A Brand New Lifestyle
No, still no small house, but something very interesting happened today.
First a confession. I do NOT like doing dishes. At all. To the point that my kitchen could sometimes be declared a health hazard. I’ll do some of the easy dishes, but for some reason, silverware piles in the bottom of the sink until there’s nothing left to eat with.
Last night I opened my silverware drawer and realized there was no clean silverware left. *sigh* Time to wash them again already?!?! There were a couple things in the sink on top of “all that silverware” so I started washing. When I lifted the two dishes out, I realized there were only a couple forks and spoons to wash! I was surprised for a second–the kind of surprised disorientation you feel when you wake up in a different place than you generally sleep. And then I realized there weren’t a lot of dishes because I’d given the majority away. Doing the dishes, a task that normally takes a few hours, took about 20 minutes today.
I hadn’t realized before that in giving away things I really didn’t need, I’d also be giving away my most dreaded household chore. Too bad I can’t give away the toilet!
The funniest thing is, while I’m in this transition, I’ve been staying in a 3,000 square foot home. Just borrowing it. It’s Dad’s dream. It’s many people’s dream I’m sure. But I hate it. I feel like I have to walk a mile to the bathroom, but even worse, I offered to clean in exchange for staying there (it’s for sale and vacant except when I sleep there). The first time I did the floors, I started to get on my hands and knees and mop like I normally do in my own house, and realized that was impossible with such a big house. So I sweep, but there is still dirt.
I looked at the floorplan and realized that a family of 6 could live under that one roof and still be total strangers. I’ve heard a lot of things blamed for today’s change of family structure. But in the last 50-70 years, house size has nearly doubled while family size has decreased. Not only that, but floor plans stopped emphasizing “together” space such as kitchens and living rooms and instead emphasizes “private” space. A bedroom for every child. A master bedroom on the other side of the house. It took me less time to walk to my parents’ room as a child than it does simply to cross one room in this house.
Don’t misunderstand. I love my private space. I often wished for my own room, since I grew up sharing a bedroom with my sister (in an approximately 800 sq ft house with a less than functional basement). Still, I have to wonder if maybe, just perhaps, there’s a bit too much emphasis on space in today’s culture… and if, with that emphasis, we’re missing some things that are much more important.