I Don’t Need More. I Need Less.
700 square feet. That’s it.
This is how big the little apartment is that I’ve rented for a few days in the Capitol Hill area of Denver. To say that it’s perfect would be an understatement.
It’s a third floor walk up in a 110 year old building on a tree lined street. There’s a great room, a small kitchen and a modest sized bedroom.
I have spent most of time time, though, in a little nook no bigger than 25 square feet in size, with old windows that open wide.
There’s plenty of sunlight coming in from the shared courtyard. The little room has a chair, an ottoman and a small table. It makes me deliriously happy.
Back home in Phoenix, I live in an area of urban sprawl. Huge houses on small pieces of land. Move further out to the suburbs and the houses get cheaper and bigger. Everyone needs more.
There was a time when I had a house that was over 3,000 square feet. I had bought into the idea that more was better. Bigger was better. My first husband and I bought it and it was supposed to help our marriage. He worked nights and we had a toddler. Having more space meant he had more peace and quiet.
It didn’t work. The space wasn’t the issue. We were the issue.
I’m reaching a point in my life where I don’t want more. I want less. I want to see exactly what I can live without. I have a feeling the list would be pretty long. I really don’t need much. Apparently, 25 square feet can make me pretty damn happy.
I’ve never been very good at detachment. I hang onto things and people for far longer than I should, like a man from California that was never going to make me a priority.
Now, though, detachment is calling me. There’s a lot in my life that is unnecessary.
The need to live has far outreached the need for things.
There’s a freedom in detachment that I want to find. It’s started with the realization that I’m taking up 1000 more square feet than I have any use for. I have entire areas of my house I don’t need or use. I have three TVs and don’t even have cable.
I have a garage that is half filled with stuff. Just stuff. Random and useless stuff.
Somewhere inside, we are programmed that the more stuff we have, the more space we take up, the more successful we are. It’s a well set trap.
I’ve fallen for it many times. I’m not alone in this. Over the last 40 years, the average square footage per person in a home in the US has doubled to about 1,000 square feet per person.
A family of four is occupying 4,000 square feet? No thank you. I can’t wrap my brain around needing that kind of room or being able to justify it.
I want out. I don’t want to take up more space than I need. I don’t want to feel married to a mortgage. I’m not feeding a selfish monster that is designed to make us feel like our worth is tied up in stuff.
I want less. Of everything. It starts with space and ends with peace. It’s the clearing away of what’s not necessary. What am I holding on to that I can let go of? It migrates past the physical and into the emotional. There’s a lot to let go of. I’m excited about the process of letting go. It’s time.
*I have a lot of attachment issues. Progress is slow.
Our Feelings Aren’t Meant to Be Kept
Having them and holding onto them are very different things.