2 Days In A Life Of Change


It's amazing how things can change.

With a little bit of work, flexibility, and faith - you can flip the world upside down and see it again for the first time.

Nothing stays the same.  All rivers dry up; all mountains crumble.  And yet, with change comes the new.  Dried up rivers become beautiful canyons, and crumbled mountains become new playgrounds for my kids to explore.  Change is inevitable.

And so we have a choice.  We can stand on the mountain as it crumbles and cross our fingers, or we can bravely climb down and start exploring the worlds we only ever had the courage to view from a distance.

Got to make a choice.  What do we do?

Day 1:  September 13th, 2012

I wake up.

I rush to the shower to get ready before the kids wake up.  It's 5:50 AM.  Heidi is already at work.

I get the kids up at 6:40 and they stammer to the table for breakfast.  Hugs, kisses, and I get them their cereal.

I set out their clothes and go to join the kids for a quick bite to eat.  Bite over, I hustle the kids into their rooms to get dressed.

I grab the lunches, prepare my own, and start stuffing the backpacks for school.

Teeth get brushed, beds get made, and at 7:45 we are out the door.

We walk to school and I drop my daughter off around 8:10 and my son off at 8:45.  Off to work by bike.

9:30 - 6:30: Work and commute.

Heidi's got dinner ready and we all swap a few stories over bites until 7:00.

Baths and stories til 8pm and then the kids are off to bed.

From 8pm to 11pm we make plans, write, pay the bills, etc...

It's 11 PM - off to bed!


No matter how hard we tried to change this schedule, we just couldn't make it work.  We'd make adjustments, we'd sacrifice, and we'd keep working, but nothing we did seemed to make a big difference in our lives.  At the end of the day it was an hour together as a family and for us that sucked.  It just wasn't what we wanted.  It wasn't working.  Something big needed to change.


Day 2:  April 30th, 2013.  Less than 1 year later.

I woke up.

The kids are downstairs playing with the cat.  We no longer live in a house in Boston.  Today, we are caring for someone's pet at their home in San Diego while they are away.

I head down to join the kids and make breakfast.

As we're playing, Heidi returns from a run and we get ready to eat.

After breakfast, everyone gets dressed.  I pull some good news out of my inbox, and we have a quick celebration.

I head off with Sam to work on our schoolwork, and Heidi gets ready with Maggie.  We swap lessons each week.  Homeschooling - for lack of a better word - is really going well of late.

We eat lunch and then delve into a project.  We made our own paint today.  And then we made cupcakes!

We head out to get Fish Tacos because today is Taco Tuesday and the already cheap and wonderful tacos in this town are even cheaper and wonderfuller on Taco Tuesday.

We head back home and call family on Skype.

Sam is exhausted so he brushes his teeth and heads off to bed.  Maggie is devouring a book and can't fall asleep until she finds out what happens next.

Heidi finishes some work and goes off to bed and reads.

I sit here happily and write this.


Now, as I see it, there are 3 reasonable reactions one can have to reading this:

1) Bull Shit!  What a spoiled ass!  How can you complain about having two jobs when some people have been out of work for nearly a year.  Silver spoon stuck way up  your  . . .

2) But how do you do this?  How do you afford this lifestyle?  No home?  You don't work?  How do your kids handle this?  What about insurance?  What about . . .

3) Wonderful!  We are trying to do something similar.  I want to open a business in Belize and my husband and I are paying off our debt and  . . .

I get a good amount of emails, and pretty much all of them play out like 1, 2, and 3.  You know . . . we're not all that different.  We pretty much all want the same things.  I think a lot of us want to do good, but we just don't know how and we're scared.  We want good for ourselves, our family, and others.  We want to be happy, fulfill some dreams, and lend an honest helping hand when we can.

I'd like to tell you that I don't care if you're a 1, 2, or a 3, but I'd be lying.  I care a lot.

I've been a 1, and it sucks.  Who wants to hear how good someone has it when you can't even seem to keep your shoelaces tied and find your keys in the morning?  But you can't find change being a 1.  You have to change to find change.

I've been a 2, as well.  That's how this all started.  Instead of fighting I started asking questions.  And sure enough, people started giving me answers.    I'll always be a 2.  Asking questions helps you figure out how to make paint with your kids on a Tuesday afternoon.

As for being a 3 - that is tough!  There are not enough 3's in the world.  3's are special.  3's see others before themselves.  Most of us have to change to become a 3, just like most of us have to change in order to travel the world - but it is possible!

Everything good happens as a result of change, but we have to be willing to let the change happen.


How do we make big things happen?

We change, and then we change some more, and then we change some more.

See that Grand Canyon up there in the picture?  That is change!

A little bit of work, flexibility, and faith, and over time, anything can happen.


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'2 Days In A Life Of Change' have 17 comments

  1. May 1, 2013 @ 11:08 am Rose Townsend

    Thanks for giving all us 2's (hoping to become 3's) a whole lot of hope!
    Rose Townsend recently posted..Ninjago Legos and six lessons learned as a result of following our kids’ interests


    • May 1, 2013 @ 11:11 am Justin Mussler

      2 here, as well! Hope is big, but how we respond is bigger.

