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What’s the Point?

Macy M38 comments1934 views

I was just told that ‘I missed the whole point of tiny houses’.  This was in a comment that had the settings such that I couldn’t even reply if I wanted to… so instead of venting back at them about how much I hate when people start off with ‘the point’ of the tiny house (when really they should be saying ‘THEIR point’), I did a little reflection on MY point of the tiny house… here is what I came up with!

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I absolutely still ‘hit’ my point when I started this tiny house journey.  Not only that, I have nearly hit my goal of designing, building AND living tiny for two years. Life changes over time and missions change along with that life get’s more meaning and there are different ‘points’ to consider and work toward.  Sure, over the time I’ve been on this journey my life has changed, I’ll get to that in a second.  Initially, when I starter this I thought it would be hard, it’s not.  I thought maybe it would be gross [composting toilet yuck!], it’s not.  Initially, ‘the point’, for me, was to learn about construction [check], it was to learn hands on experience about more sustainable methods like composting waste [check], radiant floors [check], green roofs [this one I have yet to learn about because I have yet to plant it!], and living in a more compact space [check].  My point was to design my own house [check], to provide a great and loving home to a sweet Great Dane [check].

Along with all of those things there were plenty of challenges.  My life is not one dimensional, we all look for community and partnerships.  Dating while building a tiny house was hard.  Not only because time was limited but it was this really weird thing that made a lot of people uncomfortable.  It was more common than not to be on a first date and know that it was an only date.  The goals just don’t line up with most people, that is great though, no time wasted!  But when you meet someone and it just clicks because they think what you are doing is awesome, it feels good!  And when you think their goals are the bees knees too, checkmate!  Dating was tough but also it made things so much clearer to cut through all the BS, lay your lifestyle out on the line and have it be embraced and lifted by another… eventually.  The tiny house simplified dating [cool ‘point’ I didn’t expect].   The process eventually lead me to meeting a great life partner.  We decided to start a family (some of you who read early posts may read that in the design phase I was well aware that the family starting and the tiny living may overlap and I made considerations for that in the design!).   This change offered an opportunity for new purposes.  At each major life change, subconsciously, I think we all reevaluate our directions.  For me, and now ‘us’, tiny continues to make sense.  We have so shame or fear in switching directions, in fact the thought often sounds tranquil compared to some of the reviews of our life we read!

Once you are living tiny and you realize that all those things that you thought would be hard or challenging aren’t really hard or challenging, you just have a home that is yours, if you’re lucky, a place to park it [which I didn’t have until near completion, then a lot of options opened up!], money coming in and less going out… we are achieving all of ‘our points’, why change the game now!?

Oh, that growing family thing… right.  That DOES change ‘the point’, quite a bit.  Instead of the tiny house being a way to spend less and save more,  it becomes a way to provide a better life for myself and my family, to spend more TIME together.

I’ve been accused of trying to ‘fit my life in this little box’ when I feel completely opposite from that.  I am very grateful I decided to build ‘this little box’ when I did, it wouldn’t have made sense at any other point, or maybe it just seems like it would have been harder…  Since we have this little box, James and I decided that we wanted to keep using it to better all of our lives.  We want to be debt free [check], we decided we wanted a family [check and check], we decided that we want to spend time with them instead of working on other people’s projects, unless we WANT to work on those other projects [check].  We decided that we never want to live in an over-sized (for us) little box again [ongoing but check!].  The tiny house allows me to live off of a very meager blogging wage (I make money at this from those little ads on this page, feel free to ignore them, I do! (: ) and stay home to enjoy watching my little one(s) grow bigger.  I get to teach them new tricks and just be there for them when they need me, I consider that a HUGE ‘point’ to my tiny house [check].  We decided to stay here after our family grew because we WANT to be here, because it is the best thing for me, James and our family.  No, we won’t be here forever, the kids will eventually want their own space and stop beings so clingy (I LOVE every moment of their clinginess!),  I have always wanted a little sun room for painting, James and I both have the passion to build more alternative dwellings… Tiny is a stepping stone for us to make our life better, that is OUR point.  The fact that our house is an asset that pays us back instead of a liability, taking money every month is just the cherry on top!

