For me, step one was acceptance. Accepting that this wasn’t just another passing phase my husband was going through. If this was really going to happen, there was a ton of stuff for me to do, and we needed a plan. The decision was firmly decided by the end of May, with a target move date of Sept. 1st. We had a plan to downsize into my condo, which would free us up to travel wherever we wanted. The condo is small, barely over 900 square feet, so it’s going to be a tight fit for a family of four, but it is extremely inexpensive which financially makes it feasible to maintain it as a home base while we take a year exploring.
I know it may be weird, but I’m actually looking forward to being forced into close quarters with my family. It’s so easy nowadays to drift along without really interacting, and while I think we do a pretty good job of connecting, living in a large home allows a lot of space in between us. I’m not a minimalist, nor do I have a desire to live in a tiny home, but I am attracted to many of the those principles in terms of simplifying my life and allowing myself to focus on what is important. On top of that, I want my children to learn to appreciate the things that matter. I don’t want them to be entitled or blasé about everything just because it’s so accessible. I don’t know if this journey will accomplish that, but having to share personal space may help them to get along better with each other, as well as others. Maybe it will help to appreciate having their own space later on.
Well, the first step to accomplishing that was to give notice to our family friends living in my condo. Long story short, they have been there almost my entire married life. It wasn’t meant to be a long term situation, but it had really helped them out to be there. That was a difficult phone call to make, because I knew that it was definitely going to impact them. I wanted to give them as much time as possible, so I gave them notice beginning of June that they would need to find other accommodations by the end of August. It makes me feel really bad, but I have to remind myself that I am not responsible for their life choices, nor can I take on the responsibility of those choices. I’m glad I could help them for as long as I did, but now things had to change. Dealing with that situation was challenging. I knew that I had to be the one to handle it, for multiple reasons. One being that it is my condo. Second being that my husband isn’t the best when dealing with emotional situations. He is such a generous person, that he has a hard time not giving into people. So, many times he will shift into business mode as a coping mechanism in order to get through emotional situations. The end result was going to be the same no matter what, so I wanted the process to go as well as possible. Thankfully, the move out was finalized and peace was maintained. One Win.
Yesterday afternoon we went and inspected the empty condo for the first time as a family. The idea of us living here is daunting and exciting all at the same time. Even as I write that, I think I’m stupid…. it’s such a first world “problem”. This is a choice we have and we should be thankful. I am.. really I am. But there is still my own fear along the way. This morning we woke up and both of us felt anxiety. Reality is happening. Are we doing the right thing? Are we crazy? I don’t know, but I want to give us a chance for something different.