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DOWNSIZING FOR A PURPOSE: WHAT I GAVE UP & WHY I'M HAPPIER


We've all heard the buzz about downsizing for a purpose, NOT keeping up with the Jones's, and the new quite popular trend of "tiny houses".

Though very few know it, including some of my dearest friends, I've decided to share what I gave up and why I'm happier.

The past year has been a whirlwind for me, emotionally, physically, financially...you name it!

I have faced the reality of life as the mother of an adult daughter with a mental illness, as well as a drug addiction. The effects of both mental illness and addiction are far reaching and at times, crippling. I journeyed through to find my way, rid myself of any guilt or shame and focus on meeting the needs of my other children, as well as helping them to hate the diseases instead of their sister. As a mom, no matter how old your children are, we are still rarely allowed to just experience such heartaches only thinking of ourselves. We must still press on and do damage control for the rest of the family. Maybe that is what keeps us from totally losing it!

In addition, the past year held the triumph of love in my life and much later, going through an entire grieving and healing process as that relationship ended. I do believe we grieve all losses and I can pinpoint the stages I had to go through and the healing that came from it.

My youngest son started high school this year and for the first time in his life, instead of being with me all week and his Dad on weekends, for the sake of his education in a better school system, he enrolled 2 hours away where his Father lives. I now see him only on weekends. This was a first in 14+ years and a major change that effected me emotionally on so many levels. After talking to my very intelligent son, I can honestly say that I am so proud that he is more focused on his education and college goals. The high school he attends is well known for academics and my son who always easily made honor roll is having to work very hard to keep up. It is a challenge that he would not have received in my county, unfortunately.

I also had the mixed emotions of closing my store. It was a very hard decision to make, but ultimately intertwined with all that was going on in my personal life, not to mention the climbing bills of the building we were in that kept putting me in the hole. My desire to just get rid of all unnecessary headaches and stress in my life grew daily. So we closed our doors on July 1st.

Once the store was closed, I decided it was time for major changes to get my life back on track personally and financially. But where to start?

As Dave Ramsey says, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

And with that...I left my 2800 square foot home, got rid of loads and loads of "stuff" and moved into a small rental ( only 2 bedrooms - really looks more like 1 and a half! ) out in the country.

From the road, noone would ever imagine that I lived in my current spot. I don't know if that is good or bad (Pride?).

What I do know is that my monthly payment is less than half of what I've been paying for years. And as far as looks, inside and out...I decided before I ever saw the place that I would take it because I have been blessed with this little known talent of being able to "makeover" anything and everything :D And that is exactly what I am in the process of doing!

I plan to use my time here to replace the savings funds that were eaten up by my store and re-focus my resale business and other money making endeavors. I've been the single income supporter of myself and my children since 2004. Another of my loves and talents has always been living on a budget and making it work, regardless of income or expenses. I've lived life with well more than enough, lived where I wondered where it was going to come from and everywhere in between. I have no doubt that I will use this time to get back to the financial level that is most comfortable for me to provide for myself and my children.

Meanwhile, I am....

enjoying less clutter...less space to clean....more time to myself...quiet beautiful country mornings and a peace that I have not had for quite some time.
I have downsized for a purpose....but do plan to enjoy every minute of it. And who knows...I may never want to "upsize" after this! I mean, AFTER ALL, I really AM the queen of thrifting and living life on less ;)

There is much truth to the saying that less is more. I am living in the proof of it daily.

Have you done any downsizing or major life changes to pursue further goals? I'd love to hear about it with a comment below!



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