Find contentment in unexpected places

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About Emily

Emily Walker writes about making your home a haven, and is a stay at home mom to two littles. While she and her husband have fixed up their 1960s ranch home, Emily has learned lessons along the way in do-it-yourself, making do with what you have, simplifying, and living life to the fullest. When she's not busy bossing her husband around on remodel projects, Emily blogs at Remodeling This Life.

It was over five years ago now that my family bought the falling apart fixer-upper that is no longer falling apart and we still call home today. When we signed the dotted line that day, I had grand visions of future happiness because of this house. Once we fixed it up and sold it, we could go buy the house I really wanted in a nicer neighborhood, with a bigger yard, a screen porch, and garage. Then I’d be happy.

Does this sound familiar?

Someday, when things are a little bit better. As soon as I have that, accomplish something else, live there…then I’ll be happy.

Life doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes, right where we are is where we find we’re truly content.

I found myself in a home with few closets, no pantry, no attic, no basement and no garage. This meant that I didn’t room to stash stuff I wasn’t using. Everything in our home had to be functional, or we got rid of it. I couldn’t buy new things just because I liked them, without a care for where it would actually go.

Slowly, as years went by and we renovated our house as the monthly budget allowed, I learned to be happy with what I had, knowing that inside these walls was everything I needed.

Something about washing dishes in the bathroom sink when the kitchen was gutted, sleeping on a bed in the living room while the bedrooms were renovated, and taking showers in the backyard with a hose while the shower got tiled made me realize how lucky I was to have what I did.

I no longer wanted three bathrooms—who wants to clean them, anyway? I no longer wanted a great room or a screen porch for the joyous family time I envisioned in such expansive spaces. The little living room we had was all I needed for ticklefests and movie nights with my family.


Photo from Remodeling This Life

And the kitchen is a place to make the food that brings us together each day, no matter what it looks like. I found myself being completely happy, right where I was.

There is no secret formula for finding contentment, but going without certainly helps. It’s not always easy to appreciate what is always right there in front of us. It becomes so part of the ordinariness of our days that it’s hard now to remember the days before when things weren’t as good.

But when I close my eyes at night in my new bedroom, or when I take a long, hot bath in the new bathtub, or when I stack my dishes into the dishwasher, I can remember when it wasn’t like that, and I’m happy for what is, in all of its unexpected, small everydayness.

How can we not be happy just to have what we have? To know that having a home, food to cook, and family to spend our days with are such blessings?

When I let go of the idea of someday happiness, I found it in everything around me. I didn’t need a bigger house to be happy, and I certainly didn’t need something prettier on my walls, or nicer bedding, or fancier gadgets in the kitchen. There are things that make our lives easier or prettier, but I learned that none of those external things was going to make my life better.

Beautiful, happy moments happen in big houses, small houses, fixed-up houses, and outdated houses. They take place in itty-bitty studio apartments, and they take place in homes we own or spaces we rent. The beautiful moments, the contentment with what we have comes from within, not from the walls around us.

How are you grateful today for your home?

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Comments

  1. I just love the sentiment behind this post. We live in a small 3 bedroom house. We have 1 bathroom and 1 living area. We have 3 small kids.

    Whenever people (mostly our parents) visit they pity us for how “small” the place is. I am so much more comfortable here than I was in our old (larger) house. I have everything organised well, with no clutter. It takes about 30 minutes to whip around and clean this small space, and it means that the family are always together. We are blessed with a decent sized yard and in our Sydney climate, the kids spend a lot of time outdoors anyway.

    As I constantly tell my husband, in some parts of the world, a house our size would house 3 different families!

    • Julie, all of that sounds so familiar. From being pitied to how I’ve come to love how quickly I can whip around and clean this place up. It always helps to put in perspective how lucky we are.

    • Yes. I get that all. the. time. We recently moved from a two-bedroom apartment that most residents complained was too small into a tiny one-bedroom because I didn’t like how big our old apartment was. Both sets of parents, when they saw our new place, couldn’t stop from saying, “But… it’s so small…”

      Yes, it is small, and that’s exactly the way we like it.

    • I totally agree with Emily. My house really have a small space but it’s true we have to see things in a positive way. Small space little time to clean also the maintenance is a no problemo plus more fun time with the family! I pray for those who have no home. May God provide for them.

  2. So true! I get this post completely, currently living in a tiny semi-one bedroom with two kids, no dishwasher, no laundry, no parking, no yard. I’ve spent a long time dreaming of moving on but have had to let it go due to our life situation right now… and we are all happy, completely happy. We are living in a fantastic big city and we are together, my two preschoolers think it’s the best home ever, so funny!

    • Kids are full of honesty about what we really need, right? Any time we have ever mentioned maybe someday moving, my kids are the ones to protest the most. They love this home because it’s home. That there is all we need.

