Updated: Dec 20, 2020
To know where we wanted to be, we had to look at where we were – what we liked and what we didn’t.
We had a decent marriage and two great kids, friends, jobs, hobbies, and what seemed like a typical North American middle-class life.
Monday to Friday's were spent rushing to school and work to spend the day, then home to scarf down suppers before dragging at least one family member to their seasonal activity.
Then bedtime routines, packed lunches, and hopefully knocking an item or two off of the "to do" list before ending it all with some quality wife and husband time. (And by that I mean 20-40 mins of our latest Netflix series as we're too tired for anything else)
Weekends weren't much better as they filled with everything that we couldn’t get to over the week sprinkled with light procrastination and a building dread of the Monday to come.
The result was flickering moments of satisfaction sparsely found within an ongoing blur of busy, tired, and disconnection.
Laying underneath everything were suppressed passions and dreams kept alive by a faint hope that one day we’d magically find a world where time was abundant, relationships were deep, and energy eternal.
When we looked at where we were we realized that the drumbeat we followed wasn’t coming from our drum.
We longed for so much more and were in danger of one of my greatest fears - deathbed regret.
We didn't value busy or disconnection. Saw a growing entitlement and materialism in our kids. Felt guilty for the amount of times iPads were used as babysitters. But had somehow built this life that wasn't true to who were were.
Instinctively we knew that what felt "off" on the inside needed to be listened to.
So we sat down and made 2 lists.
WHAT DO WE VALUE THE MOST
Learning (growing in our passions)
Raising kids who can see past themselves
WHAT DO WE VALUE THE LEAST
Constant screen time
Redundant / broken systems
Lack of gratitude and whining / entitlement
Being busy but not full
Then we compared the lists to our lives and exposed our hypocrisy.
What we valued was consistently being pushed aside for what didn't.
Interestingly, we felt excited not discouraged. Understanding what we were really wanting in life gave us the power to do something about it.
But words on a page weren't enough. We needed to let them blow apart the routines that had been guiding us and create new ones that were more true to who we are.
READ NEXT: Creating a Culture of Intentionalism