Over the past couple of years we have been trying to simplify our lives. Little by little we have been learning about and embracing minimalism. Not that I would call ourselves minimalists but we have shifted that way.
After returning home from Roatan, we looked around and saw everything that was holding us down: a big house, big yard, the sheer amount of stuff that was around our house and yard, and our commitments. All of these things drained our money, time and energy.
Since then we have been experimenting with the degree of minimalism that we feel comfortable with. Each time we take another step toward simplifying, we feel happier, freer and more alive.
We have yet to feel any regret from ridding our lives of the unnecessary.
When we made the decision to move to American Samoa, we decided that this could be a great opportunity to further simplify. We decided not to take everything with us. We decided not to store everything back in Idaho. I decided not to teach at a gym while here. We decided not to have the kids go to school where they would be spending countless hours a day doing busy work, plus whatever homework they would be coming home with.
We came with just what we could carry on the plane in our suitcases and backpacks. People keep asking when our stuff will be arriving, assuming that we have shipped all of our belongings over. Then they are surprised when we tell them that what they see here in our home is everything we have.
Now we are living here. We have five plates, a pot, a pan, a set of eight forks, knives, and spoons. We reuse food containers as our Tupperware. We use our grocery bags as trash bags. We have one set of sheets for each bed. We bought a small 32’ TV, in front of which, we sit close together when we watch a movie.
Our only time commitments are Nate’s job and our church that we attend. Outside of those two, we go where we want, when we want. When I get an invite from another mom asking if we want to join them for a beach day on a Wednesday afternoon, I have no calendar that I have to check. “Yes, we’d love to. We’re not busy.”
I don’t know how long we will want to stay like this. We might get to the point where we are craving a little more schedule. If we feel compelled to be busier, we can do that, too.
The point is that we, as a family, have never had this much freedom before!
I used to be under the impression that a responsible adult owns a house and some land. Responsible parents encourage their children to excel in as many areas as possible. If you have down time, its because you are lazy and you haven’t made yourself busy enough.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
We have found the freedom and courage to create the life of our choosing. What life are you going to choose?