Do I need that?

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with Right At Home Realty Inc.

Well today was one of those days when the dog starts howling WAY too early for any human to be awake...  he gets hungry and I swear he sounds like a rooster in his attempt to get me up.  His name is Zeus and so now my husband and I affectionately refer to him as our ZOOSTER.

Since there was no point to get back to sleep; I curled up on the couch with my first issue of YES!  A family member gave us the subscription to this ad-free, nonprofit magazine "dedicated to building a just and sustainable world".   www.YesMagazine.org/store  It is printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.

The topic for this Winter 2009 issue is Sustainable Happiness.  I sat there reading article after article about living with less and being happier doing it and actually felt myself becoming sad!  Here, the two of us live in a 3700 square foot, newly built home, meanwhile always wishing we had the extra money to:      Put up some window treatments (there are tons of windows and we have been living in a fishbowl of sorts since moving in), Install a backsplash & granite (the kitchen, otherwise looks great but I am a Realtor after all), Furnish our master bedroom (at the moment, the only item in this room is our bed & a TV... yikes talk about anything further than a sanctuary), Paint the place (all the walls are that horrible builder egg shell white that feels like I am forever in a hospital ward) etc... etc... ETC...     I really could go on but I will spare all of you the details.  THE POINT IS... why oh why do we live in this enormous house, when it is just the two of us with our 2 dogs and a single cat?  The idea was we would GROW into it - the idea was to have 2, 3 maybe even 4 kids!  We are both 33, trying to build our careers and I just don't see THAT happening!  (at least not the 3 or 4).

In all seriousness, the magazine was a pleasure to read and really opened my eyes about what we need vs. what we want.  (I should mention that the magazine has an obvious environmental MO which is great).  This blog is not to say that we are going to sell the place... I mean we do call it home and love the idea of having a 'project' every once in a while to look forward to doing together.  We will be 'trying' to start a family soon (maybe just a small one if we can pretend that our bedroom is actually an intimate space)!  But, we can adopt other idealogies about 'trimming the fat' and trying to find happiness in the simplicities of life.  This idea is not a novel one but every time I think about it, I come up with examples of how this can be done and without too much effort.

So, I write this to see if any of you feel the same... are there simple things you can change to take the pressure off of having and getting and acquiring?  I am sure some of you have started doing this already and some others have adopted this lifestyle a long time ago... good for you... it takes work and dedication but I think in the end, for every thing we can live without, perhaps the happier we can be!

Comments (2)

Lara O'Keefe
North Texas Home Finders - McKinney, TX

That's funny. There are two of us and 2 dogs in our 4000 square foot home. I don't feel bad, however for building such a large place. We both work very hard and don't have much time for travel. We choose to indulge ourselves at home. We have been in it for two years now so it's furnished, decorated, and a tropical pool in the back yard (necessity in Texas heat.) We have given up alot of toys and travel to build a home together. We did build it with above and beyond energy efficiency so we feel a little less guilty :-)

Jan 07, 2009 08:33 AM
Nicole Hurst
Cole House Design - Georgetown, ON
Your Halton & Peel Home Staging Expert

Every summer, when I sit up north at the cottage, I think of how much simpler life is up there.  Our cottage is quite small, each room being big enough to hold only what is absolutely necessary.  However, it is still very cozy and comfortable (and yes it has running water, hydro, satellite tv, and a telephone).  The children don't have mountains of toys everywhere, there are no video games or computers, and the fun times come from playing cards on a rainy day, swimming in the lake, and sitting around the campfire in the evenings.  And as I look around our cottage, I see that this simpler way of life - with no junk, no clutter, and none of those little extras that you think you just can't live without, is quite often so much nicer. 

P.S - Let me know if you ever need help with those decorating dilemnas :-)

Jan 09, 2009 01:34 AM