Tag Archives: Downsizing

The life I have been missing: why downsizing your life is the bomb diggity.

Hello guys. I’ve missed you *throwskissesallaround.*

Let me bring you up to speed. There’s so much that has been going on. Stuff I’ve wanted to keep private until now because there was a lot of transitioning that needed to take place. Physical transition, but also a mental transition and while the journey has been difficult, the destination is so worth it. SO.WORTH.IT. And we aren’t even there yet!

If you know me well, you’ll know I’ve been talking about downsizing my life for a while now. I even blogged about it here. Downsizing in the sense of simplifying and streamlining the way we do life. I do believe there are many ways you can simplify your life in small ways every day. But sometimes it takes a huge step of faith to make a change even when the pros don’t necessarily outweigh the cons.

I’ve been listening to lots of people in my life, I’ve been reading lots of blog posts and the thread is always the same. People are busy, their lives are hectic, they are stressed out and finding it difficult to balance careers/parenting/finances/relationships/LIFE on the whole. I’m one of those people. But I got to the point where I knew we had to make a drastic change in order to calm the pace of our lives.

So what’s changed?

We moved house! We now live in walking distance to my work. Hannah walks to and from school. Liam’s school is 5kms away. Church is 3 minutes away. I cannot explain the difference this has made. We wake up when the sun is up, our school mornings are leisurely and everyone is calm. I am home at 4pm most days. This means I can cook peacefully, I can sit down and monitor homework, by 6pm everyone is ready for bed which means we have an hour and a half to do whatever we like. Some days I fit gym in before supper. By the time my husband gets home, I am like a 1950’s wife (without the pressed hair and makeup) and ready to serve him and attend to his needs unlike the past where we were all chasing our tails to bedtime.

That’s the physical transition.

Mentally, it was difficult to let go. Going into a complex when you’re used to living in a house on a street is not without its challenges. Giving up a big yard and lots of space was a mind adjustment. We gave away a lot of stuff, sold off some furniture and threw out all the dead wood. Most difficult of all was letting go of Rocky.  Losing the space meant losing our Rottweiler who needed that space. I am grateful that he has been re-homed and he is happy, but we still miss him of course.

But nothing: not a big house, not a fancy car, not all the yard space in the world, not the swimming pool… nothing is comparable to the peace of mind I’ve gained in moving closer to where we do life. I can’t believe we spent the last eight years travelling first from the Westrand and then from Midrand into Zone 1, as I call it. And this is not applicable to everyone either, if you are not governed by school times, peak hour traffic which is unavoidable, and your personality type is such that sitting in traffic doesn’t send you over the edge (God bless you), that’s great. But for me, this move has been life altering. I’m a better mother, wife and human for it.  And let me tell you, all those things that you think define who you are and what you’ve accomplished? All the niceties we think we cannot do without? I can vouch for the fact that there is absolute freedom in not being bound by those things which we think defines us.

What do you know, I even have more time to blog! Stay tuned to see how else I’ve downsized my thinking (not my dreams) and my life.

Downsizing my life?

I’ve been toying with this idea of downsizing for a long time. I’m not even sure I know the full extent of what downsizing entails but the idea of LESS is becoming more and more appealing to me.

As I get older, as I see my children bloom into their life’s purpose , I can’t help but wonder if this is it? What started as a whisper somewhere deep inside of me is becoming louder and louder and it’s a voice saying that no, this is not it! This life which Christ came to bring us is not just THIS. He has purposed us for life, life in abundance. And abundance of GOOD things. Not an abundance of strife, debt, getting by, working long hours, tiredness. No. Good things. When I sit down and truly consider the things that cause me strife, I see that they are the things that I don’t need to have in my life anyway and since I invited them in, I have every right to kick them out.

You know you read these stories of people who just sell up everything and start over by living really simple lives. People who left the Big City to go live on farms and home school and grow their own food and basically turn Hippy (sorry to all the hipsters). Now while I don’t want to get any closer to Mother Nature than going for a walk in the local park, I have to admit that the idea of being FREE is really tantalising.

All those romantic notions of “it’s not the size of your house, but the people who are in” and “my home is where YOU are;”  call me crazy but all of a sudden I really believe them. Why stay in a house, spend a fortune for it’s upkeep, spend a fortune on a bond for the best 20 years of your life, have beautiful crystal glasses to drink out of on special occasions, drive a fancy car when you have to work REALLY REALLY hard to afford all those things and… then you die? And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE nice things, I really do. I love making my home beautiful and impressing my visitors with my fancy place mats and I like working really hard too. But quite suddenly, I’m questioning my reasons, I’m questioning my choices. I think I’d prefer to work really really hard for experiences with my husband and kids – like travel opportunities and amazing holidays and SEEING the world and doing all those things in my very city which we never do versus fancy cushions in my living room. Again, there’s no judgement here, for the last few years all I’ve whinged about is getting a fancy new kitchen in my house, so if that’s you, I pray you get your fancy kitchen soon! But I think I’ve reached a point where I want to live simply in order to be free from stress and to free up my time, my efforts, my finances for things which I hold dear to me.

My thoughts are muddled, my ideas are hazy, but my mind races at the thought of being FREE. I want to live in the full freedom that Christ offers, first spiritually but secondly all that comes with that freedom. Free from other people’s opinions, free from doing things because the Jones’s say we need to do it, free from wanting things because that’s what the magazines and the TV say we need to have, free from debt and from the fear of not having enough money. Free from the fear of “lack.”

It’s not impossible, I know people who have taken hold of this idea and who are flourishing, people who are living their best lives, simply. Other’s may see their lack as limiting and sad, but in their lack they have actually found the best kind of freedom.

I suppose I’d view this differently had my surname being Oppenheimer or Branson, but I’m talking about myself as a normal middle class wife and mother in a normal middle class family (depending on what you consider normal of course). Times are tough and if the Word is to be believed, times are only going to get tougher, I don’t want to be suckered any more into this shiny sparkly white picket fence dream about how I should be living. I want to just LIVE. My best life. NOW.