‘how to’ be

Since deciding to sell our home to live abroad,  I get asked, “How?” a lot. I am actually asking myself how we are going to take this huge adventure on. I have been looking up how to travel with three kids, how to live, how to pack, how to schedule around the kids, how to do this or that. Most recently I searched how to put my hair into a bun! I mean really Kenzie, it’s not rocket science (as Derek would say). We are a part of the “how to” generation where we ask two robot women Siri and Alexa how to do everything. It’s our culture. I have this recurring thought that I need stop with the ‘how tos’ and just DO it!

Do I want to travel? Most definitely. And then I read the ‘how tos’. The more I research the more I realize that someone else’s ‘how to’s’ could be limiting us. The expectations are being made before we have even sold the house. There are no tips and tricks to make ‘how tos’ work. Our family situation is unique. Its our life! How to’s are just really great ideas for me to adopt and adapt to our lifestyle. The only tip I have to offer is to just DO what your family can DO. I think this realization is important for all of us to remember and practice.

Life isn’t about creating extravagant adventures to make your life more meaningful. Everyday living is remarkable. I have to remind myself to not fall for the false conception that really big changes amount to an increased level of happiness.  The dangers of comparing leave beautiful ordinary days colorless and dull. There should be zero embarrassment about raising a family, working in an office 9-5pm, being an artist, going to school, or not having a degree. I have found that all of us should make the right choices for ourselves. Our situations. Our families. Our lifestyles. We spend our days learning who we are so that when we make choices, we are confident that they genuinely reflect our authentic selves, not the self we want to portray on social media or  choices that reflect someone else’s life we follow on social media. (Why do we do that)? We need to be confident that what we contribute to the world is of value, no matter the value.

A rule to live by when following our journey…

Don’t compare yourself to me; I won’t compare myself to you.

You count and I count. On our own terms we are all significant and comparing our differences pulls apart the world instead of drawing us together. And the world needs unity now more than ever. We decided to travel to create a bond with our babies. That is our first priority, but I can’t help but wonder that in the days to come we will also create a bond with the world that we desperately need. I look forward with anticipation to the relationships we will create that brings about well-being to our family culture. Society has taught us that our achieving worth is measured in monetary gain and not in matters of well-being. This idea distorts personal achievement. I believe that the most important work you will ever do in your life most likely won’t have economic value. Economic theory will dictate that everything has a cost. Whether it is your time, your money, or your talents. Value is the reward you get out of an experience, which I believe can’t really be measured. I believe the most important work we will ever do is in the discovery of who we are and how we better society because of it. I am anxious to rediscover who my family is and how we can contribute on a larger scale to society. I am excited to meet people who will add to the values we already hold and offer new perspectives to this idea of go and DO instead of how to.

My goal for now is to stop asking ‘how to’. I invite you to do the same. Let’s have enough confidence to simply trust our actions to be right because it’s right for us. Let’s love ourselves and learn what we value most in life, and then, well, do just that.

10 Comments
  • Patricia
    Posted at 17:35h, 17 February Reply

    Hi, I was a single mother I educated and raise my children for my own experience. With out almost anything material renting houses. But with the most important thing love. Today all my children have a very good life and they are happy persons. I just want to tell you that your decision as you raise your children, any place in the world, or in any country that decides to stay for a while. Them most important, for your children it’s discipline with love that is included, time to listen, play, read, laugh. You’re a wonderful family. I sure your are doing the best for you and your children. My best wishes for this immense project. I don’t want be part of this. But I hope you find the perfect nanny.

  • Joy
    Posted at 17:37h, 17 February Reply

    Will you have to all get various shots for this World tour?
    Looking forward to seeing where you go.

    • m'kenzie tillotson
      Posted at 18:04h, 17 February Reply

      Yes, I am actually in the process of doing this now! The boys aren’t super stoked-ha!

  • Tiffany
    Posted at 17:41h, 17 February Reply

    Travel!!!

  • Veronica G
    Posted at 18:07h, 17 February Reply

    Agreed! I think my ‘how to’ drive comes from a perfectionist streak. Really, the sooner we let go of one ‘perfect’, the faster we move on to many possible ‘greats’, ‘uglies’, ‘beautifuls’ and other more nuanced adjectives.

  • Alessandra
    Posted at 19:48h, 17 February Reply

    My goal is to find the meaning of life. What I was born to do, to feel alive we have to make difference, on our own lifes and the other lifes. Would be just teachig or showing something different and positive points of view to people. Its not necessary to do big things. Life could not be just work, eat and to sleep.

  • Sandie Tillotson
    Posted at 01:16h, 18 February Reply

    Living each day as an adventure is the perfect answer. I remember Grandpa Neaman used to always say – When we got restless in the backseat of a long car ride…”Part of the fun of the trip is the journey you take to get there” – Having fun and finding joy all along the way is how we should all roll!

  • Christina Tower
    Posted at 02:58h, 18 February Reply

    I distinctly remember googling “how to be abandoned” days after my ex husband left. It was more a poetic thought with the emphasis on “being” rather than his leaving. I thought, “surely by now someone has come up with a survival guide.” I quickly discovered that google didn’t understand what I was asking for, and all the input in the world would not have eased my grief. Someone else’s how to would never be mine, and mine could never be someone else’s. I just had to walk through it. Thankfully, many dear ones in my life responded with the ministry of presence. We may all have different how tos, but we can work and live alongside one another paving the way, cheering each other on, or just enjoying one another’s presence.

  • Zachariah Handran
    Posted at 17:18h, 18 February Reply

    This post is so beautiful and uplifting. I had to read it twice. I ask God to give you all the blessing for your family on this journey.

  • Samantha Lavin
    Posted at 17:46h, 18 February Reply

    Everyday I open my eye and my new adventure starts! I have a zest for life and I’m certainly a just do it sort of person.
    Plans for this year are way too big to write in a few sentences but some are to spend everyday knowing I’m loved and showing others they are too!
    Making the difference in the lives of the young children I am blessed to spend my days with and helping them be all they can be!
    Traveling to see family around the world and discoving new and old places I need to see!
    Keep on living a full and blessed life! 😉

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