By Laura LaVoie
I had a couple of things I was thinking about writing for Tiny House Talk this week, but every time I started typing the words just weren’t pouring out like I had hoped. So I thought I would just tell you a little bit about what it has been like living in our tiny house since May of this year.
There was a lot of anticipation when it came to moving into our tiny house. Because of our circumstances it took us three years to build the house itself. We also had to take care of some things from our old life before we could move into our new one. The biggest change for me came by quitting my full time job. Even though I was very much ready for a change and quite burned out on my job in general, it is still terrifying to leave behind that kind of stability for the unknown. I had worked with everyone for 8 years and it was tough leaving that family behind regardless of opportunities that I faced by moving on.
Reducing my living expenses was the most important thing that I could do to be able to make this transition. Without utility bills and rent I don’t have to make as much money to keep up with my other bills and expenses. It is a rewarding feeling.
There are lots of things I have learned about myself moving to our tiny house on the mountain:
- I can live independently. I wasn’t sure how this whole freelance writing thing was going to go. And don’t get me wrong, I am not independently wealthy by any means. But I am happy to say that I’m doing pretty well. I didn’t want to work for someone else anymore so I was able to make that change. I am a better person because of it.
- I can live without television. There was a time when I would come home from work and park on the couch in front of the TV all night. I couldn’t even tell you what I watched, but I simply didn’t have any energy to do much else. Now that I am in control of what I do and when I do it, I feel more invigorated to experience my own life. Not that I don’t want the occasional TV show or movie, but I don’t feel compelled to “relax” by watching television.
- I exercise more and I eat better. Because we built our home about 200 vertical feet up a mountain with no road access, exercise is simply a fact of life now. If we leave the mountain or if we simply need to go to the barn to get something, we walk up and down the trail to our house. I wasn’t someone who exercised much at all. In fact, I hated it. Now I walk the mountain every day and I am glad to do it. By the same token, because we don’t have conventional refrigeration we buy fresh food and eat it sooner. We don’t freeze things or even buy things that need to be frozen. If we buy it we eat it and that leads to eating better.
- I’m more involved. I find that living on the mountain means that I have to be very particularly about what happens when I leave the mountain. I select things to do that make me happy and engaged. I am particularly fond of meeting new people.
- I live deliberately. There is nothing I do on a day to day basis now that I don’t connect with. When I am writing, I am fully involved. When I am cooking, I am fully involved. I read more. I walk more. Ultimately, I live more.
As tiny house builders always say, this life isn’t for everyone. What I do hope is that everyone has an opportunity to find what it is they love and makes them feel alive. That makes them want to engage with life and enjoy their friends and family fully. The tiny life may not be for everyone but a richer, fuller, happier life is.
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