01 January 2011

Happy New Year

Finally - access...
I have been experiencing technical difficulties. Our wireless internet (or more often lack of it) has been a bit of a challenge during our small house experiment.

Here is what I have learned so far...

1. Families need less space than they think is necessary
2. small spaces do create togetherness (which is most often a good thing)
3. Lack of space encourages creativity (particularly in finding things to do)
4. I have a lot of excess stuff and I really do love a lot of that excess stuff and I would like to see it and not have it boxed up.
5. Bedrooms do not need to be large
6. 11 year old girls do not enjoy sharing a room with three little brothers, but it can be done.
7. It is not the size of the house that matters but how well it is organized.
8. Not having a telephone is usually a good thing.
9. I need a bigger kitchen.
10. a small house helps us to get outside more often (which is a good thing)

Living here has really helped us in deciding what our wants and needs are.

I have discovered that we could comfortably live in a three bedroom home...my boys are all okay with sharing a room. I do need a larger kitchen (mine is 5 x 10 including cupboard, fridge and stove space); we need space for plenty of bookshelves to house our large library  and we need a large well lit studio space. In our family, most of our time is spent doing art projects, making things in the kitchen or reading. I also would like some sort of seating for each member of our family (we currently have a single love seat which is a little small for a family of six).

But, I have discovered that I do not need a large house. One larger than 600 square feet would be more comfortable but we could probably live very comfortably in a house of 1200 square feet if it was organized to suit our lifestyle.

I think that is what I really have learned: houses are not built to suit individual families.

Why do houses all seem to follow the same pattern when families are all so different?  For us we need a well organized kitchen large enough for six people to work in (this does not mean extra large, just well organized with space for six to stand in). We need a studio and a library. We are okay with one bathroom (so far - I haven't hit the teen years yet...although I did live through my teen years with one bathroom and survived). I also would like a small dining room. No kitchen nook or breakfast area in the kitchen. I like a formal dining room strictly for eating in. The library can function as a living/family room as well.

What we want and what we need are so often two different things...

Getting what we want doesn't necessarily make us happy. I learned that this year. I can be just as happy in 600 square feet as I can in 3000.

I think this year I will try to focus on what I need which is probably very different from what you need. That is the other thing I have learned. We are all different, we all have different needs. What is best for me and my family would most likely be different from what is best for you and yours.

I think learning to recognize that and focus on my family and not on what everyone else is doing or what everyone else expects of me is what is really important.

I would like to take time every morning to think for a few moments:
~ to think of my blessings and be grateful for them
~ to think of what will make me happy today and than act on that thought

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