Living Small Means Living Debt Free

Happiness Is

A Personal Story

A Life Of Struggle Gone Good

Time for HappinessI don’t normally share personal stories, but I’m feeling grateful for our life today so I thought I would share a little. This is a personal story that brought us from a life that was not so good to a life that is great.

Yesterday I realized just how different our life is now than it was a few years ago and for many, many years before that. For some reason, the difference really sunk in.

Even though I’m not in the best of health, which was the reason for all the changes we made, I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

Thinking back, I now know how unhappy we were living with all the stress and worry, and how those feelings affected our life and relationships.

Some of the negatives that are no longer part of our life:

I can’t remember any job that I enjoyed. They were not what I wanted to be doing. I did the work, but I did not enjoy the time spent at the office. I didn’t like the office politics or gossip. I merely went to work, did my job and went home to more work.

Like so many other people, we struggled every single day with everything that needed to be done and no time to do everything. It was a strain. We were both stressed all the time because of work demands. We fought often – about big things, and little things. Many times, things that should not have caused an issue – it was the stress.

We had constant financial worries. There was never enough to go around. We struggled to find funds to give our kids some of the extras that we wanted to give them – extra curricular activities, equipment, etc. Sometimes we had to juggle the money around just to get through the month. It was a never ending battle.

Add to that all the little stresses that occur over time, throughout everyone’s life and I think we were overloaded with it.

Does this sound familiar?

Change Is GoodOur life today is very different.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I got diagnosed with a serious medical issue. That was the catalyst for change.
Unfortunately it was a medical issue that forced us to take a serious look at how we were living our lives.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too late to make some positive changes.

We both continue to work, but we work from home. We have jobs that we enjoy and want to do.

“He” is a contract employee for the company that he worked for before we made changes to our life. As he is an expert in his field, the company didn’t want to let him go. They offered him a contract position that he could do from home. We were very lucky that this was offered to him however we were prepared for him to find something else if necessary.
His job before was 10+ hours each day (including commute time) and was extremely stressful.
His job today – he works 7-8 hours. His commute is from the bedroom to his laptop in our living room.
He works from 6am to 2pm and the rest of the day is his to do as he pleases.

After I left the job I hated, I took the opportunity to really dive into something I had always had an interest in but never had the time to really get to know. I spent a few years learning online marketing and got really good at it.
Today, I have my own business. I work from home helping businesses get their websites on the first page of Google.
I love my work and I’m happy to get up in the morning to get to work.

2+ years ago we moved to a warmer climate. Every afternoon we go for a long walk with our dogs. We all look forward to the outing. We are surrounded by beautiful mountain views, we live near a lake with a gorgeous walkway. Our walk consists of exercise, and a meet and greet with many of our walking regulars.

One of the best decisions we made was to downsize. At this time, we choose to live in our motorhome during the warmest six months of the year. We travel and enjoy the beauty of our country. During the colder months, we rent a very small one bedroom condo. As a result, our living expenses are minimal in comparison to what they used to be.

At the same time, we are looking for a small house to rent in one of the locations that we have come to love. We are in no rush. That is the beauty of how we are living our life right now, we don’t have to rush into any decisions. We want to make sure it is the right decision for us and exactly what we want. No more mistakes…

During the past few years of our new and improved life, we have let go of most of the stress that plagued our previous life.
The best part is we have been able to rid ourselves of the debt load that was always a concern. Over all those years, despite all attempts for improvement, the debts seemed to always increase and never decrease.

When we downsized, we were able to finally put money against those debts and they slowly whittled away to almost nothing. We are actually able to put some money aside for our future.

We had no idea how much the stress and debts were negatively affecting our lives until we made the changes.

These days we don’t have much stress and worry, we are in a better place financially than we have ever been, and things are finally looking up.

We are happy; a happiness that had eluded us for most of our life.

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