Every family is going to have their own version of what a balanced family life should be. This site is going to look at a multitude of options that families can discuss. There are many things that we want to accomplish and we have some sort of plan to achieve them. The main goal is for our family to work together as one unit and not as a group of individuals living separate lives under one roof.
After many discussions over the past number of months we have an outline of what we want for our balanced family life. I have listed some of the major points that will we will be working towards.
Work – We have always believed that you have to love what you do. You spend so much of your life working that if you do not enjoy your job it will become a burden. Currently my work is not as enjoyable as it used to be and it is draining my energy through apathy and frustration. One of our major issues is that there is not a direct connection between the quality of work that I put in and the income I receive. For many years we have both wanted to be self-employed and it is time to take that step.
Location – This may seem the most superficial of all our points and the hardest to admit. I always said that as long as I had my family I could live anywhere. And while that philosophy is still true today we have recognized that a different setting could provide a better environment for raising our kids. In our world this means moving to a small to medium sized coastal town.
Focus on Experiences, not material goods – This one is easy for us, as we have never placed much value on material wealth. We are the adults we are today in many ways due to the experiences we had as children, not what possessions we had. We want to do many different activities, learn about different cultures and beliefs, and do this all as a family to give our kids first-hand knowledge of the world. We will allocate a good portion of our disposable income to experiences like travel, and live a modest life.
Health – In our current lifestyle we have been fatigued much more than we should given our age, and this in turn has caused poor eating habits and less exercise, with predictable results. Our current fitness does not match our personalities and interests. I have put this point last as we feel as long as we are living a life that is true to ourselves, we will eat the healthy food we love, and partake in all the activities we love to do. In the lifestyle we want this means daily exercise (walking to the store, gardening, or playing in the backyard) while spending quality time as a family. This also means having some down time and making sure we relax just a little bit each day.
All of these points are not to be exclusive of each other – not in the lifestyle we crave. Everything has to be interconnected. We have an ideal situation in mind and even though we know that nothing ever works out exactly as planned, heading down a path that is truer to ourselves will be much better for our family than staying put.