Last week I wrote about finding ‘enough’ in my professional life – you can read it here. This week I want to write part 2 – ‘enough’ in our home life, or more specifically our home.
We’re always reflecting on the things we choose to have in our house, but more recently we’ve been thinking about our house itself. Our house is pretty small – 90 square metres – but our section is large (though a little windswept) and in the same suburb that I work in (15 minute walking commute across the ridgeline, thank you very much!). It’s a lovely house, but like many first homes, it’s a big of tight squeeze sometimes – usually in the middle of Winter when it’s been wet for days on end and everyone is a little stir crazy. But most of the time we love it, but we’re also actively working on loving it too.
There are of course things that are less than ideal about our house, some of them improvable, some of them (like our neighbours’ large trees that block a lot of afternoon sun) less so. But it’s so easy to get caught up in the kiwi mentality of our generation – buy your first house, and sell it to move up the property market and accumulate wealth. I’ve watched all of my older cousins do it, and plenty of colleagues. But you know what? We’re so not interested in that. We’d rather be debt free sooner and spend the money on adventures or experiences, or choose to live on less but have more family time for adventures that don’t cost so much. Wealth for me is not about material goods but about the life I live and the richness of experience and the depth of love.
One day, we probably will move. We’d like to be somewhere a bit more country and but less suburban, but we won’t move to a bigger house. Because actually the size of the house is not the issue, plenty of people live in tiny houses quite successfully, though admittedly fewer families than couples. What makes tiny house living so successful is that everything is custom designed to work for the space and to work for the people living in it. We love watch Living Big in a Tiny House on YouTube, and this has been our biggest take-away. Make the space work for you by getting smarter not bigger.
So this is the approach we are taking as we live and grow in our house. As we continue to downsize/declutter our lives – because let’s be honest, ‘enough’ isn’t something you reach all in one go, it’s more a case of stripping back the layers as time goes on – we are reflecting on the way we use space, reminding and acknowledging that this is ‘enough’ and that even if it feels like it isn’t, there are ways around that. When we feel like our house is too small, it’s a sure sign that either we need to have another declutter or actually get outside and into the fresh air. It’s not a sign that we need a bigger or better house.
It’s this ethos that we value, so we are trying hard to ensure that our actions match this. And of course it’s easy to let social conditioning take over – but again it’s about actively creating and then maintaining the life we want. No place for complacency here – S. and I actively talk about valuing our house and why we choose it as ‘enough’. And by talking about we solidify that opinion, reminding ourselves that small is ‘enough’.