Time and time again, I have talked to people who are at a standstill because of the either/or scenario.
Either we go travel, or we buy a house.
Either we do family movie night or we have a chance to connect as adults.
Either I forget this “minimalism” thing, or I throw out all my treasures.
Either you do it my way or it’s the highway.
So the last may be a bit cliché, but it’s more than just about making compromises. Sometimes we limit ourselves because we aren’t able to see outside the box. There is opportunity. It’s like this:
What does it say? What do you see in it? Where is your perspective on this – and how can you open up for more “and” in your life?
Opportunity is yours
Opportunity is out there for everyone. So is possibility and a chance to start fresh with a new perspective. Do you see it? Is it really “nowhere” or is your opportunity “now here?”
Life is not black and white. There are too many exceptions to the rule, gray areas, and complicated scenarios. Instead of looking at this as an overwhelming negative, look at it as an opportunity to create the world you – and your family – thrive in.
My father loves to say that we don’t have a “problem,” we have an “opportunity for a solution.”
What is your opportunity for an “and” solution?
I polled FaceBook for some real-life situations and their “and” solutions – here are some highlights:
Opportunity: Get a new house, or travel?
Solution: We sold our house, found a school with programs that fit my kids, rented an apartment in the school zone (lease for term of school year), and traveled during summer vacation. Now we’ve come back to rent another apartment for the next school year in the same school zone. Our home is based in the same area, just not tied to a physical location. This is our second year, and the kids love it. We live minimally and travel a lot!
Travel, or pay bills?
Solution – Income doesn’t have to stop when you travel. We assessed all skills and talents and picked ones that solve people’s problems or a pain point. Next, we found the ideal clients and turned it into a remote/virtual business. Now we develop processes & systems to scale and refine until monthly living anticipated expenses are covered. Then we were able to sell the house and move forward with plan described above, while continuing to grow our business.
Do I leave what I know to pursue a different role?
My friend was a RN who struggled with whether she should leave her hospital job to pursue her tech-y side. Instead, she figured out a way to remain there and use her other strengths. They hired her to run IT at the hospital. As it turned out, she was the only one in the building familiar with their systems. As she was aging, she didn’t have to keep doing the nursing work which was draining her (physically/mentally), and she also kept her tenure by staying on the same employer’s payroll.
Can you bring this back to minimalism?
So look for the and in your life. Start small – you love a cherished knick knack in your home. Maybe the and solution, instead of getting rid of it entirely, is to give it to your mother, who always loved it as well. It’s a memory of you for her house, and you can enjoy it when you visit.
Or maybe you’re stuck feeling like the next few months are nothing but cleaning and clearing everything out. But life is about balancing the “to-do’s” with the “want to-do’s”. Add in the fun and play. Like Mary Poppins said, “For every job that must be done there is an element of fun.” Find the fun, and poof – it’s a game!
If you can’t find the joy in the chore, then space it out so you can take a break. Avoid burnout.
Pace your life to bring light in. Not black and white happiness and despair, but an ebb and flow of getting the mundane accomplished while remembering the element of truly living. It doesn’t have to be the “or” of a prison cell. What is your freedom and joy in life?
Where is your opportunity for “and”? What either-or scenario can you eliminate from your life and open to another wonderful possibility?