Buying a house, how many activities to put the kids' in, and what to do for the next birthday party/holiday.
Those three. Almost like clockwork, we have the same conversations multiple times a year. And while the topic changes, at the core it's actually just one conversation.
The world says we should do <insert thing>. We feel compelled to do said thing, but as soon as we sit down and talk it out we realize it's not the right fit for us.
And even after all of the times we’ve had these conversations, we still come back to them. And we probably always will.
1. Buying a house
The world tells us we should own a house. That we “need” more space, that owning a house is a great investment, and that renting is a waste of money. My ego wants a giant living room, big enough to entertain fifty people comfortably and host my entire family for Christmas. I want a beautiful, bright kitchen with a couch in it, where I can drink tea in the morning. And if we had a fenced yard, then we would definitely get the kids’ the dog they’ve been asking for (yeah right).
But that’s not true. We don’t need more space. We’re really happy where we are, and our rent is perfect for our budget and our financial goals. Our home is warm, and comfortable, and welcoming. We have everything we need and we know this is the right place for us right now. When it’s time to change, we’ll know.
2. Kids' Activities
The world tells us we should put the kids in competitive dance/soccer/piano/baseball/<insert activity>. That if we don’t get them to focus their time on one thing they won’t ever excel at it. That our kids’ are incredibly talented, and we’re wasting all of that talent by not pushing them harder.
But that’s not true. We know that it’s more important to our family to have time together, and we have a strong value against over-scheduling. We love having spacious weeknights and weekends. We know that when they’re older, if they get really interested in something and want to pursue it, we’ll support them. That they have the ability to dedicate the time and catch up. We have them in the exact right amount and type of activities for us right now. When it’s time to change, we’ll know.
3. Holidays & Birthday Parties
The world tells us we should go big for all the birthdays and holidays. That we should throw huge, elaborate birthday parties with themed decorations, fondant covered handmade cakes and Pinterest-worthy goodie bags. That we should make sure all of them have full stockings and presents under the tree at Christmas. That their Easter baskets should have a new outfit, a book, and a bunch of organic chocolate. That they need a new costume every Halloween and we can’t stop trick-or-treating until their pillow cases are atleast half full.
But that's not true. We know that throwing huge parties makes us neurotic and stressed out, and then we’re totally incapable of enjoying the party. And that our kids' will open those gifts on Christmas morning, then completely forget about them by noon. We know that our kids’ really just want us, and that spending tons of money and getting consumed by consumerism isn’t what we want to teach them. We know that we are at our best when we keep it simple, and intentional. We are marking the moments in the exact right way for us right now. When it’s time to change, we’ll know.
The world will continually pull us towards unconsciousness. It wants us to fall in line, to do what everyone else is doing, and to question ourselves if we do things differently.
Our job is to keep coming back; turning inwards, connecting to our intuition and deciding what we really want for ourselves and for our families. Over and over again.
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!
And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”
- Iain Thomas