My 2015 was full of new things. Some were good and some were bad. This post is a review of some of the highlights of 2015.
Return to Home Ownership
We moved out of our apartment and returned to home ownership. I have shared some of this saga over the course of the year.
It’s not been all bad. It’s certainly not my ideal, but there have been good things now and then. A few times during the year, the kids (our daughter and friends or cousins) went swimming in the pool, and we were able to relax inside and still have them within sight. We bought a small camper and I was able to store it in the garage instead of search for a storage place. The kids have been able to play outside with little supervision.
In an interesting, but not unexpected twist, my wife is ready to return to renting. Our house is simply eating up more of our income than we desire. It’s having a pretty big impact on our entertainment and adventures budget. It also requires my wife to work more hours than she wishes.
Three years renting an apartment really changed our outlook on things, and even though we thought we could go back to the old ways, it wasn’t the same. When we bought our first house, I was really excited about it. When we bought our second house after renting for three years, I found I wasn’t excited at all. Nothing about it held any excitement for me.
We have a tentative plan to sell the house when our daughter enters middle school in about a year and a half. This will be a good time to move as the apartments we like are a very short walk from the middle school.
Before we sell, we have a few things to finish up on the home improvement front. We have to get the pool resurfaced, paint the house, fix the side door on the garage, and do something about our weed infested lawn. These are things that we need to do to bring the house up to par, and hopefully maximize the amount we can sell it for.
We Bought a Camper
I have wanted a camper for a long time. I love the idea of being able to travel and bringing your bed with you. We have done some tent camping from time to time, but I really wanted something a little more comfortable. I finally found a 13 foot Scamp camper that was perfect for our needs. It was small enough to pull with my Jeep, it had air conditioning and a small refrigerator, and it could sleep 4. Plus, it’s minimal design will require minimal maintenance as far as campers and RVs go.
We spent several weekends camping and also did a couple of longer trips. We frequented the Gulf Coast of Florida with a few weekends at Fort DeSoto, and a couple near Venice Beach. Over the summer we took a 10 day trip around the southeast, with stops at Florida Caverns, Nashville, Mammoth Caves, a really fun Jellystone campground in North Carolina, and a visit with our favorite cousins. In October, we spent four days at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys.
Our typical camping is to use the camper as a home base and then roam from there. It’s not usually heading off to the woods and cook in the wild kind of camping, but more of an alternative to a hotel room. It’s worked well for us, and I’m looking forward to some more trips this year.
I really slacked off in 2015 when it came to blogging. Our house situation weighed heavily on me, and I struggled to maintain motivation to share stories and tips on decluttering and downsizing. Part of me felt like a fraud to preach minimalism and downsizing while upsizing to a huge house. I know we can still be minimalist in a house, but I still felt the disconnect. I spent far too many days playing video games and vegging on the couch watching Netflix, and possibly had some mild depression surrounding the whole affair.
I’m hoping and planning to do more in 2016. I started a new blog in 2015 called Minimal You. My intent with the new blog was to share other people’s stories of minimalism, decluttering, and downsizing. I wanted to be able to share minimalist ideas on neutral ground while I sorted through my own feelings of minimalist disconnect that were clouding my thoughts on Rethinking the Dream. I also wanted a place to share general ideas since Rethinking the Dream is much more personal and not everyone wants to read about my personal struggles. After a few weeks of daily posts on Minimal You, I slipped away from it and stopped writing and sharing there.
I still really like the idea, so I’m planning to jump back into it soon. I want to grow Minimal You and make it my public presence for all things minimal, and keep Rethinking the Dream as my personal space where I document my own journey. You might say Minimal You will be about You, and Rethinking the Dream will be about Me.
With both blogs, I really need to make an effort to dedicate time to write. I’ve been feeling down for long enough, and it’s time I pull myself out of that to write. I love writing and I need to make it a priority in my life.
Those are the biggies for 2015. All in all it was a good year even though it had some bumps. I’m looking forward to 2016. I’ll outline some of my 2016 goals in my next post.