March 27, 2013

I Do Not Need More Money Or More Success


When I graduated from college I realized I did not want to go into teaching and had recently quit my job.  I took any opportunity I could to make a little money so that I could take the time to figure things out and just enjoy a season where I did not have to work.

It was a preview I think to the rest of my life.  A desire to have a slower pace of living, to have time to be creative, and make hobbies I love into something I could make a small amount of money from.

I realize my life is not for everyone and that I have my own unique situation and calling.  But as time has passed and I found my specific niche (blogging and photography) I have realized I do not have to take every opportunity that comes my way anymore.  I have found my place of being me and living a simple life.

I do not need more money.  And I do not need more success.  This doesn't mean that I don't work hard at what I do or that money is never tight.  I have decided to not work or commit to things beyond what I consider a healthy balance for myself in order to maintain the lifestyle I would like to live.

I choose a simple life over having more things and I choose having more time over being busy.


This is so opposite of what our culture tells us to do.  Go to school, get a job, buy a home, live the American dream.  Make more money, climb the corporate ladder, and find your fifteen minutes of fame.

There is a part of me that wants this too.  But there is a bigger part of me that likes a simple life.  A part of me that likes to have free time.  To be available to be with the people I love and to be flexible to my husband and future children's needs.  To not live a life always anxious or stressed.  And to take the time to make sure I live a balanced life making the things most important to me highest priority.

I am content in where I am at.  Though I would love to gain more blog readers, more popularity for our photography, and more money to decorate my home with, it is at the end of the day that I realize though all of these things bring me temporary joy, they do not fulfill me or make me whole.

It is those moments I get to spend with my husband that make life worth living.  It is those doctor's appointments with my parents I have the time to attend.  It is those friendships that are fostered by being available.  It's those flowers in my yard that I have the time to care for and enjoy. 

I realize not everyone can be in my shoes.  We all are at a different place at how much we have to work and how much we have to fill our calendar with in order to make life work.  But my point to all of this is not so much about what the right amount of busyness in life is but rather knowing when to say no to more money and more success for the purpose of having a more fulfilling life.

15 comments:

  1. Amen! I'm so with you on this one!!! Good for you!

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  2. Ashley, I am very proud of you. You are wise for your years. Prayers and Blessings to you.

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  3. This was a beautiful post Ashley, definitely some food for thought. It's so hard to get out of the society imposed way of life, the whole climbing the clamoring for money. We forget all the important things along the way. Someday I hope I get the chance to experience that peace too!

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  4. Wonderful!! I'm RIGHT there with you. There was a point in my life when I wanted all the 'stuff,' but after a brutal trauma I have a TOTALLY different outlook on life. It's so freeing to not care what neighborhood you live in, to drive older paid-for cars with cloth seats, and to not stuff your schedule full of all the social events you can cram in. Freedom is a wonderful thing.

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  5. You have a great perspective on this, Ashley! Only you can know what can be good for you and what makes you happy!

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  6. AMEN Sister! I love that you stepped out of your comfort zone and posted something you are (obviously) passionate about. We all could benefit from re-evaluating what is and what should be important in our lives. Thank you for this post! ~ Erika @ MishMashedMe

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  7. I love your honesty! I'm in the process of figuring out how to balance a few freelance writing projects while being a stay at home mom and it can be so hard to say no! But at the same time, it's so freeing to know what you want in life and pursue it. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  8. I really like this post Ashley. My husband and I have been talking a great deal lately about really enjoying life and living it to the fullest. The thought of chasing money and success is the "American Dream" but it just leaves us waiting and wanting instead of living and loving!

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  9. Well written indeed, Ashley. One of my favorite sayings is that "Nothing changes if nothing changes." So simple yet so profound. If we want a simpler life and to be available, we have to make changes. What a leap of faith you made to do so. Very inspiring, and thought provoking!

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  10. We are so similar in this respect! I would always prefer to have more "life" than more money. I can't imagine it any other way.

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  11. Recently me and my hubby decided to go super frugal to save, especially now that we're expecting. He pointed that going out to eat shouldn't make us more happy than what we are. But also, as you were able to choose this path, your husband still has to work very hard to provide for you, for you to go on vacations and make those awesome picture books, so in a way, we do need or want money, because it runs the world. Your words are very encouraging for me preparing to be a stay at home mom and it is my prayer that I can find contentment with less money and less everything (travels, clothes, coffee or lunches out, etc) but more time for family and more of other quality things (like time in the word) and it's great that you encourage other stay at home wives or mom to be able to look at that time as a blessing.

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  12. Ashely, I understand where you are coming from. I was there when my kids were younger and never regretted one minute of it. I worked full time and missed somethings as my daughters grew older. I am now at the point in my life where I'm working part-time and going to school full time. At 51 years old, these are my choices and i am enjoying every minute of it. I congratulate you in finding your passion and your desire. Happiness is the best thing at the end of the day!~!

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  13. This post was so timely. I am at an impasse. I just turned in my contract for another year on Monday and I have been weeping and upset before and since. I am struggling greatly with 'living to work' rather than 'working to live' because my particular job consumes EVERY bit of my time and energy. I want out. I don't want it anymore and I have to figure out a way to step back and re-evaluate before it does me in.

    Thanks for this.

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  14. I agree and I love this. Sharing because I think it will help others.

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