Hello my beautiful friend, I must confess this story is still difficult to tell. The reality shocks me a little that minimalism accelerated our journey to the place where a year ago my husband could leave his job of 12 years. When I donated my first box to charity, I never dreamed my minimalist journey would lead us to where we are now.
I remember feeling anger and desperation at the workload and time he spent away from his beloved children. I am still seared by the feeling that it would never change. Every morning my oldest son woke up extra early to cry on the front porch of our log home as his daddy left for work. He would watch and wave and cry until the truck was out of sight. My heart is still seared. Yet, I did not realize that the small changes I was making in creating simplicity was actually paving a pathway that would change the course of our family forever.
How Did Minimalism Inadvertently Help My Husband Leave His Job?
1. Minimalism gave me mental clarity and the belief that I truly could change my situation. I could make different choices. With each item I donated, I believed that change was possible. Instead of feeling trapped in a home full of very useful junk, I came to understand that I am the steward of my life and my home. I have a choice. This mental clarity led me on a "fast-path" to have more mental clarity to expand our real estate business, adding two more properties in three months' time. I never would've attempted that expansion if I had been drowning in toys and dirty laundry!
2. Minimalism allowed me to quickly and easily train my children to run the household. In a kid-friendly, simple environment, my children can reach what they need, find the items without my help, and be (mostly) peaceful as they often cook their own simple meals. I never dreamed this benefit of minimalism would allow us the simple freedom to build time in for business. My son packs his daddy's lunch and dinner each day. My daughter cooks a simple breakfast for the other children each morning. It saves time and money for the children to accomplish those simple tasks in the minimalist kitchen designed just for them. Without their help, our progress towards our goals would've slowed to exhaustion. The children are not just a beautiful reason to work towards our goals; they are actually an intricate part of those goals. Minimalism sets them up for success with kid-friendly spaces and systems in the home.
3. Minimalism allowed us to live first on 80% of our income. Changing my mental spending habits was paramount! Not allowing discouragement and despair to trick me into buying one more item to solve my emotional strain. This was a milestone I'll never forget. Minimalism allowed me to look at a problem in terms of how I could solve it with what I already had, rather than turning to "retail therapy." Slowly, we moved from living on 80% to 75%, and soon after to needing less than 60% to support ourselves. Again, that self-discipline created a new confidence that no matter what the circumstances, a new life was possible.
4. Interestingly enough, it was my journey into minimalism that brought me to the end of my frugality. Having reduced everything I could to the lowest common denominator, I quickly realized that I could not save my way to abundance. Now, I still practice all my frugal tricks; I just had to realize that I could not scrimp and scrape and save enough to get my husband home from his job. Although I am completely committed to minimalism, I realized that expansion was needed as well. Abundance is, first of all, a choice and a mindset. Minimalism allows me to expand my viewpoint; we use its principles to create homes in our rental properties to be a haven for families in their personal journeys. I have had to expand the number of people I serve as a professional financial coach locally in our city and at a distance. Minimalism allows me less time cleaning my own messes and more time serving my family and my clients/tenants.
5. Minimalism ended my long struggle with depression. I know that many factors can influence depression, but for me, depression was fueled by visual and emotional chaos. With a physical environment that was more calm, I was able to work through the emotional chaos much faster. I also wanted to create a peace-filled home that my husband would want to leave his job for, so the emotional work and healing on my part was a vital component of that journey.
A year ago this week, my children helped their daddy turn in his uniforms for the last time. As I carried baby six, due in six months, I watched my husband walk out of a job with full benefits. I knew that we would face obstacles (which we did in crazy ways), but I also knew that with the choices we had already made in minimalism, we had a firm foundation to walk into the unknown together as a family.
If you are dreaming of creating a new story for your family, new simplicity in the home, or new stability in the finances, you are in the right place. Start today, one choice at a time.
Blessings for your new story,