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Making Space

September 3rd, 2016 at 05:11 pm

MMM had a really great article (several weeks ago). It sums up our life philosophy pretty well.

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"While others will buy an unlimited annual ski pass and ride the mountains every weekend, I’ll get a four-pack and make a single weeklong trip with my friends. Others will buy a cottage and split their time between two houses, I’m happy with one. While others will start with a cat, then have a kid, then adopt a dog, then another dog, then create second, third, and fourth kids, I’m feeling plenty busy with just my boy.

None of this is done with money in mind – it is done out of a desire for balance, free time, and a safety margin in life. By keeping our non-negotiable commitments to only 50% of our time, we leave the other 50% open for growth, self-development, and an ability to work much harder to deal with the black swan events that life inevitably serves up. While others might imagine we’re missing out on life by not stacking it up with more activities, I feel we’re allowing ourselves just the right amount of space to actually live it. And of course, the side effect this has on the money side has been very large as well."

I've been wanting to share this anyway, but couldn't help but think of this in light of the week we just had. (See last post). If my spouse has to quit his job to deal with personal stuff, then it's done. We wouldn't even think twice about it. As is, we leave enough time and space to deal with life. I doubt that quitting his job would even be necessary.

& as an aside, I think people have varying degrees of tolerance for chaos. I know my tolerance is very low. Thus I will probably never choose to have more than 2 kids. But I wanted to bring up because I think the analysis can be over-simplified a bit. MMM speaks to having only one kid. I honestly don't know if I have the personality to just have one kid. Having two kids doesn't particularly cost a lot more than having one kid (certainly not twice as much) and having two kids close in age, they mostly entertain each other. I've often felt that it's easier to have two kids than one. I am sure it depends on the age, but certainly at the age my kids are now. & yeah, I know people with many kids who are happy and in their element. Don't take MMM's comments too literally. You have to work out what works for you.

Make the time and the space for whatever it is that is most important to you.

3 Responses to “Making Space”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    I feel mostly the same about kids. We had two, 18 months apart. for me, it was zero or two. I wasn't going to raise an only (although Dh is an only and sees no problems with it , then again, he doesn't have to live with all his only-child idiosyncrasies I do!)

    I was just thinking about the 1 and 2 kid thing recently. I can see how it'd be much easier on us as parents in many ways. 1 summer camp/ daycare bill. 1 set of homework to deal with, and we'd actually get more free time, like every time a single kid has a playdate at someone else's house!

    But, I think my kids would miss out. They are best friends, even though they don't know it all the time, and they're learning a lot about sharing rooms, toys, clothes, friends. We also have learned a lot about biology, and innate temperaments, etc. having two and having them born being so different.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Well, I don't have any kids, but the cats, oh, the cats... Life would be much simpler with about 60% less cats. If DH hadn't already had this many cats, I would never have gone above maybe 3 cats at the most. 2 would be preferable. Less stuff in general too ... would be able to get a smaller house, less utilities ... etc., etc.

  3. Carol Says:

    Thanks for writing about this. I am at a very different life stage( retired), but I feel too busy sometimes... I'd like to think about this.

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