Thoughts lately

I’ve overscheduled myself this December. I tend to always overschedule myself during the holiday season. Next year, I am going to set a calendar reminder for late October to not schedule too much. Even though I’m an extrovert, I need time at home with my husband and pets to recharge.

Along with feeling overscheduled comes a general reflection on my values. Such as: Is it in line with my values to be away from home 11 hours a day (including my hours at work and commuting)? Is it in line with my values to live in (and pay to rent) an 1800 square foot house? Is it in line with my values to put future, as yet hypothetical children in daycare? For many people, these things are exactly in line with their values, and work exceedingly well in their lives. For me, I’m not sure they are. I like to read the early retirement blog Mr. Money Mustache*, and MMM made the point in his most recent post that

It is almost always possible to avoid the two-commute family with kids if you make it a priority.

I’ve been considering lately whether I might want to make it a priority while our kids are still hypothetical, and before we’re stuck for another year renting three times the space that we need.

But then I read something like this article on spoiled millenials, and I wonder if it is hard for me to commit so much of my time to an occupation (I certainly don’t have “company loyalty,” as they mention in the article) because I am spoiled and I feel entitled. Maybe. I am certainly spoiled a little, definitely privileged, and sometimes I do feel like I have worked hard to earn a PhD and that I do “deserve” more money. But then I also think that it’s not the job of the companies/academic institutions to pay me more, it’s my job to figure out how to find a balance in my life, so that I can be true to my values. And maybe that means finding a cheaper place to live, so that I can work less and enjoy the things that already make my life rich.

*MMM can be a little preachy. Avoid if it’s possible it will piss you off.


3 thoughts on “Thoughts lately

  1. You know I support downsizing to create a more enjoyable, relaxed lifestyle. Sometimes I wonder about the entitled aspect of it all, too. Am I doing the right thing, or am I just lazy? I know that’s not how you phrased it, but that’s how I feel it. But then I think, “If enjoying my life means I’m lazy, then I don’t want to be any other way.” I can’t wait to see what you and your family figure out!

  2. One more thing–have you read Tammy Strobel’s book “You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap!)”? I read it last month and am listening to a podcast where she’s featured right now. It’s probably my favorite simplification book that I’ve read so far.

  3. Vivienne McNeny says:

    Abby, you’ll love this! Simon and his wife have just completed building their Tiny House of just 300 sq ft! Now that’s a challenge for two very tall people with 9 birds…although the birds will have their own facility! And… because of my lifestyle I can do what I feel is valuable so simplifying, downsizing and getting out of the money (must have more) trap is all about me! Great questions to be asking and I’m looking forward to your answers and happy I’m not on the line!

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