Small Home Treasures

         “Tiny houses empower you to more specifically choose how you want to live.”-Ethan Waldman

         Anyone close to me could tell you, I am not much of a detail-oriented person.  I see the big picture, but not all the little pieces.  Yet with living in a small home, there is not much space to roam.  One cannot help but see the nuances that arise. 

         I can notice when new dust settles into a certain area, and for some reason I take more pride in ridding that dust.  Even though I have no current visitors to my 290 square foot apartment, it’s important that it stays as clean as possible.  There is not much space for excess food, toiletries, or clothes.  All that is within these four walls must have a purpose.  I do not buy more than I need, because there is nowhere to store this.  This must be a combination of tiny home living and not living in America, where I can feel compelled to buy all shiny objects that are within my sight.  

         I’m learning the difference of want and need.

I also have been home more to recognize how the atmosphere of the room shifts throughout a twenty-four hour period.  When I first moved here, it was dark until 800 am, but now the sun seems to rise closer to 700.  My two dogs and I notice how the minutes of daylight have extended.  Puzo and Bella shift their bodies with the sunlight, almost as if their torsos are hands of a sundial.  I have made makeshift dog beds for them to pivot towards the rays, tanning as tourists do on a summer holiday.

Could I use more space? Oui.

Do I need more space to make me more happy? Not necessarily.  

There is a sense of contentedness here.  I have time.  I have all that I need.  I take pride in what I do own.  And I can simply be, as I also shift my body towards the sun with my dogs.

What Are You Going To Do?

I’ve been in Southern California for nearly three weeks, a place I have lived for seven years of my adult life.  My purpose here hasn’t been to site see but to help a person post surgery recover.  Many friends have been asking the following: 

How have you been spending your time?  

Where have you been going? 

What have you been eating?  

What have you been doing?  

And I think my answer surprises them.

I haven’t been doing much, except being available for this person.  I walk the dog twice a day, up and down the hilly streets of Los Angeles.  I do my morning spiritual practice of meditation, writing, breathing exercises and yoga.  I sit in the sun.  I read a little, write a little, play my new monochord a little.  We’ve been catching up on Netflix shows.  I’ve been meeting with friends I haven’t seen for years for coffee or meals.  But that is it.  And I’m satisfied.  I don’t actually have to “do anything.”  I’m content. 

Many people have said I should go to this restaurant, or this store, or that area of Los Angeles.  But I’ve lived here before, have lived in England for the past 8 ½ years, and now I live in Paris.  What I need most in the winter is the sun and simplicity.  I have mostly been limiting myself to the confines of where I am residing.  This includes the exciting festivities of walking to a local café, farmer’s market, and 99 cent store.  It surprisingly is enough.  I do not need more of anything to fill my days.  I’ve been grateful for my friends who have met me where I am staying, as I’ve been minimizing my drive as much as possible.

I have been finding pleasure in the simplicity of routine, the sun, my practices, and the strolls each day. In one of my virtual yoga classes this past week on the app Glo, a teacher Stephanie Snyder shared some bits of wisdom: “Remember you are here to influence the world, not to be influenced by it.” I do not need to find entertainment.   Each moment has been entertaining enough.  Being alive, having sun, my daily discipline, and loved ones have been enough.  And I feel satisfied.