Own Your Days

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Own your days. Three small, short, simple words. Words you use every day. But what do they mean when you string them together in a sentence?

Here’s a quick snapshot of the average day in the life of an American.

ActivityHours Spent
Working9.4
Sleeping6.8
Household Chores2
Watching TV2
Parenting2
Eating, etc1
Driving.75
Sources: CNN.com | BLS.gov | Gallup.com

Yea, I know.

It doesn’t add up perfectly to 24 hours.

Keep in mind what Twain had to say about statistics:

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.Mark Twain

Don’t Blink

But you get the idea. Our days largely don’t belong to us. They belong to our employers, houses, and TVs.

One day blends into the next. Vacations (if you even take them) are the only respite from one year that looks largely like last year.

Blink, and your kids are halfway to adulthood.

Blink again, and they are pulling out of the driveway in a car full of moving crates.

Was that it?

Decisions

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How did you get here?

You made a bunch of decisions.

You:

  • Accepted a job where someone else creates a schedule for you
  • Bought a house that needs repairs
  • Accepted a community service role that requires you to attend meetings
  • Put your kids into a school system that not only dictates their schedule but requires you to be involved

All of these decisions seemed right at the time. The job had potential. The house would build equity. It would look good on a resume. It’s a good school.

But taken together you’ve pieced together a life where from the moment you get up to the moment you fall back into bed you are largely not in control of where you spend your time.

You don’t own your days.

Take Back Your Days

You can undo those decisions. You can replace them with decisions that put you back in control of how your days are spent.

How?

Choose Location Independence

Freedom to live where you choose is a huge part of owning your days.

Imagine being young snowbirds, heading south for the winter and north for the summer. Or jumping across the border, letting your family experience total immersion in another culture.

Make a decision to be location independent and let this choice guide other choices about your life.

Start Your Own Business

It’s never been easier to start your own business. Many (ours included) require only a laptop, an internet connection, and the tenacity to learn.

There is so much information out there about how to start a remote business that it’s hard to know what’s total crap, what’s pure hype, and what’s actually solid advice.

I’d recommend starting at Heath Padgett’s Blog and Podcast. Heath focuses on people that want to live in RVs fulltime but most of the content could apply to other location-independent lifestyles.

Homeschool Your Kids

The school systems have gotten crazy. Our kids have 55 hours of school committments per week.

And to what end?

So your kids can get the same agenda-driven “education” that everyone else gets? Turns out it doesn’t “take a village” to raise a child.

Just a loving family.

There’s a reason homeschooling is growing by 2% - 8% each year.

Parents want their kids in a safer environment, want to customize the curriculum, and want their kids to learn more.

Without taking 55 hours a week.

You can read our guide to homeshooling and roadschooling and also 27 examples of how other families homeschool on the move.

Ditch Suburbia

Oh, the suburban house in America.

Cornerstone of the American Dream Myth.

How much of your life is spent working to afford a house that you are hardly ever in? And then the repairs. The painting. The lawn mowing.

All set in “keep up” with the neighbors culture where it’s not good to be the low man on the suburban totem pole.

Houses can be a terrible investment.

Finances aside, have you ever thought about how you could live if you weren’t in that house? You could:

  • Travel fulltime in an RV
  • Live on a sailboat
  • Travel internationally
  • Move to a big-city apartment
  • Book a new AirBnB rental every month

Some families completely sell out, not wanting the overhead of home ownership.

Other families keep their house as rental property, hire a property manager to do the day to day management, and use the income to fund their post-suburban lives.

Own Your Days

Imagine a life where you decide:

  • When to get up
  • What to work on
  • Who to work for
  • What to teach your kids
  • Where you will live that week
  • Where to invest your money

And all of these decisions? Made while sitting in the midst of your family.

Who Does This?

Plenty of people. More every day. All in slightly different ways.

Dont believe us? We keep lists of all the suburbia-ditching blogs we come across. Check them out:

Check out our Resources for more including suburbia-ditching family profiles, lists of Instagramming families, lists of families vlogging their adventures, and podcasts that interview suburbia-ditchers.

Tell Us

Do you own your days?

Are you planning to?

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4 Comments Own Your Days

  1. Picture of SusanneSusanne September 15, 2016

    Do we own our days… Hmmm… Yes, more so than we used to, especially now that we homeschool from the road. For instance, today we decided to ditch the bookwork and go to a museum instead. Nobody was there. All of the other grade school kids were in school. We had the place almost entirely to ourselves, with the exception of a few fussy toddlers. It was great.

    On the other hand, trying to establish consistent work that pays all the bills (including some debt) is tough. Trent has a relatively steady contract gig. We really need to be earning more, though, and that’s where a lot of our stress originates.

    Of course, none of this happens overnight. I think if we work hard and get creative, we can make this work over the long term.

  2. Picture of BynByn September 17, 2016

    We are definitely living that life, owning our days right now on our sailboat. Years ago we lived in a converted greyhound bus for a few years. We traveled with our family of 7 and I painted at motorcycle rallies to support us.

    Now with the sailboat, or expenses are so low, it doesn’t take much income to live. We’re living off of rental property that our adult son rents.  We’re hoping to build some online income as we travel.

  3. Picture of kay ~ the barefoot minimalistkay ~ the barefoot minimalist September 18, 2016

    We’re almost there.  Just a few loose ends to tie up and we’re on our way!  I wish we’d done this sooner when our son was young.  He says he would have preferred being homeschooled because he loved to learn but there was too much wasted time at school.  We do our children a great disservice when we don’t educate them as individuals.  Excellent post!

  4. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael Boyink September 19, 2016

    Thanks folks.

    @susanne - you are right - getting to this point isnt’ an overnight process. For us we had the online income and homeschooling in place long before we realized we were location independent and took advantage of that.

    @byn - now there’s a nomadic income source I hadn’t heard before! :) Do you have photos of your work online anywhere?

    @kay - yes - although we’ve also traded comments in the past about kids desires having to fold into the overall direction of the family. My oldest wanted to attend public HS, but waited until after we sold our house to inform us. At that point we had to tell him that we just couldn’t make that happen (and honestly, his intentions weren’t to get a better education, he thought he’d have more time hanging out with buddies).

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