What I mean by this is:
- Pursuing security at work can lead to poverty in family time.
- Pursuing quality of life can lead to poverty in finances.
- Pursuing relationships with others can lead to poverty in self-esteem.
Nearly everything is on a pendulum. Because I'm a person of faith, about the only thing that I can see that doesn't swing from wealth to poverty is your relationship with God. In that case, wealth in your relationship leads to wealth in your sense of self, security and contentment.
That's all to say that Kelly and I have tried, as best we can, to keep things in balance. We've been pursuing financial security (working to pay off our mortgage) while at the same time, trying to carve out time for relationships with others and ourselves as a couple.
What we've not kept in balance is White Space time. Truthfully, Kelly's done a little better at this than I have, but the bar is pretty low there.
Starting in January, we began letting some things go. Things that were good and necessary for a time, and now are still good but aren't as necessary.
And as a result, we've found ourselves with empty weekends. Weekends that we've filled with the things of "normal" life - meeting our friends for weekly runs (or running in races), grocery shopping and (as I call it) playing in the kitchen. We've read books, listened to podcasts, gone for walks and have started daydreaming about things we'd like to do "just because."
It's like the Hayleys have found themselves again. And maybe that's exactly what's happened.
We don't regret for a minute all of the time, energy and sacrifice that we made to get to this point. As I said at the start, you can do anything for a period of time. For us, making sacrifices for a period of time was well worth it to feel what we are feeling now - and to know that even greater things are to come.
If you're in the midst of the journey of living like no one else and are starting to feel discouraged, let me encourage you - keep going. Yet along the way, don't forget who you are. Regular touch points with the things that matter most in your life will reinvigorate you and give you strength to continue on.