  3. I’m completely with you on this – it is so easy to say, if only our house were finished…. we built ours and there are still gaps where things need doing years later. But compared with the one room open plan cottage we lived in with three small kids before, it is a palace.

    • I’m in the same boat. It’s so easy for me to feel down about the myriad things we haven’t finished on our home—from little aesthetic things to bigger stuff, still bothering me six years later! And yet… we have an awesome home that fits our needs!

      This was a beautiful post—thank you, Emily!

  4. what a great post! my family (two parents, two kids, a dog, a cat, and a baby in utero) all live in a 1000 square foot house with no heat or air conditioning! it is falling apart, but…the location is good! ;-) my husband wants a bigger/nicer house- but i am really happy with what we have and that living here means we are not stressed out financially as much as we would be in a bigger/nicer/newer home. i say “less is more” but even when i say that, it is really a little tongue in cheek because as Americans, we have so much…and i know that in MANY parts of the world, my “tiny bungalow” would be seen as a palace for a family this size. it is all about perspective- and i am so grateful for the things that we do have (like running water and electricity) that other details seem kinda minor to me…

  5. We recently moved to the most impoverished area in our state, which included having a house about 40% smaller, with no garage, 1 bathroom (for the 5 of us), etc.

    But we realize how fortunate we are as we look at the conditions that some of our kids’ friends live in: two siblings live with their mom in a homeless shelter; another family (of 6) live in a run-down trailer that has 2 window units for A/C, and no door knob on the front door.

  6. I agree totally! I have a house with 2.5 bathrooms … and, until my one son turned 14, we only used 1. I liked brushing my teeth with my boys and, as I always told them, who needs to clean another bathroom? Well, now my son wants some space and is willing to keep that 2nd bathroom clean. A great lesson for him and no extra work for me.

  7. I love the overall message of this post. We live in a small 3 bed/2bath house but you know what we love it. It fits us just fine. At times it can be easy to compare to other friends or family that seem to have the newer toys, bigger houses, etc but when I really stop and think about it I don’t care. We are happy and that is all that matters. Plus… a smaller house is easier to clean! :)

  8. This is great and timely to read! We just moved into a rental home. No pictures up yet and I’d love to paint to make it “mine”. Not knowing when/if either of those things will happen- well, it is good to be reminded that I can and should still enjoy it now.

    Thanks!

  9. We are planning a big move soon and I’m excited about it, but I remind myself that there is no perfect home, no perfect situation. I’ve been going around doing even more decluttering (it amazes me how much stuff a minimalist like myself attracts!) and making my space more attractive, and trying to enjoy the last few months of this house. My 6th kid was born here!

  10. I have struggled with the same thing with housing- if only I had the ‘right’ housing set-up, things would be easier.

    Living without does make you more appreciative of what you get; I know we were so grateful to move to a house with a fenced yard and separate bedrooms for our kids after living without in a townhouse.

  11. I have struggled with those same feelings: that things would be easier if we just had the ‘right’ housing set-up.

    Living without does make us more appreciative. I know my family really enjoys our current fenced-in yard and separate bedrooms for the kids because we did without previously.

  12. Right now I’m super grateful! We are in the middle of a forced renovation due to a leak and it is because our house is a manageable size that we can afford to not only fix it, but that we can fix it exactly how we want it! When we measured our first floor – everything but the bedrooms and bathroom – I was so disappointed that it was smaller than I thought it was. I thought, no wonder we feel like we’re on top of each other! But when we got to the flooring store we got to pick what we loved, so we are very happy. I do sometimes pine for a closet though. Just a coat closet – I’m not greedy :)

    one thing I do very much love though is that we are always together as a family in our house. very rarely do we move off into our own directions in a way that means we are totally apart from each other – we each take over a corner, but it’s all in the same room. i love the din!
    wonderful post!

  13. I couldn’t agree with you more. My husband and I moved into our house 10 years ago, thinking it was a 2-3 year house. Now we live here with our two kids (8.5 and 6). For years we’ve looked at new houses and even the prettiest, big house doesn’t really appeal – we have realized we’re just going to stay and there is such a huge relief and joy in that. We love it here. I think the discipline of keeping everything organized is valuable for my children, as is the lesson about frugality and making certain choices about lifestyle. I’m very happy here, and am grateful to hear your story too. xox

  14. avatar
    Nicole Cipriano says:

    Our old home was small, the style of a nicer era, and remodeled by us, but not in the ideal neighborhood. Now we have a 3 bedroom/2 1/2 bath, dated from the 70′s, and although the kids are in a great school, I hate the house. We won’t be able to afford to do much to it, so I’ll have to get used to some of this 70′s look. BUT it is our home, the place we come to tired and weary to rest, to eat, to play, to swim, to sleep, to have friends over, to make memories in. So, we are blessed to have a home, bigger than we really need, in a nice neighborhood. I am very grateful!