      You have always been so committed and focused on the change. Just a matter of time for you!


  2. May 1, 2013 @ 8:20 pm Tiffany - Fite Inertia

    A little bit of two, a whole lotta three + happy tears. Happy for you and happy for the vision you provide. I can't wait - and, thank you for being a #2 resource.
    Tiffany - Fite Inertia recently posted..A Fresh Start


    • May 3, 2013 @ 4:27 am Justin Mussler

      All the work you guys have been doing will make it happen! Just stick it out! Like everything else - this takes time!



  3. May 2, 2013 @ 1:32 pm Alyson

    WE are 3s. Hurray! We're out of here in 8 weeks or so. We had our first bit of negativity this week, just thought I'd share,. My husband handed in his resignation. A colleague told him he was "chucking it all away" He'll have to work his way back up to Exec Chef, etc. They missed the point. He doesn't care. He's been Exec for 5 years, he's done it and doesn't want to do it again if he can possibly find another way. Time for something more important, his family and our dreams.
    Alyson recently posted..Planning Family Travel: Three Months To Go.


    • May 3, 2013 @ 2:30 am Tracey - Life Changing Year

      Alyson - I had the exact same response from several workmates. Same situation - there's no way in hell I wanted to return!! Bahahaha....so funny to watch their faces!
      Tracey - Life Changing Year recently posted..Travel Planning Tips & Tricks #3 – Use Up All Your Pretty Stuff!


      • May 3, 2013 @ 4:23 am Justin Mussler

        I would have love to have seen your face as you were watching their faces!


    • May 3, 2013 @ 4:26 am Justin Mussler

      You should just get that guy a t-shirt that reads 'I'm #1'. He'll be thinking you're a 3 the whole time, but we'll all get the inside joke.

      Attitude is everything. Doesn't matter what anyone says if you know you're right. You can't expect people who haven't spent anytime considering your better alternatives to get on board so fast. Most people are like that. Maybe what we're all doing will help them change their minds.

      So happy for you guys!


  4. May 2, 2013 @ 11:04 pm Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad

    That's what I need! Housesitting by the beach while I wait for this doctor to call me and schedule my surgery!

    You just answered my prayer today. I know you're confused as heck right now, but I'll report back! :D

    (I was crying all day today, desperate for an answer. Your post, oddly enough, helped me)

    -Maria Alexandra
    Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad recently posted..Puerto Rico Beach Thursday: Cueva del Indio Arecibo photos


    • May 3, 2013 @ 4:24 am Justin Mussler

      WHAT?!?!? You better be OK! Keep me in the loop!

      Housesitting is awesome. Do it! Easier to find than most think!


  5. May 3, 2013 @ 2:36 am Tracey - Life Changing Year

    You forgot option 4) A big wide smile spreads across your face as you imagine your friends and those cute kids having the time of their lives! So pleased you are experiencing this freedom for yourself - FINALLY!!
    Tracey - Life Changing Year recently posted..How To Cut Your Transport Costs In Australia


  6. May 3, 2013 @ 7:36 am Meryl @ Mobilemouse

    I'm a 3, my husband is a 2 :)
    You know, I think being a 2 has a lot going for it. Not many people realise this way of life is even possible! At least 2's have their eyes open and have started asking questions.

    Hmm, on 2nd thought (ha), maybe we're a 2.5. We've already moved to the Maldives and our expat life is much improved from life in New Zealand. But we'd like to try a travelling lifestyle one day, so our planning and thinking continues...


    • May 14, 2013 @ 11:42 am Justin Mussler

      2.5! - Love that!

      I would love to read more about the Maldives. I'll have to check out the site!


  7. May 8, 2013 @ 3:23 am Kiasa

    We are currently #3s! We jumped on board super fast, without planning as much as we would have liked. But the opportunity presented itself, stared us in the face and we took it. We didn't know if/when another opportunity would show up.

    We only committed ourselves to 3 months and we return home next week. We have tried to figure out how to do it longer, but 3 little kids in a civic has been harder than my husband anticipated. :). Maybe we will do it again when the kids are older, or a good deal on a mini van will present itself. It's been an awesome adventure and makes me hungry for more.
    Kiasa recently posted..Natchez Trace Parkway


    • May 14, 2013 @ 11:41 am Justin Mussler

      Stay hungry? Love to see people seeing opportunities and taking them. If you stay open, new opportunities will always arise!


  8. May 8, 2013 @ 2:33 pm Curtis


    Well said. Too much we are willing slaves to "the system." One day you wake-up and realize that life does not have to be this way. Change it! Everyone thought we were crazy to get off of the proverbial merry-go-round, but we did. No regrets. I have yet to meet a fellow world traveler who says, "Gee, I really miss the rat race with jerk bosses and all that stress." I meet many people, however, who say, "Wow, I wish we would do that." We are definitely 3s. Embrace life. Our family motto is "Life is a journey, not a destination." Thanks!
    Curtis recently posted..Is College Worth It?


    • May 14, 2013 @ 11:39 am Justin Mussler

      We are working on it! Certainly a transition, but I would love to be all 3 some day! Thanks, Curtis!


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