Change Begets Change

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In some ways I’m finding it hard being on holiday and away from home. My progress in simplifying my life is stymied because I can’t simplify things physically and see visual progress in my journey.

However, being away gives me something that I don’t have at home. Time to think about things. Time away from the endless pile of to-do’s that I know I should be getting on with. Time out to just be myself and let my mind reach conclusions without having to force them.

While we have been here DH and I have talked for the very first time about giving up one of our cars. This is something I never, ever thought I could do. I moved away from London in 2003 and bought a car immediately. Having been used to tube transport, the “rural” bus services and faraway train stations out of the city seemed impossible to use in a practical way. When I was working, I couldn’t have gotten to my office without a car, so we both had to have one.

Now I’m at home with the boys, it has dawned on me that we actually don’t really, desperately need two cars. A big revelation and something for us to think about (and maybe act upon) over the coming months.

On top of that, I’ve finished reading two books. Tammy Strobel’s You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap) and Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life from Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus.

I’ve enjoyed both, and they have given me motivation to pare down my things further when we return.

For me, being away from home is like putting up a dam that lets motivation pile up behind it. I have always found travel and holidays give me the impetus to make greater changes.

There is so much about simplicity and minimalism that I believe requires a person to be ready. And I do genuinely believe that when you are ready you can do anything you want to. Being away from home gives you space to think and changes your daily routine – that in itself can often be enough to make you realise you are ready for change. Going back to how things always were is not what you want to do.

So I’m feeling really excited about getting home (and my slight OCD tendencies mean that I will be so grateful to be cooking in my own kitchen and sleeping in my own bedlinen again), and I can’t wait to get on with finishing the editing of my possessions and evaluating how close or far I think I am from living a simpler life.

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