Our next goals and more of the reasons we are planning to continue living tiny are:

  • Our kids need US, not things, not trips, not anything but us and our attention, I want them to have that.  When they are ready to explore the world more and be exposed to other situations we will put them in those situations, right now, they want to know they have security in their family, parents that love them, time to do silly things like spend 30 minutes at the park practicing going up and down curbs… our tiny house and lack of a mortgage provides that time for us to give them just that.
  • We want to save cash for our next projects.  We never want to be dependent on banks again.  In order to get out of the rat race you have to do things differently.  even though I don’t work a ‘real’ day job anymore and I stay home to be with Hazel, James continues to run his online businesses and contract pretty much full time with firms so that as a family our income has not decreased, just our expenses.  This allows us to save for our next adventures to be paid in cash.   “There are two ways to get rich, make more or spend less”
  • We would like to be location independent and not be tied to one spot via a standard job so that we can travel the world with our kids and expose them to different lifestyles an cultures.

In the words of Dave Ramsey “If you want to live like no one else, you have to live like no one else”.  This lifestyle is not hard but building it takes effort and intention, if I had not started when I did I don’t know that I would have the gumption or the time to dedicate to it now.  I am grateful and lucky to have followed my gut when I did because it really is opening the doors to the life that we want to live.  We are not fitting our life into this little box nor are we ‘missing the point’!  This little box [I may officially have a name for my house!] is helping us to build the life we want.  Tiny houses can open possibilities to live the life YOU want to live.  THAT is ‘the point’, to do what YOU want.

Moral of the story, everyone has a different ‘point’ to deciding to go tiny, if it makes sense in your life is only up to you.  So does it?  What doors will living tiny open in your life?

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‘remarkable’ is relative! 🙂

 

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Macy M
I am an artist, a steward, a minimalist at heart... I love being out in the sunshine... I love animals of nearly every kind, at least the furry ones, I am trying to be a gardener... I believe people are good at the core but are also capable of very bad things when they aren't intentional about their actions... I love my family, my passions and my life... I am just me :)

38 Comments

    1. Hahaha! It would have been nice if they had in fact stated THEIR point instead of just informing me that I missed it :).

  1. Jeez! Wow! Huh! Jiminy Crickets! Here I thought the operative word was YOUR (silly silly me, 58 years living in a dream world 🙂
    SERIOUSLY, own your motives: mini or maxi. Hurrah for information, insight, humor. Hurrah for the chance to respect, maybe even incorporate these in our points of view!

  2. I think how you have chosen to live is amazing, and as long as it works…who cares what the naysayers think. I have a full time, Monday-Friday job, plus a part time gig on Friday and Saturday nights because my husband insisted on buying a house with “land”, and I hate it. My husband was previously debt free, except for utilities and rent. I’m still working on student loans. Our current mortgage is double what we were paying in rent to my parents (they owned our previous home), we don’t use half of the property, and neither of us love the house. I feel we could have gotten more (and by more I mean what we wanted, not space) for less. I don’t want to work forever or as much. I want to spend time with my kids and travel. I say BRAVO!

    1. Awww, I hope you can get out from under that burden eventually, I know the feeling! Thank you so much for the kind words!

    1. Some of them do, it sort of makes me laugh at times. I do really want to know what their point is that I seem to have missed entirely 🙂

  3. This article resonates with me. I love that there are diverse reasons and ways that people choose to participate in the “tiny house movement.” No matter the size of the home, the cost, the design, who built it, who occupies it, or the reasons behind those decisions, we should try to learn from other people instead of immediately judging. Even if someone tries something unconventional (like living tiny) and realizes it’s not working out, that is ok too. There is room for everybody. Others’ experiences, motivations, and decisions can open a dialogue, create knowledge, and inspire new ways of thinking. The main thing is being intentional with how you want to live: opening your eyes to the possibilities and doing what is best for you and your family. And all the better if your actions support the well-being of your community and the environment 🙂

    1. it happens, I just hope it doesn’t stifle others, its a tough skill to be able to shake some of that stuff off! 🙂

    1. I never mind having those discussions but some people who like to spark those flames annoy me because they have their settings so that there is no discussion… if I can’t ‘reply’ then don’t even comment! 🙂 You’ve gotta laugh at some of it. I am super curious about their point that I missed so entirely, wish they would have left that…

  4. You and you and James, have defined goals, made a plan, and worked the plan. The fact that you (pl) change the plan as circumstance or goals change, can only be logical.

    Perhaps, the person commenting would like you to constrict your life (no BIG Dog!, No messy kids, no….) to the perceived dimensions of a tiny house! The only value I see in responding is that it might yet again, help one clarify where one is going with the goal/plan!

    1. You are exactly right, I think the dog (whom he referred to as ‘creepy’) was a sticking point that caused him to think I ‘missed [his] point’

  5. I just feel like there should be a “Fixed that for you” auto-correct on about 95% of tiny house blog comments that changes whatever screed a 50 year old white, male misogynist decided to type that day into “Everything you do is wrong. You cannot win. I hate the world.”

