Moving, figuring out what I need and the art of compromise.

I think I’m a guy who lives a well-balanced life. I’m the guy who works 35 hours a week, spends what he makes and only what he makes. I’ll drink water instead of pepsi, I don’t do alcohol or drugs or meat. It may sound boring, but it really isn’t.

Working only 35 hours leaves me 5 hours a week to write, 5 more to train/climb/yoga and as much time as my kids really needs. I live fully every day, taking small victories when they come and live struggles as a part of existence.

I write almost every day. I find painting emotionally fulfilling. I am rarely ever stressed at work. Sometimes money gets tight as hell but I’ve lived with it in the past. I’m rarely just sitting at home, often go out to explore new parts of my own city. I go to the park with the girls, I go see art exhibitions, I climb, I create…you get the idea.

I think I’ve always been frugal by nature. That came with being straight edge. I take pleasure in certain things of life that may seem “small” but that are really all that matters : love, family, writing, art, good food, breathing and sunlight.

Life threw a few wrenches my way last year and I am now a single dad. I’m selling my home and looking to move into something slightly smaller in a better neighbourhood to cut down on my costs and commute.

This is what I call the art of compromise. Moving there will mean a smaller space but if I cut it to only what I need in terms of material, then that space will be all I need. It will reduce my commute by almost 30 minutes a day once everything is settled and it will clear about 200 dollars a month for me to put anywhere else I need (Dee’s college fund for example – which is WAY overdue!) Doing those small compromises in many facets of my life will allow me to increase my overall happiness.

So I’ve made the list of material things I actually use/need in life to make me happy at home as I’m looking to move now.

As they say, less is more but you do need these to be happy:

This what I actually need in life (in terms of material possessions)

Art on my walls

Books (only what matters)

Bed

2 sets of sheets, 2 pillows

One couch

Two cushions

One living room table

One bookshelf

TV is ok.

Good speakers are mandatory!!!

One surface to prep food

One kitchen table

Four chair

Full kitchen wares as cooking is the stuff of life.

Good knives for a change

Stove

Microwave

Fridge

Plants!!!

One cute bench for the balcony and sitting outside.

More plants.

Washer/Dryer at home

Still on the fence about a dishwasher

Broom and mop + bucket (no vacuum cleaner)

Girls get as much arts/toys/clothes as they NEED in their room (NO TABLET!!!!)

Bunk bed, two sets of sheets each

Book case (for both books and toys)

Box of legos

Box of dolls

FULL box of arts supplies

Lots of pens/crayons/glue

One small table with chairs

Set of toy train dee likes.

Never really played boardgames that much…

Clothes all they need

Necessary things for art and writing:

One work surface/desk

Laptop (no tablet)

Drawing table (optional but desired)

Set of Sakura pens (yes, less is more but you need real good tools to create)

One set of razor blades,

One set of paintbrushes

Masking tape

Black paint

Canvases

Printer

Paper

Clothes I actually need in life

3 hoodies

1 beanie

Appropriate amounts of boxer shots and socks

4 pants (three clean, one dickies for work)

Bunch of t-shirt (from devastatingly old to almost recent)

5 dress shirts (2 white, 2 black, one gray)

Adidas superstar shoes (1 pair)

Winter clothes (1 winter jacket, 1 pair of boots, one snow pants, two pairs of gloves, one scarf (maybe))

Minimum amount of things I need for fitness

Set of training bands is enough to work out every single muscle

Yoga mat

Climbing shoes

Three pairs of shorts

Considering starting snowboarding again (we’ll see)

Minimum amounts of tools necessary to home life :

Drill, bits, screws,

Electrical saw,

Screwdriver set,

Hammer,

level,

Pliers,

Olfa knife,

Razor blades,

Caulking gun,

Paintbrushes,

Sandpaper,

Small box of plaster,

Spatulas,

Glue,

Electrical tape, marrets

Mechanics gloves,

Work boots

Two steel shovels, (because CANADA)

Bigger jobs are rare, rent or borrow as needed.

That really looks like about it for my home life. Everything else is optional and/or is to be considered a “treat”

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A Family Man (Poem)

Trying to find solace in solitude
Was never for me
I needed the big family
I wanted the little struggles
Before putting them to bed.
The baths
And the teeth
And the song
Or a story
And then the brief moment to yourself
For coffee
Tea
Or a poem
A game of something

Or just sitting in silence
Just enough cuddles
Or a little bit of a talk
In peace and quiet
Equanimity
For an hour
Never more
Or not that often anyways

Because
6 AM will come again really soon
And the kids will be jumping around
Asking to be fed
And cared for
Pampered
Dressed
Taken to school

All the small
Mundane
Things of life
You didn’t know
You needed
Till you didn’t have then anymore.

A quiet evening
Food in the pantry
Bills are paid
And someone in your bed
Looking for
That little heel hook
That puts you to sleep at night.

A family man.