The Treadmill

It’s a familiar feeling to so many of us – the feeling of running your life on a treadmill, day in, day out. You go to work every day to a job you hate, that causes you untold stress, and drains you of precious energy. You go home feeling too tired and pissed off to enjoy the kids, and have no energy to do all the things you dream of doing ‘someday’. You want to learn guitar, or Spanish, or write a novel, but who can be bothered with that when they’ve spent ten hours a day with annoying colleagues, carrying out pointless activities for the benefit of their odious boss? Or maybe it’s your partner that works while you stay home with kids, but you never get to see them because they are the one always working. When you do seem them they are not really quite ‘there’, as they withdraw to spend time decompressing from their crappy day.
So many of our choices in life seem to be dictated by our expenses and the things we need to do to afford them. Your employment may have a significant impact on your decision of where you live, the car you drive, and even the clothes you buy. Many decisions don’t even appear to be choices. Social norms and a subconscious desire to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ can leave us trapped having to work more hours than we want in jobs we don’t like, to pay for stuff we don’t need or even really value.

Our modern lives often leave us feeling short of time, and too stressed and tired to really examine our choices to see if there is a better way to live. We spend money to relax and de-stress, or simply because we ‘deserve’ to after all the hard work, and this causes a vicious circle of spending, and working, and more spending, and so on. It is not only expensive to live like this but, let’s face it, pretty boring. Sleepwalking through life is no way to live. I want to feel like I’ve done something with my life, accomplished something more than logging thousand of hours watching TV, or mindlessly scrolling on the iphone.
I also want to set an example to my children. I want them to grow up to be interesting and interested, to live according to their values, and work towards accomplishing their dreams. I want them to know that their choices should be intentional, and will shape their lives – that accumulating lots of shiny new stuff DOES NOT MATTER.

The problem

That brings me on to the reason for starting this site. There are many things I love about my life, many things to be grateful for, but there is a certain element of treading water. I am a stay at home mum to an incredible, curious and energetic three year old, and a gorgeous little cutie who is nearly one. I love staying at home, but this is only possible because my husband goes out to work full time for us. Unfortunately, he hates his job. I mean HATES it, to the point where he is sometimes physically sick in the mornings from stress and anxiety about going. I also feel like I’m ready to add another string to my bow, another role alongside the much cherished ones of ‘mum’ and ‘wife’, which would enable me to bring in some money and give my husband the opportunity to either cut his hours or change jobs without so much pressure to ‘bring home the bacon’. We want more time and freedom to enjoy our lives and have many adventures together.

The plan

In the short term, we need to change the balance of working and staying home with the children, in a way that makes us all happier and less stressed. Thinking longer term, we need to cut our expenses and dramatically increase savings to give us more financial independence and FREEDOM.
So, on our ‘To Do’ list:
• Me to retrain and get a job – husband to go part time, or change jobs
• Cut expenses
• Pay off mortgage
• Invest for (hopefully early) retirement
• Have lots of adventures!
• Do some good in the world!

Hmm, this could take some time. This blog will log my journey – how about you stay and keep me company? I’d love to hear what changes you’re making to make your lives happier.