When we first found ourselves both unemployed seven years ago, my younger sister posed a very simple yet important question:
How much do you really need?
At first, it calmed our fears. We had saved up plenty to survive while we decided our next steps. But more importantly, it started us on a journey to sort of pseudo-minimalism. We lightened our load, examined our stuff, started conversations about our values, and took a hard look at what is really important to us. We started designing our lives on this Encore Voyage with much more intention.
In the early days, hubs would spend sleepless nights trying to answer the question, “Am I doing the right things?” “Am I taking the right jobs?” Am I taking all the steps I need for us to be successful.” At first, those were questions born of fear and uncertainty.
The same questions are true for anyone entering retirement. Have we saved enough? Are we prepared both financially and emotionally? Do we need to do more? Are we ready to take the leap?
Well, it’s taken us a few years, but we have finally learned to stop and take some very deep breaths. And we’ve learned some things about “Enough.”
- We do not need to fill every hour of every day. Down time is now cherished! We are mindful about doing “enough.”
- We do not need to exist on the 8 to 5 schedule of the working world. It’s OK for us to skip out in the middle of the afternoon or to work on a weekend. We get to decide what to make of the day, and no longer feel guilty for not doing “enough.”
- We don’t need to buy much more “stuff.” We want the items we own to be useful, meaningful or beautiful. Generally speaking, we own “enough.”
- Taking time in the middle of the afternoon to read a book or pursue a hobby is quite OK. You can never have “enough” curiosity or interests.
- We travel lightly. I’ve studied up on many travel blogs, and it really is quite possible to go anywhere in a 22 inch carry-on and a backpack. Just “enough” is waaayyyy better when traveling than too much!
- Keeping up with the Joneses is stupid. They are broke! Our “enough” is not for anyone else to judge.
- You can never have “enough” meaningful relationships. They are far more important than the things you own!
- There will NEVER be “enough” time for us to love each other and be together. We need to take advantage of every moment we’re given in this life.
So how about it…What’s “enough” for you? Any important things I’ve left off the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!