Things are good. I go down the list and everything is in place.
Is everyone fed and watered? Check. Are the kids healthy? Check. Is the nest egg growing? Ever-so-slowly... Check. Do we all appear happy? Do we have the right clothes? Do we have a nice home with a white picket fence? Check, check, and check. Seriously, even the white picket fence is here, although it does need a coat of paint.
And in all honesty, we are happy. Not a day goes by that I don't realize how lucky we are. We all get along; we love each other. We're gainfully employed, healthy. But things are SO. COMPLICATED. All of the time complicated. Never ending complicated. It's weighing on us. Even as I'm home in the day looking for the perfect part-time job, I'm still busy, and it's still complicated. Working on my own little business, helping at school, paying bills- so many bills- and I'm damn good at bargain hunting and making sure those bills stay low, running errands, ferrying the kids- and they do minimal activities, repairing things, keeping up with the house. Things are good. But we feel heavy.
Part of it is just the stage of life we're in. But part of it is something else.
When I get together with girlfriends, I always circle back to the same place in the conversation. Why is it all so flippin' complicated? I think back to the days we rented an apartment. We couldn't paint the walls the color we wanted, but we'd just go lay by the pool at the end of a work day. And was it terrible to call someone when the fridge broke and the next day there was a new(er) fridge in the kitchen? We didn't have any money. It wasn't perfect or easy, but it still isn't perfect or easy. Keeping up with this house is hard, and it's not really all that big. Certainly nice and roomy, but not all that big.
I've been reading about minimalism lately: becomingminimalist.com, theminimalists.com, zenhabits.net, theminimalistmom.com, Everything that Remains, so much more... If you're at all interested, it's a nice, deep rabbit hole you can fall into, believe-you-me. Take it in small doses. After awhile it gets to sounding like a self-help tape on repeat. There are only so many ways to say "STUFF CAN'T BUY HAPPINESS." We all know it's true. Of course it is.
Brian and I have been struggling with this lately. We've been pretty good in the past, but you know how it goes, keeping up with everyone else can get the best of you. Lately though, we've had an realization, and it's time to make some kind of change. I'm not sure how big, and I'm not sure how long it will take. I think we'll start out slowly and see where it goes.
We plan to document it over here just for grins. It may be boring for you, but I want to have a place to keep a record and to hold ourselves accountable. Follow along if you'd like.