Career vs. Lifestyle

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” We ask kids that all the time. When they get older and start thinking about college, we tweak the question a little, but we keep asking it. We rarely ever ask anyone, “What kind of life do you want when you grow up?”

Frankly, it’s a better question.

When I was in elementary school, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d tell you I wanted to be a veterinarian/gymnast. (Who would take care of my patients while I was competing at the Olympics?) But then I quit gymnastics when I was in the fourth grade, and I realized I’d spend a good portion of my life sobbing if I was a vet. (Seriously, veterinarians have a hard job and it shows in their mental health.)

I wish someone had asked me earlier what type of life I envisioned, but even if thay had, my answer would have been a lot different when I was 25 than when I was 35. But I can tell you one thing, my answer never would have been, “Work 60 hours a week to bankroll an increasingly expensive lifestyle.”

The Dream Can Change

When I was 25 and daydreaming about my future I pictured a little house with a bountiful garden and a desk where I could write. And when I was 30, I made that dream a reality. Sure the house looked a little different, and the garden needed a lot of work, but I had my house and I was working from home. Living the dream!

Two raised garndes beds with vegetables and herbs, and a compost pile.
My actual garden!

But then the dream started to change. Homeownership is a huge responsibility. From lawn mowing to plumbing problems, it never ends. I’d all but stopped traveling after buying the house, and was missing it more and more.

Here’s the thing… YOU CAN SELL A HOUSE!

After six years, my life had changed enough that I decided it was time to leave that old dream behind and start out on a new one.

If, when you were young, you thought a nice house and a fancy car were what was going to make you happy, and you found out you were wrong… there’s still time to change. You can downsize that house, trade in that new car, and create a more manageable life that allows you the freedom to do more of what you want to do, and less of what you have to do.

You just need the courage and the conviction to make it happen.


One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Writer. Editor. Storyteller. and commented:

    I started a new site to collect my thoughts about work-life balance and changing the way we think about success. Here is one of the first posts from “Lean Back.” If you like it, please visit and subscribe!


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