This post was originally titled “Saying No, Just For Now”. But that’s too final for what we want to talk about. We learned that there’s no shame in putting things on hold if they don’t fit in our life right now. It’s not about saying “no”, but prioritizing what is important and what is not. If we cannot commit to something 100%, maybe we will sometime in the future. Saying “not yet” leaves space for something to return when it does finally fit. There’s nothing stopping a goal or dream from returning. But for now, it must be let go.
Letting Go of a Passion, For Now
For instance, Mr. RW loves woodworking. He watches YouTube tutorials and reads books on furniture making, bowl turning, and different wood types in the Northeastern United States (yes, that’s actually on our bookshelf). Sadly, woodworking is a difficult hobby to pursue when there’s no room to store tools, equipment, and lumber. To remedy this dilemma, he joined a local woodworking club so he could access the tools and supplies we can’t store in our tiny apartment.
The woodworking club was like Disneyland! There were classes for different techniques, staff who could answer any questions, and endless rows of tools and wood types. Mr. RW would rush over to the studio several times per week to work on his latest project, and then spend all of his free time planning, designing, and assembling. Of course, it turns out that everyone loves using the woodworking studio after work and on weekends. Fighting for turns on the buzzsaw and lathe was almost as bad as the thirty minute drive to the studio in rush hour traffic. He was also limited in the size of his projects, as hauling a bookcase or table in a Ford Focus is easier said than done.
What started as a weekly ritual slowly fizzled into a bi-monthly excursion, at best. The excitement wasn’t there anymore. Eventually, a choice had to be made: continue paying for a club membership in the hopes of using it more often, or put woodworking on hold until we have the space to purchase the tools and supplies ourselves.
In the end, Mr. RW hung up his chisels, cancelled his membership, and settled for occasional weekend projects in his dad’s garage. He won’t be making furniture anytime soon, but he can continue studying and practicing until that day finally comes.
Acknowledge When Priorities Change
When something takes significant effort with minimal benefits, it’s okay to put it on hold for awhile. Part of living a healthy, simple lifestyle is to identify which pursuits are worthwhile and which ones are not. Ms. Montana touched on this idea while making her goals for the year. Identify top priorities, then make space for them by setting aside some lesser ones. The list of priorities can always change, but it’s good to know that list and stick to it.
There are other areas in our life that we’ve put on temporary hold:
- Expensive hobbies like golf, skiing, and homebrewing
- Adopting a dog, until we can handle the time and financial commitment (this one is painful, you guys 🙁 )
- Trips to our bucket list destinations, until we’ve made progress on our financial goals
- Moving to the mountains, until the timing is right
Does this mean we’ll never accomplish these dreams? Of course not! If we haven’t crossed these off our list in the next few years, someone better give us a stern talking to! But it’s important to be realistic. As we’ve said before, it’s not possible to accomplish everything at once. If something doesn’t fit right now, we can put it aside until we feel ready.
Have you paused any hobbies, projects, or goals to make room for other priorities? Have you come back to a goal once you are able to devote your full attention to it?
~ Ms. RW