A New Year... A Time for Reflection

A New Year… A Time for Reflection

A New Year... A Time for Reflection
Photo by Björn Lindell

A New Year… A Time for Reflection

Now that New Years is fast approaching, it's that time of year to reflect on all the things we've learned and what we want to see for the coming year.

In October, my husband and I sold our big beautiful home in Colorado and trekked all the way up to Alaska with our dog and two cats to pursue a simpler life. Gone is the huge mortgage payment and the rat race on that wheel that felt like it was getting us nowhere. We were working hard for what? For a house that was four times the size of what we actually need. Every once in a while, I miss that house, but it was time to move on. Time to get back to the basics and simplify life so we could actually take advantage of everything life has to offer.

Why did we choose Alaska? I think it's more the case that we were led here. When things fall into place and when we trust in the plan that God has for us, there isn't any other logical choice but to take a leap of faith and go for it. And you know what? Even though we're far away from family and everything we've ever known, we feel at home here. We've met some really great friends who understand why we wanted this life because they wanted it to.

So, what revelations have you had this year? What is it that you want? And how can you go about obtaining it? Do you need to take a leap of faith?

In my mission to reduce the stress in my life, I've thought a lot about what things we actually need. While certain things are nice to have, do I really need it? And will I use it enough to justify keeping or obtaining it?

For some people, living in a big beautiful home is their dream. And it was mine. Especially after living in an old 700 sqft house with leaky windows. But after the stress of potentially losing a job and all of our savings on making the payment, one we could easily afford when we moved in, it wasn't worth it. We were blessed to have been given the opportunity to live in a small house on family land and we were blessed again to be able to buy a place of our own. And now we're living in a small cabin rental by the river. All of these places have given us the opportunity to see what we can really live without and what we really want.

I know not everyone has that opportunity. But if you're looking for less stress in your life, think about what you want, why you want it, and what you can do to work toward it.

We wanted a simpler life in the woods and that meant downsizing to a smaller home. A smaller home is cheaper, easier to heat, quicker to clean, and since it is smaller, it requires that we think twice about what things we cram into a closet or a cupboard. That works for my husband and me, but what works for you?

Desires and reasons vary – that's what makes us unique – but decide what you want and then go after it. Don't wait around for life to settle down or for all of the debt to be paid off. Start working toward your goals and dreams right now. You owe it to yourself to take this time for reflection. What have you got to lose?

Jody Calkins
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