Do you have a goal for 2013? Not a resolution, but a goal. Each year I try to come up with one word to describe what I hope to accomplish in the coming year. This year's word was actually easy. I didn't search for it, it found me. And, it really all started this past summer. I hope to continue it on through this new year. Many of you may already know the story, but please indulge me while I share with those who don't.
My husband and I spent the past 10 years working toward the American Dream. He works hard as an engineer. I stay home with the kids. We built that big fancy house everybody always dreams of in the snooty neighborhood that everybody covets. Our kids were in the best school district. We all dressed super nice and had great hairstyles. We had just the "right" friends.
And we hated it.
We had been talking about selling everything and moving to Missouri where I grew up and where my family still lives. Over a period of three years we tried several times to sell our house, look for jobs, seek a new town where we could start over.
And ... nothin'.
Then this summer I came "home" to Missouri for a weekend visit to see my newly born niece. While there I called my husband and told him that I was certain he was going to think I had lost my mind, but I had found a foreclosure home that was half the size of our current home, in terrible physical condition, and was four blocks away from my parents. Rick told me to put an offer on it. So I did. And it was accepted. And they required that we close in 10 days. So we did.
Rick had never even seen the house.
Within a few weeks we had completely fixed up the inside of the house (paint, paint, flooring, more paint, restored hardwood floors, and more paint) and the kids and I had moved.
It is small. It is simple. It is wonderful. And the cost of it is 1/10th the cost of our home in Oklahoma.
We are still trying to unload that house. Rick is still in Oklahoma until we can dispose of it. We have some financial obligations that need to be cleared up before he can take a leap and either change jobs or approach his company about working for them off site. It may be a while before we are all here living together. That part sucks.
But, here's the thing. We took a look around. Our economy is in the toilet and it's going to get worse. Our governmental control is frightening. There are not the guarantees of days gone by. At some point, as a country, we are going to hit rock bottom. And we want to be prepared for it.
We didn't need the big house. We most certainly didn't need the snooty neighbors. We don't need the best school (because our homeschool is the best anyway, right?). The right clothes and hairstyles were a constant source of stress and pride. And most of our friends, well, weren't really our friends.
What we needed was a whole lot of LESS. We have taken a giant step in that direction. But we have many more to take, and not just in the area of our physical belongings and finances. We want less stress, less worry, less greed, less pride and replace those things with joy, contentment, and love.
LESS. My word for 2013 is LESS.
I want LESS ... and then I know I will have more.
This post is linked up at Marcy's Blog Carnival at Ben and Me.