Freedom is not expected overnight so it will need to happen in stages. In no particular order here are the intended stages to be undertaken:
- Find a slower place to live
- Stop exchanging time for money
- Education and mentorship for Freedom Junior
- Get rid of unneeded ‘stuff’
- Pursue Passions
- Believe in myself and others
- Clear space for 50% unplanned time
Let’s take a look at each of these one at a time.
Find a slower place to live
It’s no secret we want to escape Lotus Land. Although this link alludes to Vancouver being laid back, there are aspects of this city that are anything but. Getting anywhere is a headache as traffic and congestion is mostly inescapable. Any new place to live must be in or near a smaller city or town. Parking must be reasonable to find and preferably with free options. It must be bike riding friendly as once the pace of life slows down bikes will become a much more common mode of transportation for us. If our new home is not situated directly in nature (my first choice) then getting to nature must be easy and there has to be lots of it nearby. This can take many pleasing forms and at the top of my list are lots of trees and some kind of water be it river, lake, or ocean.
Stop exchanging time for money
This topic will likely be a major focus of this blog and will require much exploration. Regular jobs will be avoided and entrepreneurship will be encouraged. The goal is to create passive forms of income that will continue to run in the background while we live our lives. It must also be location independent to allow a portable lifestyle that will allow for travel or relocation without major impact. For me I plan to make this revolve around online forms of income and for Mrs Freedom it will hopefully revolve around growing her art business, something she currently has little time for.
Education and mentorship for Freedom Junior
This is the primary reason Mrs Freedom has little time for her business. Our 7 year old son (aka Freedom Junior) is currently being homeschooled. There’s a variety of reasons for this I hope to touch on in greater detail in a future post. Essentially he needs an educational environment that will work for him that is so far not to be found in the public school system. He does well with a mentor that he feels connected to and that understands what makes him tick. Finding a set of circumstances that will work well for him would create a lot of freedom for the Mrs that would positively impact us all.
Get rid of unneeded ‘stuff’
I am a minor hoarder. Not so bad that anyone would make a tv show about me but enough that once I’ve acquired something it’s hard for me to let it go. Mrs Freedom has it to a degree too although not as bad as me and I think she may have learned it from me a bit over the last 13 years. Naturally this tendency has rubbed off on our son as well. I can mostly look past the excess stuff in our house but it’s become increasingly difficult for the missus. Moving is a good way to reset this as who wants to move tons of stuff. Even before we move we may start the process by renting a storage container we move most of our stuff into to see what we actually need and take back out. The rest may find its way to Craigslist or local charities.
When I was a younger man I used to spend a great deal of time taking part in activities that were meaningful and exhilarating for me. These days the combination of my day job and my various family roles leave me with little energy left for such things. The activities I love usually take a fair amount of time such as hiking trips and motorcycle adventure travel. They generally need to be either a full day or preferably multiple days in length to really get into them. These days I try to fit much smaller activities in that can be done in short spurts but they never feel as fulfilling. I have often tried to think of ways to incorporate some of these activities into a career path but I’ve never found something I thought would work for me. I also feel that taking hobbies and passions and turning them into a career would kill that very passion when every day must be dedicated to that topic. Perhaps some people love certain pursuits so completely that they can never get enough however I am someone that values variety and in my case I want to pick my times that I enjoy each activity in a way that preserves my desire for more of it. With the anticipated added space in my life I expect some of it to be filled with these little enjoyed but not forgotten activities.
Believe in Myself and Others
Do I doubt that I can accomplish the goals I have set out to achieve my freedom? Of course. I’d be inhuman if I didn’t. It’s my perception that I have more self-doubt than other people although my logic tells me I probably have an average amount. I want to proceed with confidence knowing that I might fail and resolve to learn from my mistakes and carry on re-evaluating as I deem necessary. I will rely on Mrs Freedom to help keep me on the right path as she is generally more of a dreamer than I which helps to keep the grand plan on target and squeeze the negative inner voice out. At the same time I hope I can encourage her to believe in her own strengths and capabilities when a boost is needed. I feel we can be each other’s biggest supporters while also giving and receiving the same from our close friends and family.
Clear space for 50% unplanned time
This is a concept I read from MrMoneyMustache that struck a nerve with me. In order to live a life with freedom, keep 50% of your time unplanned. If you work a job, you already have about 50% of your waking hours planned for you. That means all the rest of your ‘free’ time would need to be unscheduled to meet this goal. For those of us with families, friends, meals to prepare, housework and house maintenance, etc. this is simply not possible. To me, all of steps listed above lead to achieving this step so I consider this an advanced step that I hope to be able to implement down the road. For now, it’s a dream and someone I know always tells me that dreaming is good and necessary. 🙂
So that’s the list for now and as with everything in this plan it will evolve. The time frame to achieve these? ASAP of course. For me, financial freedom is my top priority as I believe it will open the door for all the other steps. If you ask Mrs Freedom she would say relocating and education for Freedom Junior are tops. Everything in due time.