What does "living the simple dream" mean to me?

I always hear people from our generation saying "Ahh, living the dream" when they are doing somthing our of the ordinary - for example: sipping cocktails in a spa of a fancy resort or perhaps they post "living the dream" as the caption beneath a photo of them moving into their new $500,000+ mansion-esque home they have just mortgaged their life away for. At first I was confused by how simple my ambitions were. All I wanted was to live in a caravan and be able to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors with my husband and son, without my husband having to be at work all the time. So for me, this became my simple dream. I find myself having those "Ahh living the dream" moments when I am sitting in a natural hot spring with my husband and son, drinking a beer, ten feet away from a crocodile infested river. Now mine, my husbands and my sons life is all about chasing our simple dream.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tomorrow its my birthday so here are ten things I have learnt this year.

Tomorrow its my birthday, I am turning 25, a quarter of a centuary. Whoah! I find myself wondering how I got here, it feels like just yesterday I was nineteen years old and my life was dedicated to vodka and pubs and not much else. Now here I am, a mother, a student a wife, wow. Ive accomplished so much in my life and I am not afraid to say that. But I have to honestly say that I am as proud of myself for the years of letting my hair down, partying and not taking life seriously as I am for the years of having a child and studying a uni degree and loving a husband.

Its so easy to "blame" our downfalls in the past as the causers of the bad times right now. But ultimately without every bad experience we wouldnt have made it to the corresponding good experience. Both go hand in hand and I understand and respect that.

So, what *have* I learnt over the past year?

1) Tradgedy can and will strike at any time, it also may define your future, but it is certainly up to you whether that definition is positive or negative. Learn and grow from negative and traumatic experiences.

2)There is beauty in everything and every person, but somtimes you have to look a little harder than others. When you do look a little harder (and perhaps work a little harder to see it) you'll see it in an even more beautiful light than others before you.

3) Children. Know. Everything, they truly do. I mean - everything about how to be happy. If your a mother an aunt an uncle a grandparent - WATCH and learn from the juniors. They can teach you so much about the beauty of the world and finding simplistic joy even when everything seems bleak.

4) No matter how hard you try to be original, you will always find someone just like you. Thats not a bad thing and thats not somthing that you make you "try harder" to be different. You should take comfort in sharing your interests with others.

5) Your family, although you are genetically programmed the same as them, you WILL grow into your own person. You will end up making choices they dont like and vice versa. There comes a point in your life where you have to actively choose to accept or reject them and when you make that choice you must be prepared to live with the consequences and take the good with the bad. Regardless of which option you choose.

6) We should let children, be children, why they are still children. We all grow up so fast and once your childhood is over it really is. I understand that decisions we make for our children now COULD impact there future in all sorts of ways but if every choice you make for your child is born of love, compassion and keeping them safe - you really cannot go wrong. Let children be children, dont push them and frighten them. Let them enjoy those 15 or so years before the *real world* starts.

7) My husband will always do things that piss me off. Its upto me to choose which ones of those are worth arguing over - otherwise we would always be arguing. This year I have learnt ALOT about how it isnt always best to get my own way. I have learnt alot about stepping back and letting others make the choices and pave the way. Ive learnt to let things go, small things like the washing ending up next to, as opposed to IN the basket. Who care's?. Once I almost left my husband over him not washing the dishes, honestly. I made it such a big deal in my head "he isnt washing them because he doesnt love me" (somehow I moulded it back to that idea. Honestly, how would one explain that kind of a decision to their child down the track? Especially considering I love pretty much everything about my husband and Ive never met a person Ive had more laughs and fun with. Gosh, let things go. Let it be.

8) There is so much more to life then dollars and cents. My husband now works entirely to save enough so we can then (not work) and live poor, in our caravan, by a beach somewhere. We always have enough saved for emergencies, for our son, for our bills etc. Thats all we need. If you consider every moment your partner misses out on with his family (or perhaps every moment you miss out on) because of work commitments, consider each moment as a dollar. Then you will spend your dollars alot more carefully. Stand at the register and look at that set of candle holders in your hand and think "These may make the mantlepiece look pretty but nothing is quiet like listening to my husband giggle in the backyard with the kids".

9) You always have to miss someone to have what is RIGHT for you. It will hurt, leaving people and watching people leave you but you cannot follow someone elses journey or stay behind from your own just for the people you will miss. It hurts us, alot, being away from our families year round, but this journey is what we want and we have to focus on that. We also are liberated by the fact that we have the ability to hitch the van on the back of the ute and drive to where they are for a few weeks if we really need to see them.

10) Life. Goes. By. FAST. with every birthday I am baffled at how fast that year came around. You cant stop it, you cant slow it down. All that you have the ability to do is to fill each minute with more joy, each hour with more fun and each day with more love. The more you utilise those moments the less robbed you will feel when another year has passed by. Make the most of every moment. In big and small ways.

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