    Because that’s really what they mean.

    It would save us all some time.

    1. Now, c’mon… I’m a 51 year old white male, and I think Ms. Macy is close as it can get to a frickin’ rock star in this idea. I’d rather live in 100 sq ft than swim through all the tea in China… Don’t get harsh, now. Besides, nothing you do is ‘wrong’… you learn from everything… you WILL win, depending on what you learn, and what suites you… and I only hate the malice in the world, and you don’t want to contribute to that, do you?

      1. ?

        Did you miss my “misogynist” modifier in there? Nowhere did I say “all white men.”

        Is it malice of me to make fun of negative people? Also my humor is a little dark on this topic, having been at the receiving end of incredible online judgment and negativity in the tiny house world that was entirely undeserved.

        1. Also you may have misunderstood my joke; I’m saying the viewpoint of those negative tiny house commenters can be summed up as “everything you do is wrong” meaning THEY are telling Macy that Macy is wrong.

  6. You are the inspiration for my husband and myself to have a tiny house in our retirement (a couple of years away). Ever since we first started reading about you and your tiny house build we have been planning ours..Thank you for all the information and the inspiration. We always look forward to hearing more about your tiny house journey.

  7. Ms. Macy, I sincerely hope you’ve given yourself some ‘wiggle room’ as far as your own plans go. I’ve lived, very well, ship board. That is a tiny home. I’ve lived with two dogs and a daughter on a floating home, and those were the happiest days I’ve known. I’ve also been trapped in a 2000 sq ft home, and had more crap to get rid of than I ever wanted to own. That was hellish. YOU and your husband choose your path, and NEVER choose anything which doesn’t feel correct. As for ‘The Point’, I would simply say this… ‘If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.’ You have my respect.

    1. Thank you! I whole heartedly agree, these are great times and I am doing all I can to love them up, most days I feel like the luckiest girl alive and can’t believe this is MY life, the only bad parts come from things that really have nothing to do with my house but others’ views of it… which I have learned don’t really matter at all! I know others experience these though too, sometimes I just like to bring light to the fact that everyone has to deal with a little strife, it’s how you deal with it that matters, you can shut down or you can carry on anyway! I carry on! Thank you for your comments!

  8. Hear hear! Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve also received some interesting criticism about why/how/where I live in my tiny home. There is no one point. There is no one right way. No one can tiny house wrong!

    1. I know, I can’t believe some of the nonsense I have heard you say people complain about, it no longer surprises me though. Some people are fickle!

  9. Macy

    Hit the ignore button! No matter what editions you make to your home, you will still be living in a tiny house! I dont understand the logic behind the negative comment but maybe he/she did not have all their facts on hand.

    Regardless of it all, you are still amazing and a HECK OF A PIONEER!!!

    Steven

  10. I love this post! I have had people act like I missed “the point” because I chose to buy my Tiny House rather than build it. However, this choice helped me reach my goals. We all choose to live in a Tiny House for our own reasons and we all decide to stay with this lifestyle, or leave it for our own reasons. Thanks for sharing “the point” of your journey!

  11. I find it strange and ridiculous that anyone would tell you that you missed the point of your own adventure! Good grief. It bothers me when people jump all over others who lived tiny for a while, and then decided to make changes, too. Live your own best life, as you are doing, and never mind the naysayers.

  12. Love this!!! And thank you! I too have been on the receiving end of “what’s the point?” Because I chose new, high quality, environmental friendly materials for my tiny thus making for a more costly build, (which I’m personally fine with). “The point” is whatever each individual makes it. There is no set ethos in the tiny community.

  13. Hi Macy!

    As a long time follower, and visitor to your lovely home in 2013, I’ve followed your blog and the amazing progress you’ve made (as a tiny home owner / innovator / instructor, and as a mother and homemaker). I’m at the other end of the age scale, 69, and have lived in my THOW for just under one year. And, I’m the recipient of all kinds of comments, ranging from the complimentary to the idiotic to the downright rude. I’m not surprised by the comments; when you live on the forefront of something new, the armchair critics will find any excuse to criticize what you do, how you do it, how you live, your thinking and your sanity.

    Living tiny for me is living my life on my own terms, simply, cleanly with a light footprint on environment. And, finding time to encourage and support others venturing, however timidly or boldly, along this path. Keep up the good work and do know there are many of us out here who support and applaud your work and enthuiasm!

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