A while back I had the intent to start a series of interviews with people that had left the hamster wheel and the traditional path that society wants us to take. I only did one interview with Michael, a Danish World Traveler. Well, it’s time to get this series back on track. I belong to a group on Facebook called “30 Days of Hustle” created by Jon Acuff. It was in this group I got to know B.A. Norrgard.
B.A. Norrgard, who blogs and runs a website called A Bed Over My Head is in the process of building a tiny house and joining the minimalist lifestyle. Now you may think she is some kind of hippie but what intrigued me about her story is that she had a very successful career practicing law. B.A. Norrgard is a paralegal turned minimalist that decided to leave the rat race and create a new life for herself. I love her story because it shows us that no matter where you are and what career path you originally took it’s never too late to rewrite your story.
Q: What one thing or event made you decide to leave the rat race now vs. later? If no such particular event, how did the decision evolve?
A: I could see change coming at work. My boss is retirement age, and I am not. Although he has no plans to retire, realistically I could see change coming and I needed a plan. I had worked for the same attorney for 20 years and I did not want to start over with a new attorney. I started looking for what would make me happy for the second half of my life and this is where I ended up.
Q: What is your #1 advice for people that don’t know where to start but would like to do what you are doing?
A: Change is really scary. But do you know what is worse? Regret. Think about what you did as a child that made you happy: why did you stop doing those things? Get back to basics. If your life in 10 years is the same as it is today, would that make you happy? Probably not.
Q: Do you follow other blogs or websites that are doing what you are doing? If so, any you would recommend?
A: I do not…I am so slammed with construction right now that I don’t have much time for reading. I do enjoy Joseph Campbell’s words of wisdom.
Q: How do you finance your dream? Working along the way or are you living solely on savings? Or a combination of both?
A: I owned a traditional home and I sold it. Prior to that I had worked really hard to become debt free. Last month I negotiated a severance package from my law firm and that is carrying me to the Fall of 2014. I need to have my new plan in place by then.
Q: Do you meet a lot of other people downsizing or do you feel as if you’re still breaking new ground wherever you go? And the people you meet that are downsizing are they mostly single or families?
A: I am meeting tons of people who are downsizing! I get emails from people almost every day. It’s so fantastic – so empowering and so fun to talk to like minded folks. Mostly they are single people but most of the single people do not plan to STAY single. I do know a couple of couples, a couple of families with children who are transitioning to tiny living.
Q: How would you want your eulogy to be read? And do you feel that you are living your life in a way that fits that?
A: Wow, my eulogy? I’ve never thought about that. I hope that I am remembered as a generous person who wasn’t afraid to follow her heart and not follow the crowd.
I loved learning more about tiny housing and B.A. has lots of great information on her website and blog A Bed Over My Head.
And if you happen to be in Dallas, Texas on April 26-27 you can meet B.A. and check out her tiny house at Earth Day Texas 2014.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Could you live in a tiny house?
Mike Loomis says
Great interview and showcase of getting off that wheel! Love this line: “Think about what you did as a child that made you happy.”
Thanks! I love that line too! We tend to forget as we grow up but it’s so important to stay connected to that inner child.
Nick recently posted…The 1 Question Quiz to Tell if You Are a Terrible Husband. I failed.
Rick Theule says
Great topic and interview! Change and living ‘smaller’ are motivators for me right now. Thanks for getting back to the interviews. Next!!
Rick Theule recently posted…Change My Whole Life
Thanks Rick! I plan on adding you to the line of interviews one day! #soon
So cool! Way to break the mold and follow your heart. 😉