I'm writing this post kind of as a reminder to myself, as well and to remind others: WE DO NOT NEED BIG HOUSES AND FANCY THINGS. Sorry to 'shout' it, but it needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
When Vince and I decided we were going to try for a baby in the near future, the first thing I told him was to not let me say our house was too small and that we needed a bigger one. Our apartment is considered tiny by most people, roughly 500 square feet (I just measured with my tape measure) but it's enough space if we don't have a lot of junk. I am queen of keeping useless stuff around in hopes that I'll fix it or use it for some purpose later, but most of the time it just takes up space. Fortunately, I've started to lose that awful trait and have been giving away or throwing away stuff like crazy.
We have one small bathroom, one small bedroom that barely fits our queen size bed (oh how we long for a king...it wouldn't even be able to fit in the room), a kitchen, a living room, and a small entryway type thing. That's it. We don't have linen closets or a laundry room or even a washing machine/dryer for that matter, but we have high ceilings, beautiful wood floors, and windows galore.
Vince called me a few weeks ago to let me know that a friend of ours is moving out of the house they're renting that we love and suggested we think about moving into it. My first reaction was, 'No, we can't afford it.' But then I though more about it after and thought, 'Oh, well it wouldn't be that big of a deal for me to work more hours. Then we'd have two bedrooms, a washer and dryer, a yard to ourselves for Roxi, a beautiful back porch, a guest room/nursery. It would be great!' I started convincing myself that life would be good and I wouldn't hate doing laundry so much and just think of all the space to put things! We'd be broke, but so happy! And that's what stopped my thoughts: I am happy right now.
We are able to afford our lives now which makes me not stressed about money. I've started loving our house more than ever because I'm painting and decorating and making it amazing and homey. I'm happy. So what if our future baby sleeps in a makeshift bedroom or I have to wash my face in the kitchen sink because the bathroom sink is so old that is has separate hot/cold water taps and the hot water is hot? It's different, but it's not bad. And even if I weren't happy, would a bigger house that takes more time to clean really make me happier? I think not. I would also need to work more which would take away time from schoolwork, future baby, dog time and husband time.
So this is a reminder to those of you who think that they always need more: Ask yourself if that new thing, whether it's a house, car or anything, would really make you happier. Could you make what you currently have more desirable to you or work better? Get creative.
I have a few example of what I've done with my house that I hope to post about soon. (But let's be honest...it'll probably be in another five years.)