Subtraction and living a slower, happier life

When we moved to regional NSW from the hussle bussle of Melbourne last year, I did give pause to how small the place I had choosen to live and continue my lifes work was. I enjoyed Melbourne on every level – the pace, the diversity, the arts and cultural life, working at Uni of Melbourne – all of it, especially the bay. So moving to a land locked, small regional town and a regional University did have an impact. At first it was hard, and I ached for my old life and home. However, slowly, things have settled and many things have shifted, some have morphed and some transformed comletely.

I noticed that I was quick to shrug off my previous status accoutrements – I stopped wearing suits to work, I gave away my need for Qantas Club and even flying Qantas, hugging my new regional identity as it emerged. I found myself subtracting things from my life, things like national and international travel, like the need to be permanently busy. I let go some of those old habits – specifically the need to be on task all the time – and made room for what my wife and I really wanted in our life: a family.

Becoming a mum (instant foster mum at that!) has altered the axis of our life. Subtracting the strong career orientation that has driven my past twenty years and adding a new intense personal drive of family has both softened me and made me more focused. I have been encouraged, by important people to me, to slow down many times before. Probably much like you reading this post, I know best for me and had to come to it in my own way. I am living a slower life. It’s happier because the amount of laughter with these little ones each day is such a joy, and watching my wife be a mum is the true embodiment of happiness.


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