Hope!

Hope is the thing with feathers, as Emily Dickinson said. After a few weeks of ‘coping’, this week I am back to full on hope.

Hope is the foundation of all my decision making – and the thing which keeps me tenacious and working in spite of appearances when it feels like things aren’t moving. Believing that you can change things, whether it’s your bank balance or how the world views you, means believing in the possibilities enough to carry on.

Yes indeed. Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

There have been so many things which make me feel blessed and hopeful recently. The summer weather and breeze, spending hours at the beach getting some energy back (and some vitamin D). The end of another school year and brilliant school reports for both my kids talking about how they are doing well but how they are kind and thoughtful: reminding me that however I feel I am doing as a parent, it’s good enough. Small things, but small things is what we have.

FIRE is all about hope to me. Hoping that I can give my kids a better future – including being there for them in person at different times in their lives, really loving them, and giving them the conditions to thrive. Hoping that I can live my values. Hoping that I can support my family by myself but doing so in a way which aligns to my values and my contribution to the world.

But hope isn’t enough by itself.

Feathers of hope: Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Showing up day after day, doing the work, making the tweaks. One thing I’ve learnt is the need to be patient with myself. Keeping the faith is half the battle – the other half is doing the next right thing, however tiny it feels.

What is making you hopeful this week? I’d love to hear from you!

Great things can happen!

So it’s not a political blog but it’s impossible to live in the world without being effected by what is going on. And if you really care – about other people, about those more vulnerable than yourself, about the planet – then it’s less about being effected and more about playing your role. So like millions of people all over the world today, I feel more hopeful that great things can happen, and full of respect for people who push every day to make the world better for everyone.

In some ways, the path to financial independence feels like a small and pathetic series of tiny actions, compared to the major global events which are shaping the world today. On the other, what is more radical than living consciously, choosing to accept or reject things like mindless consumerism and waste? Choosing instead to build community and support others? And how do the big things happen without the little decisions?

When you’re in the middle of things, it can feel like things are not moving. Example – instead of embracing my lockdown weight, I’ve been working to lose it. Calorie counting now for the past nine weeks and it feels never ending. Shockingly, I still look pretty similar – but looking over the progress I have been losing 1lb per week. Now that’s real results! And it’s good results whilst also leaving space to have days where I Just Can’t Do It and need a beer and a pie. Finding a way that really works for you whilst still converting small progressive wins into long term achievements is crucial to having sticking power.

So my small actions for this week are:

  1. Finalising my September spends and being ready to write them up on the blog next week;
  2. Planning a budget for Christmas / Hannukah and being prepared to stick to it;
  3. Working through some options for housing since this is by far our biggest spend and I think there are other possibilities for 2021 onwards;
  4. Try and lose another 1lb!

What are your plans for this week? Remember – great things can happen!