They say that the one constant in life is change. Change can be a good thing. Change can be a bad thing. And some times change is, well, just change. Like so many things in life, it depends on your perspective.
Recently, I made some big changes in my life. I left a very stable, well-paying job for a position with a nonprofit organization . . . making less money.
Some might see this as a bad change. For me, it was a good change. As with everything, there are trade offs. The new job is more focused, and it is challenging in ways that excite me. The hours are much better and I have generous time off. Plus, it’s located in one of my favorite cities. For me, these were all positive aspects of the change. Others might not agree with me, because they value different things. They might be more comfortable with a higher paying, higher stressed job. Because for them money equals security and safety.
I used to equate money with security. Recently, I stopped looking at it that way.
I began to realize that for me, there were things that were much more important to my overall well-being.
Like being happy.
And having time to do more of the things I love.
Doing work that excites me and gives me an opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.
Having the time to be outside more and to be active.
Living in a place that is beautiful and full of natural wonders
With the new job came another change – moving to a new city and finding a new house. This change has been, well, a change. For me it’s neither good nor bad, just different. There have definitely been some challenges, and trade offs with this move. I’m living in a smaller house now. In square feet, it’s only slightly smaller than the house I lived in previously. Those absent square feet are causing me to stretch, to think and measure, both literally and figuratively; to determine what is really important to me.
What do I keep? What do I release? What really matters?
When you have less space, you become much more intimate with the objects around you. And if you’re like me and clutter makes you a little crazy, then you decide quickly what can stay and what must go.
This move has led to some interesting realizations and choices. It’s pushed me to really look inside and examine the relationship I have with my things. Yes, some things hold sentimental value. Some things are very practical and functional. Some things are lovely and some things just fun. Things that don’t make me happy are finding new homes where they will be deeply appreciated . . . by someone else.
My perspective began to change when I decided to change jobs. I examined how and what I was contributing to the world, and what I was gaining in return. I made choices that reflected my values and what I hold dear. This small house is helping me turn that same lens on the physical things in my world. And now, I’m finding this new perspective creeping into other aspects of my life. Does this food make my taste buds sing? What about this book or movie; do they move me or invite deeper reflection? And what about the people in my life? Are they inspiring me, delighting me, inviting me to be a better person?
So thank you small house. Thank you for reminding me to examine what’s important, what matters to me. Thank you for reminding me that we all have different wants and needs. No matter what we value, it’s important that we honor each other’s choices and the right to choose what fits us best; what makes us happiest. It’s important that we find the courage to make the sometimes-tough choices that lead to the changes we want.
Change, after all, can be a good thing.