Let me be frank. I’m diving into this Suburban Smackdown challenge with a lot of excitement, a twinge of curiosity and a TON of fear! While I feel this won’t be a huge change of ways from our current way of life, I am fearful about the unexpected challenges that will undoubtedly push my kids over the edge and challenge my patience, creativity, resourcefulness and parenting skills. In the end, that’s one of my reasons for committing to this unusual, but life-changing journey.
Another motivating factor is my intrinsic desire to reduce waste, conserve energy and treat our Mother Earth as if we intend to keep her around for a while. I can’t identify a specific occurrence that sparked my passion in this area, but I imagine this is where I thank my parents for instilling in me at a young age respect for our planet and the limited resources she provides.
Moving on to another motivator that is a little less kum-ba-ya. The last several years for us have been financially challenging with the closing of my gym franchises, forcing us to scale back considerably on unnecessary spending. While that was a forced and unwelcome change for us at the time, we were able to adjust and survive our new way of life. What we have been learning over these past few years is a true appreciation for what we have, a healthy and happy family. It may have taken me and Mike thirty-some years to realize that you can search for happiness in material possessions, but you end up always searching. If this family journey can help to teach my children (and anyone else inspired enough to participate) that less is more, then we will consider it a tremendous success.