After Prudence died, my husband and I started planning a future together that prioritized what really mattered to us. We no longer wanted all the stress and responsibilities of owning and operating businesses in our small town. We didn’t want our lives to continue the way we had been going so far – my husband killing himself working nonstop, running from one business to the next, and me at home struggling with my step-daughter, being a first time mom to our little man, and now add grieving Prudence on top of all of that stress. It just wasn’t working for any of us.
Thankfully, we were on the same page, and our new dreams for our future together started making sense. I poured over podcasts about living simply, minimalism, becoming debt free, and gentle parenting. No matter what choices we made that got us here, I knew that we could find a way to a new life we could enjoy together, as long as we were willing to work together and say good riddance to everything bringing us down.
So, we dove in. We started talking about what would get rid of the most debt (and stress) the fastest, and there was one obvious choice – sell our home. It was a beautiful house with lots of baggage for me. My dad had lived there at one point, and I had moved in with him temporarily in one of my in-between college transfers. I had lots of memories there, and that house has always held a soft spot for me. It had been apartments for decades, but was renovated into a family home since I had lived there. After a tour many years ago, I declared that if I ever moved back to my hometown, I was going to own that house. So when my husband and I agreed to look at bigger houses together, we quite frankly forced that purchase. We put ourselves way out of our comfort zone and did whatever it took to buy that house. The entire three years we lived there were full of so much stress and uncertainty with the crazy-high mortgage payment and ridiculous utilities – not to mention maintenance costs on a turn of the century Victorian “mansion”.
I dove even further into minimizing, this time with a future of putting our house on the market in mind as I went room to room. Would I need this gigantic antique sideboard in a smaller home? Nope. What about three pianos? Obviously not necessary (spoiler alert, it wasn’t necessary in a large home either). I went through our entire home and put things in bins that I knew I wanted to keep, but didn’t need at the moment, took dozens of loads to a donation center, and sold, gave away, or pitched the rest. My husband turned his focus to working on our old farmhouse so we could move back there, and also to doing repairs and prep work on our house we were going to be putting up for sale.
We were on a mission, and we were going all-in together to recreate our life into something we both wanted: less stress, less responsibility, less debt, and more quality time together. Goodbye, dream home. We have new and better dreams now.