I’ve noticed that I’ve been thinking and saying the word stagnant or some form of it a lot lately. Dictionary.com defines the word stagnant in the following ways:
1.not flowing or running, as water, air, etc.
2.stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water.
3.characterized by lack of development, advancement, or progressive movement.
4.inactive, sluggish, or dull.
Monty, I’ll take doors number 3 and 4.
Darling Husband and I have lived in the same house since right before we found out we were going to have our first child (roughly 11.5 years ago). It was the perfect size house for a couple. Even a good sized house to have only one child but of course we couldn’t stop with one child. We deliberately had a second child and the house started to shrink a bit. What with the spare bedrooms filling up and toys everywhere. It was cozy. By the time we had our third child (who, by the way was a surprise) it had started getting ‘tight’. Funny how the family grows but the house does not.
Add to this a host of health and financial problems and let’s suffice to say we’ve been really struggling for the past....well....several years. I only go through all this to give you some background. We have gotten so used to not having the means to make our ends meet that we fell into a thought pattern of ‘lack’. We couldn’t find good work, we couldn’t get all the bills paid, we even started telling our children that we couldn’t afford to do this or that. It pervaded every part of our being. It was reflected in our thoughts and attitudes about everything from our life situation to other people.
So used to this negative feeling of ‘lack’ did we become, that we started to get comfortable with it, if you can imagine such a thing. And it made us stagnant. For a long time we were “characterized by lackof development, advancement, or progressive movement”. Then it happened.
Nah, we didn’t win the lottery or get an inheritance. If only.... we did finally wake up one day and decide we’d had enough. There is nothing tying us to our current locale. Well, my mom, but really is that enough? The answer is ‘no, it isn’t’. She’ll be upset and likely throw a mondo guilt trip my way but I can deal with that. Because I know she’ll mostly be upset that her perfect granddaughter will be going far away.
It started gradually. Darling Husband and I doing internet searches for places with lower costs of living than where we are now. And we had some ‘ideas’ about the general direction in which we’d like to move. Then we found it. The perfect house. Nearly 3 times the house we’re in now with a separate office space because we both work from home. All for about what we’re paying now. In Idaho.
So we changed our thought pattern. Started taking small actions like packing up non-essentials and really focusing on what we want and what we CAN do. We stopped telling ourselves all the reasons why we can’t and developed an attitude of ‘why not?” and ‘who says?’. It’s been so amazing and liberating having a positive change to focus on. We’ve been approved for the house in Idaho we’re just still
haggling negotiating all the terms. I really hate negotiating. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.
Anyway, we’re breaking our cycle of stagnation and if you find yourself chronically in an unhappy, unmoving place, I would encourage you to change the way you think about things. Stop doing what we did for so long - just being a victim of your circumstances - and start thinking about what you CAN do, and what you CAN change about your situation. Sometimes the changes are small and sometimes they are huge...like a 2200 mile cross country trek with 3 kids, 2 pets and all of your worldly belongings. Start small and see where it takes you.