Our upcoming November issue’s theme is wealth, and we’ve packed it full of moneymaking ideas. But if you’re a regular reader of ours, you know that our idea of “SUCCESS” is not just having enough cash to buy your own private island. So in that same issue, we included an article on the topic of living with less (and loving it). It focuses on people who have traded down to smaller homes and fewer possessions in order to have more of what really matters… time with their families and for themselves.
Joshua Becker was cleaning his cluttered garage in 2008 when he realized how much he’d rather be spending time with his 5-year-old son, who was playing alone in the yard. The epiphany led to profound changes in the Becker family’s life.
I first read the story at the end of a long day. Afterward, I drove home to face a big to-do list; my husband, two kids and I were going to visit family in Cape Cod, and then we would take our son back to college. I had to pack, but first I needed new jeans for the trip. We had dinner and did the dishes, and then I announced that I was heading to the mall.
My middle-school-aged daughter sulked and skulked around me as I fumbled for the car keys—nothing new about that behavior, I thought wryly. And then I remembered Joshua Becker, and I looked at my 11-year-old again. I saw in her posture not what I’d seen lately—my child being difficult—but my child going through that difficult life transition from child to young woman. I saw her need for me… and I saw my need for her.
“I don’t feel like buying jeans,” I said. “Want to have a somersaulting contest?” And when we inevitably crashed into one another laughing, I held on tight.