon a Coaching qualification, I have done so many qualifications and courses over the years but, this one was truly ‘life changing’ for us both and Richard wasn’t even studying towards it. This course led me to ‘question everything,’ I started thinking more about who I was as a person, I challenged myself on my beliefs, values, morals – everything! I started exploring and reflecting on what I wanted my life to look like now and in the future and I started thinking about how I could start making changes to help me live the life I wanted. During this process of self-discovery, Richard and I had lengthy discussions about what he wanted too and what we wanted our life as a couple to look like and that of our family’s. We thought about what our lifestyle would look like, what our environment and our home would look like, our money situation and thought about how we’d like to spend our future weeks, months and years.
These discussions were taking place on a regular basis and are still continuing today because we’ve realised it’s important to ‘check in’ with one another and make sure that we’re both still on the same page and I feel so lucky that we are. I’m sure there must be others who start out on this journey and start realising that they want different things and that must be really difficult for them if they then choose a different path to their partner but, luckily for us that’s not the case. Richard and I have been on this journey together and will continue to be and in all honesty we’re more in love now and more connected than we’ve ever been.
During our journey together the most amazing thing has happened, when we’ve really started to question ourselves and think about what it is we really, really want we’ve realised that what we actually want more of is less; less busy work and more life’s work, less clutter, less things, less hassle and problems and we crave the simplistic lifestyle. We do however, want more of something’s; more quality time together, more time with our boys going on adventures, going camping and discovering new places, more travel and more of what we love. Yes, we’d love the fancy holidays too but, from a discovery perspective and not the materialistic perspective.
During this journey I started researching and came across many articles on how to de-clutter and live the simple life and they were all really interesting and they completely resonated with us both. We wanted less but, wanted to maintain some kind of balance for the boys and what we realised was eye opening. We had spent our whole lives striving for more but, now what we actually wanted was less! It felt good to think about living in a clutter free home and it felt great to know that the boys would grow up in an environment that wasn’t filled with computer games and toys. Don’t get me wrong they still have toys, they’re children we have to be realistic, we are living in the 21st century but, their bedrooms are not jam packed with materialistic good anymore and it feels good. But, what’s been interesting to watch has been that the boys haven’t even missed them and we can feel better knowing they’ve gone to others so they can benefit from playing with them now – some have gone to charity, some to friends and we’ve kept some for the car boot sale too (see the photo of the car boot and look at how much stuff there is). We love the car boot and the boys (and Richard) like bartering with others, but we end up giving away what we have left anyway but, we enjoy the process, nevertheless!
When we had the boys birthday this year they received so many kind gifts and presents from so many of our wonderful friends but, the kitchen was over flowing with presents and it truly didn’t sit comfortably with me. I was brought up to live a simple life and we did travel, have treats, days out and so many other things – I never did without but, that perspective has followed me through into parenthood now and I want the same for the boys. Their birthday urged me to declutter even more and now months down the line since we started this journey we feel so much better for the change in mind-set.
I feel so much happier (we all do) and the boys don’t miss out one bit, it’s still a balance of keeping and having the things we all want but, I’m much more mindful about buying things as I don’t want to replace them as quick as I’m decluttering and our home looks better for it too. By living a more simplistic life we spend much more time together as a family, we’re mindful of how we spend our time and we’re conscious of making sure our boys appreciate everything they have. I feel so rich (in life), we have a fantastic group of friends and family, we have one another and we have our dreams and goals that keep us going and help us to live a life of purpose and passion. I now find contentment in the most simplest of things; the weather, the scenery (beach, countryside – whatever it is, all of it), the architecture buildings in the city, the culture in a particular place we’ve visited and so much more.
By living our version of a simpler life we’ve distanced ourselves from the drama and noise and surrounded ourselves with the people we love whom support us, are non-judgemental and believe in our dreams too! This has made us happier, more mindful, grateful and has enabled us to feel truly blessed with what we’ve got already.
We’ve come to agree with the very talented Josh Becker (see his blog – it’s amazing!) who states,
‘Happiness is not something to be chased or discovered through external circumstances, happiness is a decision we make every single day.”
So you see, ‘Less really is more!’