I mentioned a little bit ago that we’re working on a 2-year plan to move to the Smoky Mountains. Two years is a bit general at this point because of all the work that needs to go into this endeavor, but it’s a nice rough time-frame that we’re working with. We’ve been working on figuring out what all would need to go into this plan in order to be successful and this is what we’ve been able to figure out so far.
We’re working on a 4-fold path:
- How are we going to afford it?
- Where do we want to live?
- What do we want to do as a career?
- How physically fit can we get before then?
Each of these points has multiple sub-points and we’re working on several of them concurrently. We haven’t been able to estimate yet how long it’s actually going to take to get through all of them, but I think that will become more clear the further we get into this.
Currently, this is where we’re at:
- How are we going to afford it? First, by paying off our credit card debt. This involves being much more conscious about how we’re spending our money, so we’re setting up budgets and sticking with them. We’re also working to find ways to spend less (like taking Justin’s not-often-used cell phone off our account to reduce that bill significantly) and trying to bring in more income (like trying to get a client to actually get a check to us).
- Where do we want to live? In the Smoky Mountains, in a location that gives us enough space for goats, ducks, and gardening. We haven’t completely decided where we’re going yet, but we’re hoping to go up to visit Chattanooga in the next 6 months to see if it’s as lovely as it sounds. In the spring, I’m going to explore gardening in pots around our house.
- What do we went to do as a career? This is a point where I’m not doing much progress so far, mostly because I’m so frustrated about work that I don’t want to think about it in my free time. But I will need to figure this one out soon so I can start making progress.
- How physically fit can we get before then? We’ve been going for walks almost daily for the last couple weeks. It’s been a challenge mostly because I’ve been experiencing significant pain through my calves and shins that makes walking torturous. In the last several days, I’ve put some research into the problem and figured out that I supinate my feet — meaning I tread mostly on the outside edge of my feet, toward the pinky toes. This puts a lot of strain through my calves. The last two days walking, I’ve concentrated very hard on making sure that I adjust my stride to step through the center of my feet instead of the outside edge. Doing so has significantly reduced my calf and shin pain, as well as my hip pain, and allowed me to walk much faster. I’m also seeing a massage therapist at the recommendation of my chiropractor to help my low-back pain and my un-even hips. She’s given me several stretches for different muscles groups that I believe will also help with increasing my mobility.
I’ve also got an app on my phone (Noom) to help with my eating habits, as well as a pedometer, and an app to remind me to drink more water. There’s a fitness challenge starting today at work and I’m on a team with a few of my coworkers and we’re going to try to be more active and lose some weight together. Justin also downloaded Noom to his (service-less) phone and, while I’m not sure if he’s tracking food, he’s already seeing changes in his weight and his ability to run longer distances at a faster pace. And while it didn’t exactly fit with our saving-money goals, we both are getting new shoes to help with our fitness goals.
So that’s where things are at so far. We still have a lot of work to do, obviously, but we are started. I’m going to try to remember to give an update on this every month or so. If you have recommendations for us, I’d love to hear them!