The following is a guest post from my brother, Nick Peterson of Livin' Lightly.
Human behavior is curious. Why do we do the things we do? How many people stop and ask, Why? For me, intentional living is all about stopping and answering this one question.
It's too easy to get sucked into a life that is not meaningful and that is not intentional. Our joy and purpose gets traded for what's normal, expected and safe. We know something is missing but we have careers to pursue, stuff to buy and people to impress.
Most paths in our culture are far from intentional and I found myself on this path. Consumption, convenience and duty are the driving force pushing aside our loved ones and beliefs.
Several years ago, after the birth of our daughter, my wife and I began to question our path. Shae was an elementary teacher and I was pursuing small business dreams. The majority of our time was spent apart and there was little time and energy at the end of the day.
While we enjoyed our work and found meaning in what we did something was missing...
Shae wanted to be at home with our baby and future kids. We wanted more time together. We wanted more time with extended family. We wanted more time to pursue the things we were passionate about. We wanted adventure and travel and a life lived on purpose!
Long talks about our dreams led to informal planning sessions. We sat on our bed and made a list of the life we wanted then the obstacles to realizing this life. The list of obstacles became our To Do list. Then, we got to work.
- Place to Live that is affordable and portable
- Vehicle to pull portable home
- Pay-off Debt so we have no more monthly payments
- Income sufficient to meet monthly needs
- Health Insurance
We sold the majority of our stuff, bought and remodeled a vintage Airstream, and developed modest passive income streams to pay the bills.
I’d love to report that everyday is completely joy-filled and 100% intentional. It's not. Being intentional has brought many challenges and struggles. One of them is continuing to be intentional. Another is being content with the trade off’s we made.
At times it's tough being different. People constantly question our lifestyle and offer advice like, Why don’t you get a job? Like the old adage of crabs in a bucket...none can escape because the others pull them back in. It's tough attempting to be intentional and sharing life with people that are not on the same page.
Despite the challenges and struggles -- its worth it! I get to spend the majority of my day with my family. We see extended family for more than a few days during the holidays. Paisley is growing up with her cousins and it's awesome to see her bond with family. We get to do work we care about and love (most of the time). We get to travel and explore new places. Everyday is an adventure!
If you have found yourself sucked into a path, squeezed into shoes that no longer fit there are other shoes there is another way! (Or heck, why not go barefoot...) Ultimately it's up to you. Slowdown. Look at your life and ask, Why?
Intentional joyful living is just around the corner!
For more from Nick:
website | Livin' Lightly
instagram | @livinlightly