The LHBB (Little House Big Build) is all about shrinking my footprint. Both my conscience and life stage have led me to understand it’s time to reduce my material presence. What does that mean?
My ethics are rooted in conservation of available resources; they underpin my passion for saving and restoring old, historic properties. But old homes inevitably require more energy and product to properly steward. Expensive repairs and improvements, expensive maintenance. At 60 and ‘retired’, my time, energy and money have irreparably shrunk.
In practical terms, I’m ready to shed stuff that requires time managing, maintaining and mending. Let go of expanse: big bedrooms, bathrooms, and gathering space. Live more simply. Abandon my ‘survivor’ stores of food, water, extra clothing and bedding for multiple families. Accept my catering days are over; will I ever really use my several sets of dining service for 30 again?
Shrinking means reducing my space, my stuff, my material footprint. Disengage from my past dreams and expectations. Let go of illusions that a big life mandates big spaces in which to live it. Address and overcome my fantasies of my personal grandeur.
Harder to jettison is my life-long neuroses to ‘be of value’. My sense of my value to loved ones has been so misplaced for so long. Only through the insistence of my grown children and inspiring sister, healthier friends and current media have I come to understand my value to this world has absolutely nothing to do with material possessions.
My well-wishers want me to expand my time with them, my writing, my thinking and my spirit. No one wants stuff. They don’t value matter over mind. Did I?
Originally, this all came about in protracted illness. Emotionally and physically undone by a second but necessary divorce, cancer diagnosis, and subsequent bodily breakdown, I began worrying about how my daughters could possibly survive dealing with my seemingly eminent death and all my accumulated crap.
The solution? Reduce the crap and live.
With endless gratitude to the Universe and all who have helped me see the light, I find myself on the cusp of a new life. This new opportunity (more time & awareness) to align my actions with my core beliefs about the purpose and potentials of life infuses the changes I am undertaking with an unfamiliar but magnificent peace of mind.
Shrinking my material footprint clears the slate. Hard won, I finally understand my legacy isn’t passing on my grandmother’s china or my father’s curated library. My benefit to this world is expressing my unique spirit, whether in a smile, my garden or a blog. It is for each of us.
Shrinking is allowing me to grow, to expand, to become a bigger being.