Lately I have been struggling with two things as I simplify my life.
1) I am finding minimalism aesthetically boring. Not the true design concept of it (which can be beautiful and interesting) but the way that I can afford to live it out right now.
My surroundings are very important to me. They shape my mood and productivity and sense of contentment. I want to break out of convention and make our living spaces beautiful and magical. I have an urge lately to embrace my creativity- which is a big part of living “fully.” I know that I could do this on a budget, and I could get creative about recycling as to limit consumption, but I’m not sure quite how to do this in our current apartment without collecting stuff.
This has all led me to reflect on what I find beautiful and magical. For the most part it is nature and any way that nature can be intertwined in our lives and spaces. I love treehouses. I love tiny little cob cottages. I love greenhouse home additions. Anything tucked away in nature, preferably near water, is a dream to me. And those kinds of elements carried out through a house warm my soul.
I simultaneously rediscovered the tiny house movement on several blogs and have been fascinated by what people are creating. Which leads me to my next struggle… 2) while it seems to provide an answer, tiny house living is somewhat impractical for a family with young children- particularly in Minnesota, in large part because of the bitter cold winters here and therefore the need for little ones to be indoors a large chunk of the year. Also impractical for us is the fact that land, building materials and time for a project like this (even when it means no mortgage) is far from our reach. Plus it would take some effort and persuasion to convince my husband of all its merits. And much to my chagrin, I have found little evidence online of very young families doing this successfully.
With both of us in school and parenting a soon-to-be toddler, I’m not sure why I am so anxious for another monumental shift in our lives. Perhaps I have become too accustomed to change. So I am trying to settle for contentment right now. We like our apartment in the middle of the city. It serves us well for the time. Maybe the answer is patience. If I don’t collect more things now, we can have that kind of beauty enveloping us and flourishing in our lives later.
I have started to “plant seeds” with my husband, hoping that tiny house living may be in our future some day. I especially love the idea of building our own unique and magical home out of reclaimed treasures that we can collect together over the years. Something that we can put our own sweat and imagination into.
With this hope for the future, I will live expectantly in the present. For the time being, if anyone has ideas (other than painting, because I’m not sure we can do that in our rental) for making an apartment magical without accumulating a bunch of decor, please comment!