John Storey

Longing for Less

There is a pull in two directions for me. On one hand I want more; we own a 3000 square foot house (rented now) across the country from where we currently live. We rent a 1200 square foot apartment. I dream of living in 400 square feet, in a tiny house arrangement, with beautiful views. I work in a densley populated area, with high net worth people, that essentially guarantees that the tiny house idea will always be blocked by NIMBYism.

I don't think it's crazy to think that I may not have a winning solution here. It's already a 2 to 3 hour commute each way to work so I can live in a place I find decent, yet the rental price of which does not make me ill. My wife, for very solid reasons, wants to live within an hour or two of a urban center with good health benefits. We've looked outside the United States, but the health care tradeoffs for our particular situation never work out.

Also, I'm aware that I am never truly happy where I am, always wanting to move on. The closest I have come is working at home in that 3000 square foot house with a nice patio. Even then we used less than half the house after the first year -- there was just no reason to go into the rest of it. Never.

Maybe part of it is is the attention we have to pay to the budget. As life goes forward and we continue to pay off debt after debt (something we have been good about for a couple of years now) and the final pressure decreases, maybe I won't care. But the older I get, the more minimalist I get. I'm almost at my goal of "only owning 5 days worth of outfits", with the exception being a suit and some dress shirts. I'm seriously toying with only wearing dress shirts as I actually need them professionally from time to time. That's mostly an urge to meet a goal I've set for myself; not a need. I've lived out of a backpack for two months straight, carried a mobile office with me and worked remotely. At the end, I realized I would be just fine with an emptier backpack.

I'm expressing a longing here. One for simplicity, minimalism, debt freedom, and tidiness. The wife in principal agrees (she grew up in Hong Kong in a small space where these were not optional things.) We are clearly going to hit debt freedom -- I was there once, and it is a good feeling -- but not so much the rest.

What I think I want is really about 400 or 500 square feet, in a nice suburb. Maybe even a housing community, such as these two have managed here. Actually, that would be pretty ideal.

Land is incredibly expensive here, but young professional population ... maybe something could be done along these lines.

Anyways it's worth thinking about before the 70 hour work week hits tomorrow. Oh wait -- that's with the call to the offshore team tonight.