I’ve had pieces and parts of this post floating around my brain for a few weeks now, mentally adding and deleting paragraphs and ideas. I recently ran across some blogs written by some lovely ladies living in New York City. My favorite one is Nat the Fat Rat. She lives in an 800 sq. ft. apartment, which is an upgrade from the 300 sq. ft. they lived in prior to welcoming their son. Her and her husband lived in that 300 square feet with TWO dogs people!
I guess what my point is, it seems like part of the American dream is to always feel like we absolutely need bigger and better. Never really satisfied with what we have. I’ve heard over and over the statement “as soon as I have ___, I will be happy” and as soon as that goal is achieved, or that item bought, we move on to the next thing we absolutely must have to be happy. When is it enough? Is there a point at which you look around and just say “I am finally happy.” Do you eventually arrive at that point by surrounding yourself with space, material objects, food, or animals? I can honestly say the answer for me is a resounding “no.”
After reading Natalie’s blog about a month ago, I have decided I am happy with exactly where I am right now. In a world with so much poverty, how can I justify NOT feeling that way. I live in a beautiful city, in a nice neighborhood where we are able to walk our dogs peacefully. I am incredibly blessed with a home, albeit small by some standards. I have a husband I love that sleeps next to me in our small bedroom. I have 2 dogs sleeping on the floor at our feet that also have a yard to run and play in. We have bedrooms that serve no other purpose than to house things. It has hosted many Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters filled to the brim with family and friends. Our small home is more than adequate for our needs, but more importantly, it is OURS. We are lucky that we have the ability to remodel and change it to fit our needs. When it starts to feel small, it is time to purge some of our “things” that serve no purpose but to take up space. They were probably things we really didn’t need in the first place, but for a very small amount of time, wanted. If you really think about it, families all over this beautiful world of ours live in homes, apartments, condos or flats half the size of mine with families three or four times the size of ours. Bedrooms aren’t for one child, they’re for three or four. Sleeping space is far less important than living space.
What really cemented the writing of this particular post was a comment C. Jane Kendrick made on her blog the other day saying “I don’t want big spaces to fill up with lots of stuff. I want a small space to fill up with my family.” Those words right there exactly sum up everything that has been dancing around my head for weeks. And it’s true. I don’t need more space to find my happy, I need less stuff, fewer things taking up the space that should be dedicated for our family and friends that fill my home regularly.
A very good friend of ours is embarking on an amazing journey. Jennifer recently retired, bought and RV and started traveling. She is emptying her apartment, taking what she needs that can fit in her new home on wheels, boxing up what she wants to keep into a storage unit, and donating or selling the rest. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am envious of her situation for two reasons. One, she is traveling this beautiful country the best way possible, experiencing places I have only dreamed about and she deserves every second of joy she gets out of this adventure. And two, she is getting the opportunity to reassess everything she owns and purge her life of unnecessary “things.” I bet it feels amazing!
I’m gonna do it, even if it as a slow pace. This will be a goal for myself. A (fashionably late) New Years resolution if you will. I’m learning to love where I live for so many more reasons than I did before. I really do urge everyone to take a look around themselves. Look at the things that surround you and really prioritize them. Whatever is on the bottom, get rid of. If you don’t like something CHANGE it. I can promise that as soon as decide to love where you live, life gets just a little bit happier, and it can only get better from there.