Deprived or Fulfilled?
“You don’t have a stove? I could never…!” someone recently responded to my statement. No, I don’t have a stove. No, not everyone would want to relinquish that item. For me it has been freeing. Yes, I cook. And I enjoy it immensely more now that I don’t have a stove and oven to clean.
It’s the difference of perspective that makes me feel fulfilled and someone else deprived if there is no stove or less floor space. Honestly, I’ve reacted in much the same way when others mentioned things they did without… things like extra dishes (only one cup?!?! What about company?) or only three pairs of shoes (I need work boots, dress boots, work shoes, dress shoes, business shoes, and comfy shoes because of a variety of diverse activities) or a sawdust toilet (ewww!). Thankfully, one thing I’ve noticed about the small house movement, the green movement, the simplistic movement, and the eco-friendly movements is that they all tend to accept and even respect others’ different perspectives. As a result, we learn from each other and glean some ideas we can incorporate into our own lifestyles.
Those I’ve talked to about my stovelessness have often gotten a far away look for a moment and then admitted they only use two burners usually, or that crockpots are their favorite cooking appliances. Those who wouldn’t dream of living in 300 square feet have admitted that they could do with less… less stuff and less space. And in listening to them, I’ve admitted that I could waste less, recycle more, use more green energy, and live more simply even in a larger space.
Admittedly, one of the best benefits of living smaller for me has been learning to eat better. Less plastic and single serving containers. (They take up space). More fresh fruits and vegetables. More whole grains. (They don’t have to be refridgerated.) I didn’t get involved in the small house movement to learn how to eat, but a little more simplicity here, a little less space in the fridge, a few comments about plastics, and I decided to try different food choices. How surprising to find I enjoyed fresh foods more, and that they took only minutes longer to prepare!
What have you learned from others’ perspectives in the small house or similar movements?