Project Gap Year Launch Day

I had big plans for today.

For months I envisioned all five of us packed into our Rav4 with a suitcase each, waving goodbye to our house with plans to only return to officially pack everything up in our POD around the closing date of our house sale.

I had envisioned us clapping and singing in celebration as we started off on our great journey of exploring National Parks in the US.

But, today is looking a bit different.

Instead of waving goodbye and hitting the road, we are opening the door to our home and hosting an open house.



When the reality hit me about a week ago that this was the case, I was frustrated so I pushed harder.  Then I got really tired and overwhelmed.

But now I have grown a bit wiser.

I realized that I was still embracing busy.  I was still living my life according to a timeline.  A self-imposed timeline.

As a family we set a date.   A date to thank the past for getting us here and a date to launch anew.

That date was May 29th 2016.

I really wanted that date to not change.  I felt pressure to live up to that date.  We told people this was the date.

But then my cousin sent me this text in my response to my overwhelm.



I read this sentence over again, “You’ve done so much in such a short amount of time.”

Then I started to think about all the things I had done.

My husband and I set up our brick and mortar business to run smoothing while we are gone for a year (a HUGE task that is still on-going) and organized three music recitals for our students.

We’ve hosted 2 garage sales, sold a ton of stuff (and are ready to sell more) and boxed up the things that made the keep list.

We’ve re-sided our garage, built a retaining wall, painted rooms in our house, moved furniture, washed the walls, scrubbed the floors, landscaped, the house list goes on…

We built this website and starting blogging.

Oh and we kept doing the normal things such as teaching music lessons, playing gigs, getting our kids to soccer and music lessons and all of the end of the year school things and occasionally remembered to cook supper.  😉

But what we have learned from all of this preparation has been far more rewarding than accomplishing our thousands of to-do lists.

We learned that it takes guts, a whole lotta ambition and drive to consciously get where you want to be in life.

We’ve learned that nothing is easy, but it is worth the work.  (Just ask my kids on this one…)

We’ve been reminded about what tasks we enjoy in life and what tasks stress us out and happily we are eliminating most of the stressful things out of our lives.

We’ve felt the satisfaction that comes from doing something verses just talking about making a change.

We’ve cleared the clutter out of our lives mental and physical.

We’ve reinforced our thought that life is about experiences, not things and that living with less is really more.

We’ve reinforced the feeling that family is priority.

We’ve reinforced the notion that this Gap Year is exactly what we all need and are looking forward to.

We’ve learned that when you just get out there and do stuff, things happen, people support you enthusiastically and doors open that you didn’t know existed.

We’ve learned that when you start living your life, verses just managing it, you inspire others to be a little more brave in their own lives.

Over the last few months my husband and I have had people call, e-mail and text us to say that inspired by our journey, they are making changes in their own lives.  People are slowing down their schedule, changing jobs, making more family time, moving, going on family vacations and taking risks that they never thought were possible before.

I cannot really describe how motivating and inspiring it is to know that by making a change in our lives has a ripple effect on others.

I shouldn’t be surprised.

After all, many people inspire me to make changes in my life.

In fact, this whole Gap Year thing was inspired by one of my friends who took a sabbatical last year with her family to the North Eastern states.

When she came back to play in an orchestra concert and I asked her how it was going, she didn’t have to say much for me to see the difference it made in her life.  She had the excitement for life that we all crave.  She said it brought her family closer together.  She said it was great.  But I could tell it was more than great.  I could tell it was pretty incredible.

So I have her to thank.  If she didn’t share her story, I might not be writing this one.

It didn’t matter what date her and her family left on their sabbatical, it just mattered that they did it.  🙂




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