I want to share my family’s not-so-simple journey to an intentional life with the hope that it will give you motivation to live more intentionally yourself. I want you to realize I was an ordinary person living the “template life” who took step after step to create a life I’m proud to live. I want you to understand that it’s not an overnight process. There is no arriving at a destination, it’s always an ongoing battle to keep things simple and intentional (even now). I hope you find inspiration in my story. I’m not proud of some of my past decisions, but it’s all part of the journey that’s gotten me to where I am today – and for that I am grateful.

2007

  • Graduated college and bought first (oversized) house – 3,000+ sq ft for 2 people
  • Slowly accumulated stuff to fill all the rooms
  • Got married

2008

  • Living the traditional, keeping up with the joneses life

2009

  • Went part time at my 9-5 job to help with our side business and used my extra time to explore what I wanted out of life
  • Started slowly getting into minimalism and actively implementing what I was reading about

2010

  • First big garage sale to get rid of the excess

2011

  • Had a heart to heart with the husband where the possibility of full time self-employment was seriously considered for the first time
  • Started volunteering (and then working) for Girls on the Run (an amazing organization that was in line with what were quickly becoming our new values)
  • Thinking about starting a family and moving to a new school district – we looked at bigger, more expensive houses (in hindsight, I’m so glad this didn’t work out)
  • Vacation to St. John, USVI (where the experience of seeing the islanders so happy with the simple things further made us realize we were on the right path)

2012

  • Met The Minimalists after which my husband completely got on board with taking the plunge to quit our jobs, jump into full time self-employment, and downsize our house
  • Tried to buy smaller house in IL (1,400 sq ft), but the deal fell through and our current house was already under contract
  • Couldn’t find another smaller house to fit our needs and had always talked about moving back to Oklahoma (where we went to college), so we decided to take a trip and see what options were in OK
  • Tossed around the idea of buying and living out of an RV while traveling the country since we were going to be location independent while running our website development business
  • RV trip to Oklahoma to find a smaller house and follow our dream
  • It was a double success because we found a house and we learned that while RV-ing is cool, we did not want to live in one permanently
  • Quit our jobs (still worked part time through the transition period)
  • Moved to Oklahoma (1,500 sq ft house – less than 1/2 the size of what we had)
  • Found out we were pregnant
  • Felt secure enough to quit part time jobs and totally focus on self-employment

2013

  • Had our first child
  • Started questioning if we should move back to Illinois so our son could grow up near family
  • Decided we wanted to move back to Illinois and listed our house for sale
  • House sold and moved back to Illinois (2,300 sq ft house)

This is where we are now and it’s a good compromise between the two extremes we had experienced (it may seem large, but all of us are home all day every day since we live and work from home)

Takeaways:

  • Living intentionally is an ongoing process, even when you think you’ve “arrived”
  • Don’t beat yourself up for past mistakes – look at them as lessons learned and opportunities for growth
  • Take tiny steps to live intentionally, starting today
  • The process is hard, but so worth it!

If you are having trouble getting started or need a little guidance along the way please reach out to me. I’d love to help you live a more meaningful life!