Don’t blink, time flies when you’re having fun. As our videos show on our YouTube channel and Instagram account you can see it. I can’t express what this time living tiny and nomadic has meant for someone like me. A father who was constantly away, missing all the small moments, and only catching a few of the bigger ones. This new lifestyle has not only impacted my perspective on family and my newfound understanding of tribalism and village mindset, but I know for a fact my family is better for it.
Alexis, 11, is not afraid to ask, tell, or show me anything. Matthew, 9, shows confidence, critical thinking, and know how in many areas I never possessed at his age. Chloe, 8, has the tenacity I carry in my adult years and concurrently can host a tea party like a professional event planner. Jacob, 5, has a nontraditional brain and approaches any and all his decisions as so. I attribute much of this to their newfangled lifestyle and much of it to my wife and I as we have more time to finally give our children everything we’ve wanted to provide for years. Time, relationship development, mentorship, guidance, discipline, freedom, and onward the list goes.
It’s worth mentioning that as lifestyle bloggers and vloggers and what we evangelize with life is never a straight line of amazing moments. It has its lows, its fights, its antagonistic qualities. But, one thing I firmly attach weight to is tiny living will breakdown walls, build bridges, and allow for a nearly forgotten human being approach to a life worth living.
How was it living tiny with a big family… really?
There’s nowhere to go, but everywhere to escape to. So no matter if you are having a disagreement (a.k.a. fight), for those who haven’t learned to close an argument before you go to bed will have no choice. Living within an arm’s reach (figuratively) within a tiny house doesn’t allow you to go to the guest bedroom or couch. Even if you do, for those of us out here who have the couch, you’re still a normal conversational tone away. For some of us, this is new.
The family’s communication has grown even better through this year, that even with the good, the bad, and “oh wells”, we’ve become a kinder, more understanding, and a willing participant in relationships. We’ve learned how to coexist through tiny living Knowing what type of relationship you have with your family, and that they know that we have their back is as humanistic as it comes.
Privacy & Space
“So, how do you… you know… (drops to a whisper) do ‘it’?” The question that plagues our tiny house adult visitors in regard to our privacy & space. I always respond the same way. “Well, you see, when two people love each other very much… and I let the sentence trail away as the humor in the situation gives them a good laugh. I then tell them honestly and with no humility, “we just seek the opportunity.” You see, privacy is as taboo as you indoctrinate yourself and those around you into it. Another example of this is our toilet area has only a curtain that separates a composting toilet and any of the smells actively being produced that may exist in the bodies of six people living in a roughly 320sqft area.
This bridges into the ability to laugh at yourself as people make comments and analogies such as, “you’re a regular Lesser Anteater in there, aren’t ya?” Side note – The Lesser Anteater is known as being able to produce the foulest smelling odor in the animal kingdom… I now reexamine my digression into education. Our children are not only learning all the above mentioned hilarious pieces of life but adapting a learning style which is more vast. The opened, closeness allows for quick wit and maturity then what would be regularly available in any normal institution of learning.
Our relationships changed after living tiny.
I’ve always loved, and still do, this woman, the family she has sacrificed her body to build, and the children that they are today. But, the word relationship has many levels of definition. The one I align to for this usage is, “the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship” (merriam-webster). This connection has never been so directly connected to her or the children and the web of interaction binding us together has never been bound so tightly. It’s frightening actually saying it out-loud or in these words. I now have a new understanding of the verb ‘to miss’, the noun ‘separation’, and a rebirth of emotional vulnerability that was shutdown for the longest time to protect myself.
This may sound singular in words but I know I speak for our collective when I say we are truly in love with each member of our family and I know it matter of factly. E.g. when circumstances dictate we visit the beach and Jacob draws two stick figures in the sand and says, “That’s Alexis and Matthew…” Shiang-ling asks him why he drew them and he says, “I miss them”.
Tiny Living Diet/Exercise Change
Being on the go is just that. Moving, eating when able (natural fasting), snacking more healthily e.g. fruit, vegetables, Nature Valley/Cliff bars, etc… More time outside, hiking trails and mountains, swimming in lakes, brooks, rivers, and the ocean, constantly improving the tiny space for efficiency, teaching rather than doing the ‘9-5’. There’s a whole world out there and most only see it so episodically or not at all so their natural activity is: wake, eat, drive to work, sit-work-eat-work, drive home, ‘sit and relax after a hard day’, eat, and lounge in front of the television. It’s honestly a programmed culturalism that is popularized so early in life that I do understand it’s scary to break away from the herd. There’s a psychological safety in familiarity and others within the same species. Let me assure you, there’s no greater freedom though than taking the first leap, sticking the landing, and seeing your inner strength grow.
Obviously we are big believers into this… live with less, minimalistic, experiences over materials “lifestyle”… even though it sounds trendy and like a hype there really is magic in this approach. So many things have changed within our family’s dynamic, the way we approach and choose what is in our life. In closing, start everyday with a grateful heart, don’t be afraid to live your dreams, and find your happiness.