While I don’t live in a tiny house, I’ve still been tricked into wanting more bedrooms and square footage. Our home is getting ready to have it’s 100 year birthday! If you don’t know already, older homes are typically boxed rooms with little open spaces. It makes me feel claustrophobic with little room to breathe. Our house isn’t the only thing I wish was more grand, either. I want to live large, like everyone else!
First off, the real problem is thinking everyone has bigger and better than we do. It isn’t always the case. My husband and I live in a house we can afford, but we can guess how much other people might make and see they live in a much nicer home and definitely drive the fancier vehicles. I used to be envious, but my husband never has. He’s good natured that way. He said, “they most likely don’t have everything we have.” If you see someone with more, and you imagine you are financially in the “same boat” consider the fact you might be doing it right.
Some families focus more on having the nice house and the nice cars. Maybe they don’t have the hobbies you do, or the need for new clothes frequently, or maybe they don’t invest as much as your family invests. We tend to think surface deep, and it goes far beyond money and houses. We have to trust we’re doing things well for us.
That’s the second big problem: Stop thinking about everyone else period. In a strangely accurate analogy I am a puppy living happily eating my bagged dog food. Life is fun, life is good, and my belly is full. Then I notice the puppy next door gets table scraps, warm from the human’s plate. No my dog food doesn’t taste as great, I don’t even want it. I’m sort of miserable thinking of what I could have, maybe should have, instead of enjoying the fact I’m completely nourished with the food I usually eat. Why do we do this to ourselves?
We look at photos in magazines, on Instagram and beyond. Look at house sweet this home looks, ooohh that kitchen is to die for, I want my back yard to look like this. These are all things I’ve said and fully mean. I do want it, and I think it is okay to want more in some cases. If we would decide to build or spend the money to makeover a project, it is good to know what you want, but wanting it so bad you’re embarrassed of what you have is something else.
My husband loves the fact none of our appliances match, because why should anyone care. It functions right? We have a mod podge of cutlery in the knife block, again, not matching. In my dream world, I have a beautiful kitchen in mind, but my husband is right. We don’t need matching appliances with all the bells and whistles. My kitchen has never been so full of delicious food than when we host families over for a get together. I probably used to keep people out of the kitchen because it wasn’t picture perfect. The rest of the house, I could fake, but not the kitchen, and that is okay!
We do this with homes, we do this with clothes, we do this with cars, and we do this with children. The need for the perfect family is another major problem in our world. I’ve been struggling to accept my children as who they are, because I want them to act a certain way. I see other families in similar situations who’s children are acting much better than mine. However, I didn’t see if they had a complete break down in another situation. I didn’t see if the parents bribed them with candy or tablets or whatever works. I didn’t see if the children were in a special circumstance as in grandma’s in town and we haven’t seen her in like four months or so. There’s always, always, always, more to the story.
Our children will suffer if we don’t see that being ourselves, being small, is okay. We can do great things just as we are. Around Christmas I contemplate even discussing Santa. I see how “Santa” is fair to everyone he delivers to. Some children are adored with new pets, big technologies, fifty new pairs of clothes, and more, and more, and more. Some children receive three gifts each. Some families are given homemade items. Santa just can’t be fair here. Each child is overjoyed on Christmas for their gifts regardless. It only seems to be a problem when they see their friends’ Christmases.
Beginning to want more, or to want what others have, starts very early. It’s a sin to covet your neighbors possessions. What are we teaching our children if we can’t be happy exactly where we are? Wanting less, will actually bring you more. So, maybe your house isn’t too small, maybe you’re trying to fit too much “stuff” inside. It is all about perspective folks, and I’m working on this right alongside of you!
(The image above is not actually our house… just in case you thought otherwise.)