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How Tiny Houses Give You More Time for Relationships & Giving

So, how are you doing with your holiday intentions? Have you set clear intentions? Have you written a wish list? Have you communicated your wishes with your family?  Have you created new rituals? Celebrated traditions? Read my first, second and third posts about how we created a meaningful celebration in our tiny house.


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We just completed our ritual of deep cleaning before December 1st. This late-fall deep cleaning really helps me to feel grounded and peaceful in our home as we prepare to bring in decorations and gifts. Washing the windows made the greatest impact. In many religious traditions, this season is associated with light, so washing the windows is a sort of ritual. I am amazed at how much more light pours into our tiny house now. I celebrate any extra light at this time of year!

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Light Pours into Tiny House

Give the Gift of Connection


Our tiny house has taught me that connection is more important than stuff.I feel grateful for our tiny house since this lifestyle leaves me with time to devote to making deeper connections with my friends and family.  These connections give me a sense of community. In my experience, cultivating a community takes reaching out, sharing simple activities and helping each other with the mundane. The mundane can be a lot of fun when done with a friend in a connected way.

Some of my favorite moments are spent one-on-one with dear friends. I’d like to cultivate more of that in my life, so I am making gift certificates for my local friends. They say things like:

  • good for one coffee date,
  • good for one hike,
  • good for one hot tub soak,
  • good for one afternoon of garden help,
  • good for help with canning,
  • and good for one morning of house cleaning help.

The small print reads: There’s more where this came from. I will also include a personalized message like this:

Dear Priscilla,

This year is my year of connection. I am focusing on making deeper connections in my life and cultivating community. I consider you a dear friend and would like to deepen our connection this year, so this gift to you is also a gift to myself. I look forward to learning more about you and sharing connected moments with you in 2013. Thank you for making my life special by just being you.

With love,

Hari

How do you cultivate connection in your life? I wish you many connected moments with your community!

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Hari Berzins

Contributor and Tiny Home Owner at Tiny House Family
Hari Berzins lives with her husband, Karl, and their two kids, Ella and Archer, in a cozy 8’ x 21’ tiny house which they designed and built. They are currently building a bigger tiny house as part of their plan to build a mortgage-free micro-homestead on their three acres in Southwestern Virginia. Follow their journey at tinyhousefamily.com.




{ 3 comments… add one }
  • sesameB December 3, 2012, 4:58 pm

    Shalom,
    Excellent. This is so true.

  • sesameB December 6, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Living in a tiny house has allowed me the time to seek out centenarians and super-centenarians over the last 18 years for visiting them, and listening to their stories for inspiration. I also have my own top ten books on living to be 100 and beyond. These are my top ten books to read when searching for centenarian inspiration! This is the literature that influenced me to aspire to live a long, healthy life, which continues to inspire me to attempt to live a more sustainable life.
    (I have my own centenarian and super-centenarian personal stories, I conducted over the last 10 years using a hand-held tape recorder, face-to-face in their homes and/or a nursing home, retirement facility. Interview format, the interviews were conducted either face-to-face or by telephone, after receiving validation of their age. Very important, I always asked at the end of the interview – “Is there anything I didn’t ask about? Memories? Favorite stories, Little incidents that I didn’t seem to be important at the time but have remained in your memory.?” Some interviews were taken in 2006 in Harlingen, Texas. I also have a number of interviews from my adopted home state Arkansas.) I am thankful for my tiny life, which allows me much freedom to pursue other worthy goals. My books are:
    After Ninety by Imogen Cunningham and Margaretta Mitchell (Oct 1979)
    If I Live to Be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians by Neenah Ellis (Mar 23, 2004) (autographed with a handwritten letter included with hardcopy)
    Earth’s Elders by Jerry Friedman, Robert Coles, Lama Surya Das and Joycelyn Elders (Sep 28, 2005) (autographed hard copy)
    On My Own at 107: Reflections on Life Without Bessie by Sarah L. Delany and Amy Hill Hearth (Jan 20, 1998))

    Centenarians: The Bonus Years Lynn Peters Adler (Author)
    Jeanne Calment: From Van Gogh’s Time to Ours, 122 Extraordinary Years by Allard, Michel; Robine, Jean-Marie; Calment, Jeanne published by Thorndike Press Hardcover by –N/A– (May 1, 1999) (Hardcopy)
    ONE HUNDRED OVER 100: Moments with One Hundred North American Centenarians by Jim Heynen and Paul Boyer (Jun 1, 1990) (hardcopy)

    The Shocking Miss Pilgrim: A Writer in Early Hollywood by Frederica Sagor Maas (Jun 10, 1999) (Hardcopy)

    Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging by Maya Angelou and Chester Higgins (Feb 4, 2004)
    (Hardcopy)

    On Being 100: 31 Centenarians Share Their Extraordinary Lives and Wisdom by Liane Enkelis (Sep 28, 2000) (Hardcopy)

    Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio (Sep 1, 2007) (hardcopy) (*Many elders are featured in this book from around the world!)

    Old and on Their Own by Robert Coles, Alex Harris and Thomas Roma (Jul 1, 1999)
    (Hardcopy)

    On Our Own: Independent Living for Older Persons (Golden Age Books) by Ursula A. Falk (Jan 1989) (Hardcopy)

    What books are on your personal list for centenarian inspiration?

  • sesameB December 7, 2012, 3:02 pm

    This was such an excellent post, I had to read it again to day and add more comments – How Tiny Houses Give You More Time for Relationships & Giving
    Some of my favorite moments are spent one-on-one with dear friends. Yes to things like:
    • good for one coffee date,
    • good for one hike,
    • good for one hot tub soak,
    • good for one afternoon of garden help,
    • good for help with canning,
    • and good for one morning of
    house cleaning help, •
    and to write a book yet-to-be-published, I have added to my list:
    Centenarians Celebrating Singlehood (New book forthcoming) Celebrate Singlehood at 100: Centenarians and Super-Centenarians Singles Success in Business and Life by Sesame Bryant (Author),
    Date of Publication: July 9, 2020

    Celebrate Singlehood distills the wisdom and wit of over 250 centenarians and 10 super-centenarians from around the world, are included into six sections (the passage of time, friendships, traveling, career, managing time, secrets of longevity, and capturing and sharing wisdom).

    The book intermixes artwork by lifelong singles, something which Bryant regards as key to attracting young readers to non-fiction, also. “You need to weave your narrative in and around the pictures,” she said. “You need the alliance of the pictures and words.” Bryant’s book as “one of the finest children’s non-fiction books for many years”. Bryant, though, prefers to allow her ‘witnesses’ to take centre-stage: “I didn’t want to tell the story myself. They could say what happened to them to live so long far better than I could say it. What I have done is orchestrate their stories into some kind of narrative,” she said.

    The book is based on over 250 interviews and extensive questionnaire surveys developed and conducted by the author, Sesame Bryant. Bryant, a sought after film documentarian and keynote speaker, who frequently, who cites Centenarian wit and wisdom about money, work, and life in her speeches. The book is full of timeless advice from lifelong singles from around the world. The last page requests that “when you have finished reading this book, please place it in the hands of someone who doesn’t know a centenarian or super-centenarian.” Bryant’s mission is to get more people to become aware of these singles at age 100 and over. This book and the website http://www.over100singlehoods2020.net makes a big contribution toward showing this subject is fun, hip and beautiful.

    Sesame Bryant, single and is a centenarian, herself residing in a tiny home in rural Arkansas.

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