Sunday, 30 June 2013
So here it is. Today I wave goodbye to my twenties and start on a new decade. The feeling of dread I'd always anticipated I would be experiencing at leaving behind the last vestiges of 'youth' haven't actually arrived. Honestly, it feels good to be starting a fresh chapter. The past ten years have been a wild ride, one which I was definitely not expecting but it's been great. Though hard work and an uphill struggle at times, absolutely. Many of the things I had dreamed of for my future materialized, I just wasn't expecting them to happen so fast. That they did I couldn't be more thankful.
I've heard it said before that as you get older, you find more peace. Your formative years are typically spent trying out different avenues and identities but there becomes a time when you've pretty much figured out who you are, what you're about and what really matters to you. I'd agree there's definitely something in that. Now, as I look forwards I know that I want my next ten years to be focused on living with intention. Pursuing a more authentic life. I've been taking small steps in this way of thinking and living for the past few years but more than ever, I'm ready to push forward with it.
This is what I'd like living with intention and meaning to look like....
- Simplifying. Less focus on material possessions, mindless consumerism, on generally 'wanting' and keeping up with the Joneses mentality. Manifesting this by downsizing the scale of gift giving at Christmas and birthdays and generally ridding the house of any remaining vestiges of pointless crap. If it's not sentimental, useful or beautiful, it's time to say goodbye. I could throw out all the cliches here- "Less is more", "Buy less, buy better" but seriously I do want to find a balance between making considered, saved-up-for for purchases of special, beautifully designed or unique things and using and re-purposing found objects or items we already have.
- Getting Outdoors. Embracing nature, putting our hands in the earth, getting muddy, nurturing a garden, growing our own. Less screen time (for the kids, and me too- let's face it, too much time spent browsing Pinterest can only help fuel the fires of want. Beach trips, bush walks, picnics. Hopefully, a dog one day not too far away. Chickens!! Just putting it out there. I dream of going the whole hog on the urban homestead front. How ironic, when I grew up on a working farm, probably not appreciating it enough at all and now I yearn for that life. It must run deep in my blood, I'm ready to embrace and celebrate my roots now.
- Adventuring. Packing up some possessions in the car and taking off on spontaneous trips to see more of the immense country we are lucky enough to be living in (for the present time, this will unfortunately not be in an awesome old combo van or similar! For now, our little car will suffice). It doesn't have to be fancy or costly, just sharing good, simple times with family and friends and exploring some beautiful spots around us and further afield.
- Home and Family. Central to all of these ideals is that when it comes down to it, the most important things of all are the relationships with those we love. Spending time with my family and friends, and creating a home, a sanctuary where we can live and grow together is paramount. A place that reflects us and our interests, that evolves with us and where we can create lasting memories. A welcoming haven, filled with things that have meaning where those dearest to us want to gather. I want my children to know the arts of sewing, cooking and how to repair a bicycle puncture...not to be a whizz at some playstation game. I hate the thought of these and many more skills becoming lost arts which die along with our grandparents.
- Community. Making full use of community resources and initiatives. We're lucky enough to live in a wonderful, vibrant and supportive community. We already make full use of the library and the local vegetable box co-op scheme, the farmers and arts and crafts markets and various play and activity groups for the children but there's so much else going on here. I love that and I want to be part of as much as I can, getting involved, helping out others and forging friendships and connections.
- Wellbeing. While I'd love for us to have a diet of completely organic, whole foods, realistically that's not totally feasible at the moment on our budget. But making meals from scratch, keeping it fresh, healthy, local and being mindful of what I and my family eats is a big priority. As is keeping up my yoga classes and yoga practice and finding opportunities to chase waves. Time spent on my surf board is never wasted, and no doubt Curt will be making progress on his own journey of raising surfers as soon as the water warms up enough for small bodies. More than just heath and fitness thought, it's about pursuing passions- painting and writing, reading of course, and carving out a little time to do what I love and realise some personal ambitions, projects and goals.
Of course I have no idea what the future holds, some unexpected surprises I'm sure, but it feels good to have a framework of sorts. These may be my goals and current mindset for myself and my family but I certainly don't judge anyone one else who takes a different view or chooses another path. If there's one thing I've realised after 29 years lived, it's that happiness lies in the simplest, most basic of things and the smallest everyday rituals. Certainly buying the latest and greatest offered to us by every company, marketing agency and glossy magazine under the sun won't hold the key. Maybe we're all enough, just as we are.