Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged Greg Rossi

The “Tiny Life” Is Freedom

The tiny life is indeed freedom: freedom from long-term mortgages, freedom from unnecessary possessions, and freedom from the both the expected and unexpected headaches larger living brings.freedom

But it is not only freedom from, it is also freedom for: freedom to have more discretionary income to use wisely or to save; freedom for economies of scale; freedom for more focused energy to harness one’s will and talents with less encumbrance.

Sometimes our possessions come in the way of our self-actualizing.

Just as sadly, have we reached a point where we have allowed our possessions and the size of our homes or dwellings or that of others to define who we are and determine our self-worth, let alone those of others?

Perhaps the tiny life will bring us more into contact with those who do not allow the amount or type or “size” of one’s possessions blind them to the inherent dignity and self-worth of everyone.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”


On Solitude

aI am fortunate to be employed in a field I truly love.  But the demands made on my time, energy, and person are many.  That is one reason I crave solitude.

When I drive home, some times I keep the radio off (NPR is perhaps my favorite station).  But more importantly, my own mental health and emotional well-being require that I have some time that is alone and filled with quietude.

Solitude is not loneliness.  Nor is it engaging in activities to numb up one’s loneliness.

Rather, solitude is the capacity to live within and among one’s self without having to turn on the radio or TV or call a friend to distract one from loneliness.  Full disclosure: I have been known to do all three (but certainly not at once!)

Solitude is more than aloneness because when apartment or condo or townhouse living or one’s own TV do not assault our senses we can then enter into the inner chamber of our being.

I am writing this late in the evening and most of my neighbors are asleep as the pitter patter of the rain bookmarks the click of the keyboard.  I can think, I can reflect, I can assemble these thoughts in hopefully cogent form.

Solitude also allows for creativity and one of the finest books I have read on this topic is Father Matthew Fox’s, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet.  Let me quote from him briefly.

Father Fox writes that the title of his book “suggests that there is a special encounter with the Divine where creativity occurs.”  (p. 4)  I like that because whether or not I take the Book of Genesis literally, the creation of the world was indeed a supremely Creative Act.

“To allow creativity its appropriate place in our lives and our culture, our education and our family relationships, is to allow healing to happen at a profound level.” (p. 9)  Anyone in touch with one’s own or others’ hurts and wounds knows that our planet and its wonderfully diverse peoples are in great pain and in need of much healing.

Tiny living has already brought hope to many who were either tired of renting or who could not afford to embark upon a mortgage or whose life circumstances could not be reconciled with the housing market as it is.

Therefore, tiny living is indeed a creative effort and it can allow for solitude.

If living a life that is anything but small brings undue worry, stress, or heartache, then a tiny life can help allow for the solitude and creativity that can bring about peace—within and without– and contribute perhaps in some small way to the healing of our world.


Why “The Tiny Life”?

So why embark on “the tiny life”?

The answer is found in stewardship– the wise use of one’s time, energy, fiscal and other resources.

Are you wisely using the space in which you live?  Which room or rooms do you live in the most?  What happens to the others?  Are you bothered by all the space within your dwelling that is least occupied?Tiny House image

“Tiny” is the efficient use of space.  Admittedly, there is much less space to “expand” one’s life—one’s possessions and one’s decorative sense are two examples.  Where do we really live, though—in our dwellings or in our hearts and relationship space?

But “tiny” also means less money expended to maintain a larger space that has become for many of us an idol.  In 1963, my parents took on a 25-year mortgage on a new, two-story house with four bedrooms that cost $17,500.  That same home today can sell for close to $300,000.

How scales of economy have changed!  “Tiny” addresses the buying power of present dollars as much as it reflects  the desire not to buy into the myth that bigger is better.

Bigger is not necessarily better.  For most of us fascinated by tiny living, the exploration of all things tiny imparts hope.


Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

Bigger is not necessarily better.  Bigger can certainly be beautiful!  And there is nothing inherently wrong in bigger.  But bigger can be quite costly in both the short and long term and can bring with it many headaches.

It’s important to be compassionate: many of us could not but help buy into the belief that as we grew up that we, too, could purchase the type of homes our parents did– homes just as “spacious” and stately– even if we were raised in a row home or semi-detached dwelling.BigSmall

But for chiefly economic reasons– many of which readers of “The Tiny Life” are aware– the purchase (and sustaining) of long-term mortgages has become less likely, less possible, and fraught with more risk.

For the sake of example, let’s suppose you and I can purchase such a home.  My father worked for a corporation and was employed 33 consecutive years with that same employer before he retired.  In general, such job security today, let alone with a single employer, is not the norm nor the reality for the vast majority of us.

Therefore, taking on a 20-35 year mortgage brings with it the worries of what will happen if one or both incomes become imperiled.  What happens to our long-term investment if 23 years into our 25-year mortgage we lose either our jobs or our health?  What if savings and the help of family &/or friends is not enough to “save” our home?

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