Once upon a time, a girl named Goldilocks went for a walk in the forest and came upon a house. When no one answered her knock on the door, she went in and found three bowls of porridge. One was too hot, one was too cold, and one was just right. After tasting porridge, she proceeded to find the right-sized chair, and the right-cushioned bed. I’m confident that you’re familiar with the tale, and know that the three bears soon return home to find their porridge eaten, their chairs sat in, and their beds slept in.
My story parallels Goldilocks’ tale in that I have searched for just the right-sized life recently. My story doesn’t include food necessarily, but I do resonate with her desire to find the chair and the bed that suits her best. Just over ten years ago, my husband and I built a big, beautiful house. He’s a structural engineer, so this was both a professional learning experience and a personal dream of his. For me, it was an exciting adventure in shopping for cabinets, faucets, light fixtures, paint colors, appliances, and yes, chairs and beds to fill a big house. We enjoyed the big-house lifestyle – hosting family and friends, both short-term and long-term, being the place where large groups could hold their meetings and holiday parties, and we even had the privilege of a wedding rehearsal dinner around the pool in the back yard! This was a wonderfully busy season in our lives, and looking back today, I am grateful for the opportunity to share such a property – and yet I’m also grateful that we now live in a small townhouse, where we enjoy a smaller life. We still have friends over and enjoy family visits, but our lives are much less hectic now and are characterized by weekend getaways, after-dinner walks, and much less time cooking, cleaning, and hosting.
Some people call this downsizing, which I understand is trending at the moment, but my husband and I call it right-sizing. We have adjusted our lifestyle and our living arrangements to match our priorities and our current season of life. During this exercise in adjusted living, we also sold a business, sold an office building, sent our only child to college, and both of us changed jobs. His job became smaller, moving from business owner to employee, and my job grew bigger as I became the president of Body & Soul Fitness. All these changes may sound stressful, but we did not find that to be the case. Instead, we found each decision freeing – one at a time. As we let go of bigger things, it’s as though God handed us smaller, better things at just the right time, so we could not only enjoy the right-sized life today, but were also able to find joy in the process.
No matter where you find yourself today, I pray that you are finding joy in your current season, and that you are experiencing the satisfaction that comes from the right-sized life. Enjoy it, friends! I’m heading out on this beautiful day to ride motorcycles with my husband, because we can…and I am grateful. You never know, maybe we’ll happen upon a cozy little place in the forest and make some new friends.
Amy Stafford is the President of Body & Soul Fitness, certified personal trainer, ACE faculty and ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She is a leader in the fitness industry and is a popular speaker for women’s events, retreats, fitness conferences. For information on booking Amy for your event or for an interview please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy currently teaches in the Williamsburg, VA area.