In our late 20s, my wife and I went through a period working in Brussels in stressful jobs that demanded long hours. It was like a hamster wheel, and we felt life was stagnating. Weekends were really just about recovering for next week and holidays were purely to escape from the drudgery of the work environment. We decided that there had to be more to life. We therefore quit our jobs and decided that our priority would be quality of life. We moved to Spain (where my wife is from) and started living near the beach.
We built up a localization and translation business highly specialised in law and finance (reflecting our educational backgrounds) and prioritised balancing the need to pay the bills with a desire to mark each day – to have each day linger in the memory a lot longer than had previously been the case. This was amplified when our kids were born, and the priority remained quality of life meaning marking each day with them.
Throughout their childhood, hours were ringfenced each day – no matter what was going on – to play with them – put them to bed – whatever was called for. And that continued year after year throughout their childhood and continues to this day.
This meant that work and other activities simply floated around and served the quality-of-life priority. This didn’t mean we couldn’t have quality of life whilst working but it did condition what type of work we took on.
We are now in our 3rd decade of this balanced life project, and it is still going strong. As the kids get older and our work evolves, there are more moving parts but change truly is constant and we continually adjust.
I am truly proud of the life we have created not only for ourselves but also for our kids!