Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How it began. (Part One)

Let's go back together, about three years ago. There I was, sitting on my laundry covered couch. Pregnant with my second child, I was almost ready to pop and had just finished my last few shifts at the small business I had helped found four years before. I was now, officially, a "Stay-at-home-mom." Go me. I had somehow convinced myself that once I was able to write this title as my job description, I would naturally be endowed with all the gifts a woman with that job should possess. Meal planning? A snap, I would totally figure it out. Laundry? All I needed was a system. And crafts? Scrapbooks? Specialty made costumes in everyone's favorite colors? Oh yes, it would all happen. And housecleaning, I was sure, would just fall in line with the rest of my ambitions. I knew so many amazing S@HM's, why shouldn't I be able to tow the line as well. 

But reality: I was sitting amidst piles of laundry,  looking at Pinterest in my messy home. I had organizational tips to drown in, but I felt so stuck. My house was cluttered, my mind was cluttered. I was surrounded by failed attempts at organization, because surely that was the problem. I just was not organized. But between daily tasks and life in general, when did I ever have time to tackle anything? The latest of my obsessions on Pinterest was the Tiny House Movement. The irony barely hit my radar at the time. I was in LOVE with tiny houses. I really, really wanted to build on in my yard. You know, to put my craft stuff in. Or maybe my books. Or maybe as a guest house. Whatever, I just needed one. I knew that I should probably get rid of a few things first before adding a guest house, but it was so hard for me. Every memento, every receipt, note from childhood classmates, artwork, essays, textbooks, etc was just such a part of ME. And it's not like it was ALL just random junk. Some of it really would be useful, someday. I knew it. 

But back to Tiny Houses, and fast forward a few years. I had been through several life occurrences at this point, one major one that I will comment on further in my next post, but in the meantime my love for tiny houses was still strong. However, reality had set in. I had three kids, and one more on the way. People were starting to ask us when we would be buying a bigger home, not when were we going to become nomads and live in 350 square feet. If it was so unrealistic, why did I still desire it so badly? I felt that there must be a deep seated reason. So I prayed, and thought, and prayed more. Then I sat down and I pinpointed what it was that I loved so much about the Tiny House Movement. 
This was my list:
1. Simplicity of life-there was only room for so much in a Tiny Home. If it didn't fit, it didn't get to come inside. less things meant less time invested in taking care of them
2. Clarity-I am very easily distracted. The lack of all the extra things that simply do not fit in a smaller home made me want to cry. 
3. Less reminders of perceived failures-I wouldn't have to walk past three unfinished products on my way to the kitchen from my front door. My closet wouldn't have to space to fit the clothes that were poor purchases so I never wore them. Just what I needed, without the excess.
4. Correction of my time spent to life goals ratio-I felt like so much of my time was spent doing laundry, & cleaning the kitchen. Can I tell you where these things land on my list of goals? Not very high. I know, I know. Being a S@HM is valuable lifelong work that is a beautiful mosaic made up of the mundane. I get it. But seriously. My kitchen, the vortex. There were so many things I passionately wanted to do. But I was up to my elbows in dish soap, and by the time I cleaned off my kitchen table the next meal was due and I had no place to put the sewing machine or journal.
5. Dropping out of the "Race"- You know the one. The one we all seem to be in, simply by existing in middle class America. You have four kids? Well, you're going to need a house of a certain size. You are doing well financially? Then you're expected to drive a certain type of car, live in a decent neighborhood, and should have a playroom with all the fixin's for your kids. I was done with the expectations.

So, it dawned on me that in our home, all 1400 square feet of it, I could actively pursue and achieve these goals I wanted so badly for my life. I did not need a tiny home. I needed less stuff. I could see what I wanted, but how could I get there?

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