By: J. Money
I don't know if you caught it, but in our last net worth update I slipped in something pretty nonchalantly that really should have been more ... chalant:
We'll see if we reach [a million dollars] before the downturn, but either way it really doesn't matter as it's not the *amount* that counts, but the *lifestyle* it gives you.
It took me a good 6 or 7 years to finally come to this realization, but when you figure out that this is the whole point of chasing all that money, it really puts things in better perspective. Especially when you realize that there are parts to your lifestyle you can start implementing right now to improve it that doesn't even cost a cent! (Walks, naps, Adventure Tuesdays (see below).)
I think we get so caught up in wanting more all the time that we don't step back to see the overall picture. Or even realize that we have it in our power already to craft a life we love before hitting our financial goals.
I was reminded of this again after reading an excellent email from Cait Flanders, posted below (highly recommend her newsletter— it always makes you think):
Three years ago, almost to this day, I went on my first Adventure Tuesday. I was newly self-employed and realized that, while I had bitten off more than I could chew and was still working too much, I really wanted to make spending time with friends in the outdoors a priority. After years of working full-time for a startup + blogging and freelancing on the side, I was done hustling. I wanted to spend more time with the people I loved doing the things we loved. And since one of the benefits of self-employment is that you're able to set your own hours, that's exactly what I did.
I made my friends + the outdoors a priority, and penciled in a standing date to explore a new town or trail with someone every Tuesday.
Approximately 156 Tuesday's have passed, since then, and I can't say I've gone on an adventure for each one. However, the intention behind Adventure Tuesday has stuck with me. To this day, I make sure there is breathing room in my calendar so I can say yes to walk/hike requests. This summer, I also made a bucket list of things I wanted to do and see in and around Squamish, and crossed most things off. I explored new areas, stepped on new trails, swam in new lakes. I made my friends + the outdoors a priority, because it makes my life a little bit better.
I'm not telling you this so you will lace up your shoes and head out. And this newsletter isn't going to be filled with hiking tips or recaps of mine. Adventure Tuesday isn't really about the outdoors at all. It's about paying attention to your thoughts about how you want to be spending your time, and figuring out how you can turn them into realities. It's also about setting healthier boundaries in your life, so you can show up for yourself and for others.
I've made a lot of big changes in my life, over the past eight years. But putting Adventure Tuesday in the calendar felt like the first (tiny) step towards actively creating the life I wanted, rather than passively consuming the one I thought I should have.
That's what I want to talk about in this season of Adventure Tuesday: the idea of creating vs. consuming. I want to talk about how we, as humans, are consumers. We consume non-stop around the clock, and it impacts our mindsets, our health, our money and our relationships.
But we, as humans, are also creators. You might not think you create anything physical (and maybe you don't really, aside from the meals you eat). However, you are a creative problem-solving human being, and that means you have a little more control over your life than you might currently believe.
So beautiful on so many levels…
First, going back to my original point, it doesn't cost any money to start your own Adventure Tuesday. Or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, weekend. At any given moment of time you can decide to slip in a little more 'living' into your weekly lives, no costs required.
Second, we really do consume way too much with the onslaught of technology and the addictive pace of society. So just sitting back and taking stock of our desires itself could do most of us a world of good.
Lastly, it all comes back to what you truly value and find important in life. Whether that's the outdoors, more family time, volunteer work, chasing a passion, or anything else that moves you in the morning that you wish you could be doing more of.
Not everything can be accomplished without a good foundation of finances, but if you can take the time to incorporate small tweaks now— no matter where you are in the journey — you can start living a lot closer to your dream lifestyle before you even cross the finish line.
Which is both exciting and empowering!
Do keep hustling and paying attention to your money, but just realize it's not "all or nothing" as you're going along. And please don't think having millions in the bank will automatically give you your perfect life either — that all comes from inside you, which again you have the power to start working on now.