Image:David Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When we started our minimalist living we knew in our hearts we were choosing the best for ourselves and our family.
Now that we are a few years into this simple lifestyle I am convinced we still are choosing the best.
But the problem is when choosing the best of something you have to choose against something else.
And this has been hard for me.
When choosing the best lifestyle for my family I have to choose not to give them other things they see other kids getting. It is hard as a parent to realize I can’t give my kids everything, I want them to have it all.
I talk about how much my life has changed on the blog a lot, but my kids lives have changed just as much (or more).
The Kids’ Changes
We have talked a lot about minimalism and simple living with our kids and both of them, as much as their ages can understand, really understand and value the principles. Many people think it is hard for kids to have so few material possessions but with my kids this is the easiest part.
My kids really like the idea of just a few favorite possessions and regularly decide to pull things out and give them away without any encouragement from me. … often I find myself encouraging them to keep things…
But there is so much more to our simple living lifestyle that changes things for them.
They love the idea of traveling and are enjoying China… but they:
- miss their friends
- don’t have kids who speak English to play with
- have no church programs or play groups they loved
- miss the library
- wish they could have a pet
They don’t feel like the need a big house and have been okay with living in small apartments… but they:
- still talk about wanting their own room when they aren’t getting along
- wish they could play louder (in the early afternoon when the neighbor is sleeping)
- talk about having a back yard
Lots of these things are hard.
I know we are choosing the best for our kids and I know they agree and like the lifestyle, but I wish there wasn’t so many things they have to miss out on.
Do we look at these things and go back to working two jobs so we can have a big house? Do we give up traveling and exploring new places so they can stay in play groups? Do we give up on all we have gained in family time and a less stressful life so we can have a more normal life?
Hardly, that would be crazy!
Choosing The Best
Often choosing the best is hard because of the things we have to choose to say ‘no’ to. We can’t have it all, but we can choose the best in each situation.
People often tell me they want to adopt more minimalism but …(fill in the blank). The sad part is that often the (fill in the blank) is not something very big. They know that simplifying would be choosing the best for them, but habit and mind set have kept them from making changes.
You and Me
I have struggled over some of these things in the past few months. We have made changes to our living here in China to help the kids with some of these things they miss. But these things are minor compared to what we are gaining. I am excited to be choosing the best even though it means we can’t have everything.
What about you? I am not saying you need to be choosing the same things as we are… that would be silly. What I am asking is…
Are you choosing the best?
The best lifestyle, location, job, social group, schedule, education, situation, (you fill in the blank), or are you letting small things you don’t want to lose get in the way?
Thanks for reading!