Have you caught yourself recently staring at the stars amazed at the beauty that can be found in the night sky? Your answer if you live in any big city, in North America is probably…stars, what stars?
As a young child growing up in South America starry nights were one of my favorite things. My sister and I spent many nights lying on our verandah (like a porch) looking at the stars and playing I spy in the night sky. Stars gave us a sense of magic, beauty and presence.
Last night as I was attempting to put the baby to bed I glanced up through one of her windows and noticed the sky was clear and caught a few stars twinkling in the night. This brought me back to my childhood and I realized that we sometimes miss the beauty right in front of us while chasing a mirage.
My parents moved to North America for a better life but I feel that while they gained in some areas they also lost in others. And this is something we can all learn from.
My parents lived pretty simply, my dad had his own automotive shop in our yard and my mom was a bookkeeper for a credit union. They lived on what they earned and did not have credit cards. People were frequently stopping in and neighbors were always out chatting. The workday started at nine in the morning and ended at five in the afternoon. Our neighbor’s dad would take us to the “sea wall” with his children on random evenings. We would sometimes take long walks to get ice cream in the evening and our neighbors daughter would tell us scary stories (about obeah women aka witches) as we walked. I have such amazing memories of that time in my life and I’ve recently realized that it’s those amazing moments that build a happy life not things and consumerism.
In saying that I’ve been looking at the kind of life I want my daughters to have and what we hold important in North American society. Aren’t we all just trying to keep up with the Kardashians/Jones’s at the expense of our health and happiness?
We can choose to live on much less than we earn by going back to basics and simplifying our lives.
The catalyst that started this self-reflection is my discovery of the blog mrmoneymustache.com
After devouring his blog I’ve gone through a serious paradigm shift and thankfully Andre (hubs) and I are on the same page. Our goals have shifted for 2016 to being debt free by the end of the year and mortgage free as quickly as possible.
I want to create that type of environment I had growing up. So my daughters care less about shopkins or mindcraft, and more about the magic of stars and getting outdoors for family bike rides or spooky stories on ice cream treks.
Because at the end of the day I want to increase the most valuable asset on the planet. I want to increase the TIME I have with the people I love by reducing the amount of stuff I need to live.
If the idea of living on less sounds interesting I would suggest you head on over to mrmoneymustache.com
Let me know if his words shifted anything inside of you.
*I started this blog with ambitious intentions and I was able to follow through when my newborn daughter was sleeping most of the day. Now she’s a 10mth old ball of energy and sleep has become that elusive thing I’m trying to catch. So for the sake of my sanity, I’ll be blogging just once a week for the next few months.