We took a year off to give some space for our biggest dreams. The dreams that are hard to squeeze around a 9-5. We wanted to travel more, renovate, write, adventure, and transition. We weren’t really sure how all of that would look or where it might take us. We wanted family life to look different. Ideally more time with the kids: more fun on the weekends, more adventures, and a schedule that was relaxed and comfortable.
We started planning this 6 months before Mr. Mt handed in his resignation. Nothing has worked out according to plan. In the best possible way. Our plan for what we would do after our year off? Yeah, we have scrapped that too.
During this year off, we changed. Our family changed. Our dreams and ambitions changed. So our plans changed.
In Part 3, I did a tell all of our numbers. We have created a solid residual income. We have kept expenses low, especially for such a large family. We have more flexibility. Mr. Mt or I don’t have to rush out and secure at $40,000+ a year job so that the heat bill will be paid next month. We’ve got the heat bill covered.
We get to choose the best option.
We are able to customize the life that’s best for us and for our family. That’s really what this blog is about. Money is just the means, not the end game. If you want to read about how you can stockpile 10 million to hoard it or buy a luxury yacht, you have stumbled into the wrong space.
I want people to be able to pick what’s best for them. Travel when you want to travel. Spend time with your family. Do work that is meaningful to you. Invest in your passions. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Get 8 hours of sleep a night, for goodness sake! Live out your ideal day/week/year.
We live in a culture that say’s that is as much of a pipe dream as the 2 million dollar yacht.
What’s Next for us?
We want to create our ideal life. For us, that would include being home with our kids 4-7 pm each night. Having a fun adventure on the weekends and church. 3-6 weeks of travel each year. Working 3 hours a day doing work that we enjoy and is meaningful to us. Work that has a flexible schedule and mostly location independent. Continuing our volunteer work as mentors. Getting enough sleep, and exercise. Time to maintain and grow friendships. 1-2 date times a week for Mr. Montana and I. One weekend away for the two of us each year for dreaming, planning, fun and romance. =) I tend to live at a pace that carries a certain intensity. Did I mention we have 5 little kids? =) But in our ideal life, there is downtime. I read a book a week or 50 a year. If we schedule it out to the point where I can’t soak in the tub and read a good business book, we have done something wrong. I don’t want to be overwhelmed with panic and stress if we get sick for a few days. I don’t want a dentist appointment to throw our week into a tizzy, because we can’t squeeze it in.
Being able to travel is a priority. It takes a full day to just leave Montana, so little weekend trips aren’t enough. We did 6 weeks this summer and that was amazing. 2-4 week trips each year would be awesome. That rules out 95% of jobs right there. 10 vacation days just won’t cut it for us. Maybe the Army spoiled us with 30 vacation days a year, plus holidays off. We don’t want to feel forced to work on weekends or holidays, especially during the school year. That time with my kids is just too important; for them and us. We don’t have any problem working intensely for a few days or weeks, as long as we get to enjoy a nice break after. 60 hours a week, every week is out of the question. Working two 60 hour weeks, so we can take 2 weeks off a travel to the coast is fine by us. So any work we take on needs to be able to accommodate this.
We want to custom create our ideal life.
We want to choose the best life for our family. It feels a bit like putting a quilt together. Picking each fabric. Designing the pattern. Then sewing it all up together just how we want it. It might take a few tries to figure it out. But it’s better to rip the seam and resew than put all that work into a flawed design.
We are creating just the right mix of family time, adventure, meaningful work, travel, personal growth, community involvement, volunteering, and rest. Maybe that sounds like a millennials pipe dream. Maybe it is. 😉 But I’ll take it!
Check out part 1 (questions and doubt), part 2 (lessons learned) and part 3 (the numbers). How we got here isn’t all that impressive. If we could do it, I would say it’s within reach of most folks who don’t care about having 10 million in the bank or a luxury yacht. Classic cars are fine. =) (Apparently you only have to give up cable TV to afford one of those.)
I’m excited to see what 2017 brings our way. 2016 was a game changer for us. I hope these 4 parts have given a flesh and blood example to the how-to lists and posts. Every situation is so different, and people’s ideal mix, goals and values will be different. Maybe in a few years we will be offered the perfect 9-5 and will jump back in. The point isn’t having everything 100% figured out and nailed down. The point is being able to choose. To have the flexibility to grow, change and shift directions as it best suites your needs in each season of life. For 2 years I worked a job I hated. Never again. And that is a beautiful thing.
Have you thought about what would be the “ideal” for this season in life? How do you see the economy shifting to benefit alternative work situations? If you could choose your ideal work, how many hours would you want to give to that?
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