Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A simple life

Not long ago my husband and I were on the top of our careers. He was jet setting to Paris and Milan, going to fashion shows, sitting in the Armani show room. He was bringing home fancy little presents and I was one lucky and happy lady. I was on the top of my wedding career. Clients galore, designing, creating, implementing.. I was dining at private events, sipping bubbly amongst the top wedding planners. My business and weddings were in magazines from San Francisco to Manhattan.

Armani Showroom
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We were consumed with things and feelings of self worth by the caliber of fabulousness we were achieving. We held the burdens of always wanting and needing more and working to death to achieve those things.

Then one day...

We became pregnant. Our lives started to shift. It was a gradual shift and we tried to keep our lives as similar as they were. My wedding business was the first to go. I knew that I didn't want or need that type of stress while pregnant and I didn't want to dedicate my life to my clients when I should be dedicating it to my baby. It was a sad day. I remember walking off the steps of San Francisco City Hall. Just completing a Peruvian wedding that was one of the highlights of my career. I had my Carrie Bradshaw moment where I walked away with one little last glance back of a life I was leaving and hearing my own words of "there comes a time in life when it's best to just walk away."

Life shifted for us even more when my husband's job moved to Hong Kong. We were offered to move there and they were offering us the world. Amazing salary, housing, a live in nanny, schools, flights home 2 times a year, you name it, they were offering it. My husband said "why don't we do it for 3 years, make boat loads of money, and then move to Ashland." At this time I was pregnant with my second child. As I thought of my kids,  I thought to myself that I just can't do this. Some days I look back and think that we were so foolish to walk away from that money, but then I look at what we have gained in the 3 years that we would have been there.  It was here that I started to realize that money is not the root of all happiness.

Hong Kong visit
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Our move to Ashland has brought us to our deepest root of simplicity. It is a lifestyle choice for us. We have chosen for me not to work while the kids are young. I haven't worked in 6 years. There are days that I panic and think that I have to get a job. But instead of losing that time with my young children, we shift. We shift from coffee out every day. We shift from taking vacations. We shift from money. We see their youngest years as a crucial point of their development. That they know that mom is always here. We know that one day I will work and for now it is about forming these bonds and strengthen our family relationships.

Gardening with kids
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Simplicity for us was birthed from our first child. First it was the type of toys we had, then to getting rid of our television and mostly it stems from keeping our head on straight about newness. Our society is full of such glitz and glimmer. So many things come in white boxes that we think we must have. Just the other day I was at my mother in laws house and she was using her iPad for a recipe in the kitchen. I thought "god, I could really use an iPad. Wouldn't that be so great to  be able to do this and that and this and that......" As I kept thinking about how great it would be to have this device, I stepped back and thought about all negatives. How much time I would probably spend on it. How many times I would tell my kids "just a second." and then how much another device would creep its way into my every day life. So many devices are consuming our time and energy.

I recently read a facebook post about someone that wants to simplify. She posted a photo of the amount of remote controls she has to control all her devices and compared it to a simple remote that was used for her old TV. She was commenting on wanting to simplify. Many of her friends offered solutions on how to buy a universal remote control or the app for the iPad that would sync all her remotes together.. altogether missing the bigger picture. Maybe the solution is to just do away with all the things that require so many remotes.

I wrote: "...Living with young kids in this day and age we have really evaluated our own lives and what it means to be happy and if those "things" really do us any good.  We sold our TV a couple of years ago and it has been the best thing ever. It was a hard adjustment for about a month because we realized how much time we wasted watching television.  Also with watching TV we were innundated with ads that told us all the other "things" we "needed" and that would bring us happiness.  I see the world always connected and losing touch with what is going in our present lives.  There is such beauty that surrounds simplicity. We have downsized our lives beyond belief byt when we see our lives now vs pre children, we see our relationships with others and ourselves become fuller and more genuine.  To think we traveled down this road of simplicity to better our children and the way they were raised, we have in turn made our own lives better and more enriching.  I believe all these devices and all this stuff just seems to leave us wanting more and being more unhappy.. and always looking for the remote."

Simplicity.. such a simple word, but something that in our culture is being harder to achieve.
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And it's moments like these that make living simply and "without" more rich than anything
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**this was typed on my 2004 iBook G4. For years I have said that we need a laptop. Even when this one works just fine, with a little more rainbow scrolling ;)**

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