Monday, March 3, 2014

Smaller Spaces

We recently sold our house and downsized to an apartment within minutes of Alex's work. We are now on one level, as opposed to three in the house. This is  proving to be easier for us, as before it was a bit of a hassle navigating back and forth between the kitchen, front door, laundry area, and the upstairs bedrooms. The first couple of months after our daughter was born, we realized that we were only using the upstairs as our living space. There was no need for all the other square footage. If we could just get the kitchen and laundry on the same level as the bedrooms, we would be set. And so we are. But in addition, we're finding the more intimate space, well, more intimate.

We tend to want to put things back where they belong right after use, where before we could just find more space to move to, and things tended to pile up. It's also been easier to clean up, especially the bathroom, which is now the only one we have, so there's no excuse of cleaning "only the guest bathroom". 

Of course there have been a few sacrifices. While I can't complain about laundry access, our washer is tiny compared to what I'm used to. What used to be a single load is now two or three. But even this isn't all bad. I used to bemoan the "wasted" wash cycle on our whites or Maya's cloth diapers, but now they are just the right size for a single load.

And since we are in an apartment on the second floor, taking the dogs out is a proper chore. We can't just let them out in the fenced back yard anymore. So we, especially Alex, are finally forced to walk them, thus getting some built in exercise. What's more, we are facing the community dog park, so not only does it not have to be a planned monthly trip in the car, we can take them to socialize with other dogs when we see someone there. Alex enjoys this excuse to get to know our neighbors.

Too much stuff.
Time to dig ourselves out.

Alex with our dogs at dog park.
 Some people may question our choice to forgo home ownership. I have to admit that I, too, have entertained the thought of losing some sort of sense of subconscious superiority. But we have walked to a restaurant for lunch, and then stopped to get some groceries on the way home. Alex has come home for lunch to get an extra baby fix with Maya. And he regularly gets more sleep and uses less gas during the week. Our quality of life is better in this smaller space. We like to  think this is a Franciscan attitude, simplicity and all. 

Perhaps that has been the biggest obstacle for us...finding a new church home. To be fair, after experiencing the community of St. Francis, the bar for any new church has been set pretty high. But we are open to where God wants us to be, even if it is easier for one of us (Alex) than for the other (me). As long as we have each other, though, we will reap the full benefits of downsizing and moving, soon.

Maya being welcomed into our faith community by Fr. Kevin, at our old church.