Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tiny House

I have been remiss in my blogging.

In my defense I have found a new interest, something that brings delight and excitement and… a plan. This is the first time in a long while that I have felt thus.

Also, the convergence of several realizations have arrived at one door…

The Realizations:

1. The Boss. I just cannot work any longer for a boss who is critical, demeaning, or disingenuous. I simply cannot stomach it. And that means I have to be willing to walk away from jobs where I’m stuck with that kind of boss. And really, think about it: Why do we have labor laws? Why were labor unions created? There is a long standing tradition not only in this country, but in the known history of humans, of the people in power taking advantage of the little guys. And while much has improved, we still resonate with movies portraying the condescending, demoralizing boss (9 To 5, Office Space). Now that my son is an adult, the single biggest thing keeping me trapped in a bad job is a high mortgage or rent.

2. Everything I own, owns me. I truly believe this. Every possession I have, every square foot I rent or own, requires effort from me: the cleaning, the upkeep. Most of us spend unwanted hours of our weekends doing chores and yard work when we’d rather play. For the past decade I have frequently moved from place to place, and while initially I traveled light, I accumulated along the way. And towards the end I simply dragged my belongings with me, rather than sort through everything again. I am so ready to lighten my load.
The Miter Box, Shelter Wise

3. I am definitely still transitory – Portland is not my final home. And while I know that, the mere thought of moving again causes spasms of pain. Packing up everything again; cajoling people into helping; loading everything into a moving truck (or more trips with a pickup); driving to the destination; unloading. Sore muscles, bruises and scraped knuckles. I shudder at the thought.

The One Door (where several realizations have converged):

A Tiny House.

These things are so adorable, they make me happy just looking at them. They are so much cheaper than any traditional housing I could pay one off in two or three years and then live rent/mortgage free. Moving into one would give me the incentive to sort through my belongings now, forcing me to pare down to the essentials. Being in the tiny house would benefit me by reducing the belongings that owned me so that I simply would not have housework enough to tie up my weekends; I could spend more time writing, hiking, or reading a book in the sunshine (or in a café on an overcast Pacific Northwest weekend). Since these tiny houses can be built on a trailer, when it comes time to move I would already be packed!

My imagination took off after watching the 1-hour documentary Tiny: A Story About Living Small (http://tiny-themovie.com/, available on Netflix). It was quite absorbing to hear about this young man’s journey in building his own home and how significantly it changed him.

I envision me in my tiny house (with my tiny cat and tiny dog) nestled somewhere among the trees living our simple lives. This doesn’t mean I’m ready to quit my day job. It does mean that if I need to quit a job with a bad boss until I find a more suitable one, I can. This doesn’t mean I’m throwing caution to the wind and will lead a gypsy life from now on, it means my choices will afford me more flexibility.
The Siskiyou, Oregon Cottage Company

Actually tiny houses bring many challenges with them. Did you know that most locales in the U.S. have minimum size limits for housing? And tiny houses are far below that minimum. Many tiny homeowners risk being told to “move on” at any time, even from their own property. Some cities like Portland are at the forefront of trying to meet this desire to live small with appropriate safety precautions and permitting – but there is still a long way to go.

But my eyes have been sparkling a lot lately, and my time has been spent learning about tiny homes and listening to the stories of their owners. And my heart has been singing.

Dear Reader, please consider posting your COMMENTS and QUESTIONS below (if the white Comment box is not available, click on “No Comments” in the darker green rectangle just below. I would love to hear from you! Please let your friends know about my blog. And thank you for visiting!

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