The realization that warmed my heart

A few weeks ago, before we left France for good, Thomas and I sat down for a drink and a chat. We had been planning our new life for weeks, thinking about our next projects (both professional and personal) and evaluating the costs and feasibility of each thing. 

As I write these words, I can’t help but congratulate ourselves, because being reasonable and forward thinking hasn’t always been our thing (OK for full disclosure, really not our thing!) That night, we felt a sense of accomplishment for having made a realistic, exciting and concrete plan for the next five years. A five-year plan (sounds so serious when you put it that way!) Hard to believe, no? Well, for us it is :).

dry martini

Anyways, once we were done dreaming up the plan, we took a step back to consider it and that’s when it hit us: we realized that our priorities, desires and needs had completely shifted.

Reflecting on our history, I realize that we often invested in projects that we didn’t enjoy enough because they proved to be burdensome – both financially and in terms of mental load. But instead of being oriented around things and places (i.e., possessions), our new plan is based on experiences, which we will remember forever.

Frankly, this warmed my heart.

rainbow handkerchief

Because in theory, we can say that we prefer to experience things with those we love, but our actions don’t always follow.

Because in practice, we often let ourselves get overwhelmed by the need to take care of our things or to pay for them… And there is not much time or money left for experiences!

Because despite all our good will, Thomas and I have found that the last 10 years of our lives have been spent growing our mini-empire, using our possessions as leverage to get more.

More things, bigger things, more expensive things!

And now, at the dawn of a new life on our old continent, all our choices point in the same direction.

Less stuff, more freedom, fewer expenses… 

A simpler life with the means to truly enjoy it. A life with a deeply lightened mental load.

moments instead of things

I suspect that simply having a five-year plan on paper won’t be enough to change the way we are and act on a daily basis, but I still feel that it marks a significant shift in the way we approach life and experiences.

As we embark on this new journey, I’m curious… Have you experienced this kind of transition, this realization? Do you aspire to simplify, lighten or transform your way of life? If so, let’s chat!

2 thoughts on “The realization that warmed my heart”

  1. Hello Marion,

    Thank you for sharing your feelings and ideas around forward thinking and planning.

    I wanted to share 2 things that recently hit me with insight:

    1. From our mustachioed philosopher (F. Nietzsche) – “[…]who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”

    Why and purpose seem and sound to me like far away ideals… in the realm of god and the origin of life as we know it.

    The word: Why, makes it simpler to understand for me and leads to the second recent insight…

    2. Said of Elon Musk by a SpaceX employee: He makes decisions based on whether it will take us closer or farther from getting to a functional human colony in Mars

    Something like the above, I recalled it from memory. The statement helped me understand forward thinking less like an abstract and more like a technical process.

    Now, Elon seem to does it to preserve consciousness and I am applying it to the next car I am buying, which I need. Still, seems like the same can be applied to many other things that might be perceived as daunting. Most likely the five year plan can be presented to others in a short list of things to consider when making decisions. That’s what came to my mind after reading you.

    Wish you enjoy a blessed day,

    Javier C:

    1. Javier, thanks for sharing this! Nietzsche’s words absolutely resonate, although they intimidate me, because I think I can feel that there is a why but it is somewhat abstract and unclear for me, too. It is definitely interesting to see forward thinking in a more technical manner – and always useful in my opinion to have a greater question to answer when making important decisions. 🙂

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