Today I want to tell you about two small changes in our life that we made after coming back from Canada and have been a huge improvement in our lifestyle.
- We sold Alex’s scooter and bought two foldable bikes (we chose Brompton because… well, it’s Brompton! ;-)).
- We sold our beloved Stokke Xplory and bought a stroller that can also be attached to the bikes (we chose Thule Cross, the single because the double wouldn't even fit through our home door).
Alex bikes to work every morning. We have date nights on our bikes! We never take the car in the afternoons (which made me decide to drastically reduce the amount of extra activities and change to a more slow lifestyle). Our two Bromptons + the trailer + the kids’ Woom bikes all fit in the trunk of our car, so we’re going for bike trips at the weekend. Which. We. Love.
This is a video from our first biking adventure, we put Emily in the trailer and Oliver went on his Woom 2, and… we were amazed: Emily was happy looking out and chatting away, and Oliver biked almost all the time—he walked his bike for about 3 minutes before getting bored and powering through the rest of the hardest uphill!
Thinking about changes in our life
Our new lifestyle made me think about change in general, which is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately because of a HUGE change coming our way very soon—one that makes me equally excited and terrified. Change is so hard, isn’t it? Especially when it involves changing ourselves, our attitude, our personality, our habits, getting out of our comfort zone.
But the more I think about my past experiences and future decisions, the more I realise three things:
1. I am the only one who can make the change happen
I don’t want to belong to that category of people who long for a change, but never do anything about it. And this applies to everything in our life, big and small: getting rid of that commitment that is making you feel overwhelmed; changing job; moving houses; buying a house; moving countries; waking up earlier; eating healthier; reading more; loosing weight; stopping yelling at your kids; spending more quality time with your people; setting your priorities right…
There are so many people who know that a change would make them happier, but they never even take the first step towards it. That makes me sad, so today I want to tell you this:
If you’re one of them, here’s the good news: YOU can make it happen. Today. Decide on it, commit to it, focus on it, and start today. If you do, the change won’t happen tomorrow, no, but chances are that it will happen eventually.
Here’s the bad news: ONLY YOU can make it happen.
2. I am the only obstacle that separates me from real change
Our mind is powerful both in the most positive and the most destructive way, and when it comes to change, there’s lots of resistance. I feel like our minds are masters at creating excuses for us not to make a change that could make us happier. Why? Because fear. Because change is scary. Because it means getting out of our comfort zone. Because it means relearning about ourselves, our life, our priorities. And also because it usually gets worse before it gets better.
Every time I have to make a change in my life it feels like leaving a calm and peaceful lake—the known, the familiar—to swim down a stormy, crocodile-infested river that drops into a waterfall. It’s frightening.
Change is always for the better
I haven’t yet found a magic formula to let go of the fear of change. Planning the change, i.e “start next Monday, next month, next year”, might work—although it might also create unhealthy expectations and useless stress. Waking up one morning and decide “today I’ll stop this/I’ll start that” might also work—although it might be a short-lived enthusiasm (and also not many people can realistically make a change in the blink of an eye).
Whichever the strategy, I feel like what’s worked best for me in the past is to convince my mind (and truly believe) that change is always for the better: no matter whether you know where it’ll take you or not, no matter if you succeed or fail, no matter if you finally go through with it or not, on the other side of change—at the bottom of that waterfall—life is always better: you’re a better version of yourself, you know yourself better, your perspective is wider, you have a better understanding. And yes, you always survive the drop ;-).
Change is hard. It takes a lot of work, a lot of courage and, often, a leap of faith. There’s always progress, there’s always regress. But once you start, everything feels easier.
Decide on something, commit to it, focus on it, and start today. In a week, you’ll be happy you did.
Find the cave!
And just as I was about to publish this post, I ran into one the most beautiful quotes I’ve ever read—which spoke directly to my soul, which is yet another sign of the path I have to take.
“Remember Joseph Campbell’s wisdoms: “the cave you fear to enter hold the treasure you seek”. Own the fear, find the cave, and write a new ending for yourself […]. Choose courage over comfort. Choose whole hearts over armor. And choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid. At the exact same time.” (from the book Dare to Lead by Brené Brown)