Where were we? Oh, right – maybe work WAS the problem. After Don’s second heart attack, he didn’t go back to work. Instead, we started revisiting all of the ways that he might be able to assist with income without actually having a job. We’d both been self-employed previously, so we knew it took a lot of work. But the freedom to choose a less stressful life was becoming more and more important. At the same time, I was going through my own changes. Years ago, I divorced a man who had been abusive. Six years later, we were still fighting it out in court – including everything from my decision to sell the house and move on with my life with Don, to my having primary custody of our son. As life and health issues intervened, however, Don and I were realizing that there are some fights worth fighting, and that getting rid of the 4 bedroom, 2 bath, white-picket-fence house that I had shared with my ex-husband was worth the fight. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that the house finally sold in December of 2015, and we realized that we were also free of the mortgage, commitments, nosy neighbors, and negative connotations that house carried with it. Later on, we would also realize that this was the first of many steps towards eliminating excess and focusing on what’s really important, but we didn’t know that at the time. Three years before the house finally sold, we moved into a smaller rental home in town (hello, shorter commute!), and rented out the big house in the suburbs. We downsized a fair amount of furniture back then, and it seemed that we didn’t own that much. But now that we’ve been in this house for a while, it seems like we have too much. It didn’t help that Don’s son, Jason, moved in with us at the beginning of the summer, bringing with him a host of new stuff and the occupation of our guest room on a semi-permanent basis. We’re getting ready to head back to court on the custody issues, and Don’s just had his third heart surgery this year. To say it’s a stressful time period is an understatement! On the flip side, however, we’re making decisions and setting goals around moving forward (more in the next post!), and feeling incredibly blessed and optimistic about the future.