Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rejoining the Race, at Our Own Pace - One Year Looking Back

It's been exactly one year since Mike and I made the decision to sell our loft in LA and bail on the whole rat race. Since then, we've traveled, moved to Oregon, spent time on our hobbies, and explored. It's been amazing, fun, relaxing, and eye opening. I spent quite a few days in my PJs, and I think I've read more books this year than any other year of my life.

we also take a lot of naps with the kitties!

Over the last few months in particular, we've realized how much we value our free time. It's worth more than anything in the world, to be able to decide what you want to do with each and every day. Even though we dearly miss our friends and family in Los Angeles, Chicago, and around the world, we wouldn't be able to have this life if we moved back to a big city. The beautiful scenery in Bend, and the cost of living in Oregon in general, is what allows us to live this super free, super fun, super easy lifestyle. Only here can we afford to work less and live more - travel, have a home with space for a garden, chickens, etc, and spend more than half our week on hiking, camping, snowboarding, cooking, and relaxing with each other and the pets. 

For the foreseeable future, Bend is our base of operations.

a shot from one of our walks around town, along the Deschutes River.

So to that end, we decided to nest a bit here, and get a little more entrenched in our new hometown. I recently got a part time job, working two days a week, doing office work. The day I got the job, I actually cried, because I thought it meant I was going back to the grind, the daily commute, the mornings standing in my closet trying to figure out office appropriate attire, and the dreaded customer service. But reality happily reminded me that I live in Bend...I can go in whenever I want, wear whatever I want, the commute is only 5 minutes, and the boss fully expects me to not show on powder days. Can I say I love this town? I love this town!

Just like our camping and traveling makes us appreciate our home, going to work makes me appreciate my free time even more. I'm a little more careful of my time, and I plan my days a little better, and I'm a little more serious about my hobbies and projects. I think this mini-job was just what I needed, to add a little motivation and structure to my days. There really is such a thing as too much time on your hands.

It's time to get back to the grind, when even relaxing gets boring.

Mike is still running Subietech, his Subaru repair shop and conversion business. As we meet more people in town, word is slowly getting out, and we're having customers trickle in. Since Subietech is literally right around the corner from my new job, we can carpool easily, and our flexible schedules make mornings easy.

We never could have imagined, one year ago, that life could be this way for us. I'm so glad we had the courage to make the change, to ignore other people's doubts, and to do what we thought would be right for us. Everyone has their own vision of what their life could be like, and I think that sometimes we let other people's perceptions, ideas, or concerns cloud our own judgement. But you know what's right for you, so stay your course!