  15. I loved this post. I really enjoyed reading the little peek into your life and the changes along the way (especially the emotions).

    I think contentment is SO underrated. I completely believe there is a connection between contentment and long term happiness. :)

  16. So very well written! Thank you!

  17. Thanks for this reminder, Emily. We just moved from a house that took 7 years to remodel, to one that must have coined the term “fixer-upper.” My current bedroom is a futon in the living room. At first my heart was broken at having to “start all over again.” Until, within three months, I realized that there is no such thing as starting, or finishing, living. It just happens, and happily when I began to look for it. My bed in the living room has provided so many spontaneous “snuggle” moments with my two littles that would not have happened otherwise. As you noted, happiness comes from inward out, not outward in.

  18. This is great emily! I love it! Contentment…such a huge issue, what a great post!

  19. wowwowowow. thank you for this GIANT reminder. As I clean my 948 sq.ft home I am thankful for only one bathroom and two bedrooms. But so quickly I can be found day dreaming about a living room AND a family room AND a dining room…when honestly I don’t have enough furniture for any of that! great post and so true on all accounts. thanks!

  20. Great post! I have been on both ends, the smaller house and the bigger (currently the bigger), and there are many times when I look back and wish we were still in that smaller house. It meant less maintenance, less bills, less stress, and more time for the things that really matter to me and to us as a family. Upon realizing this a short time ago, we went room by room in our big house and pared things down to what we truly use and love. While it is still a big house, it is much more manageable now and feels more like home.

    • Indeed, I am also looking at this from the other end of the telescope. I am trying very hard to take Emily’s perfect prose and apply it to myself. Happy is where you make it. In fact, my google reader is full of lines which apply to me “Bloom where you are planted” and “We’re putting down roots!”.

      We have the too large of a house, b/c we thought it meant progress. Progress in our personal lives, in our financial lives, we had 4 kids so we “needed” it. Two years ago we realized that was ridiculously materialistic. And in the interim, two children have flown the nest, which makes having such a large home even more ridiculous. We aren’t living the life we want and we can’t until we get rid of this house – which we are under water on.

      We just can’t find our *happy place*. I wish I knew how to make this our happy place.

  21. I think one of the negatives of living in American culture is that we are being constantly reminded of what we don’t have and told we should feel bad about it. It can be hard to decide what you really want compared to what you think you should want. I’d love my house to be bigger, but I don’t want more space to clean yet I get frustrated with the lack of places to put things. My solution has been to try and have fewer things which is a continual struggle. Our growing family does have physical needs that require the purchase of items that take up space. Contentment has been a continual struggle for me as well. I thought I would be happy when my husband got a better job, when we got a house, when we had a baby and in many ways I am. But that winds of discontent are always there, tempting me to wish for more money, a larger safety net, a vacation or a new car. I try to be pleased with the life I have now (my two year old daughter and new baby on the way, the freedom to be a stay at home mom. Enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month), rather than worrying about the future (how will be replace our car when it dies? How will be afford clothes for two children? Will my husband get a raise next year to fill the holes in our budget?) or pining for what I don’t have (I wish we could take a vacation next year, I wish I could renovate my kitchen so it looks more like HGTV, I miss buying myself new clothes).

  22. What a fantastic message. It is definitely all too easy to get caught up in the “I’ll be happy when”s.

    I’m happy with where we’re living (a 3-bedroom apartment, currently) because there’s enough room for our little family, the washer/dryer is off the kitchen (LOVE), my neighbors are fantastic, there’s an amazing green space for the kids to romp, and like you mentioned, it’s too small of a space to hoard anything. There are more reasons, but those are the biggies.

    Thank you for the reminder to appreciate what we have! It makes such a big difference.

  23. I don’t know why but sweeping my front porch brings me a lot of contentment even though our house is far from “done”. I guess it makes me realize the Lord let us have this property (and the porch faces a pretty street plus thankfully, we’ve got the front of the house looking pretty good). It makes me realize we’re getting there and to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have.

  24. Beautifully said, and a post I’ll save to read again. Thanks!

  25. I’ve lived in teeny-tiny places as well as spacious places. We’ve moved a lot and remodeled a lot-and with every home there has always been something still to be done, something I’ve wanted to change, etc. But, I am slowly learning to enjoy where I am and the blessings that come along with it, instead of focusing on what is undone.

  26. This is a fantastic post! We have travelled to many third world countries and have seen how little some families have but they are happy because of family. We live in one of those houses you thought you wanted but are looking to move to a much smaller house so we won’t have so many bathrooms to clean and can spend more time with each other.
    Isn’t life wonderful when you realize how blessed you really are?

  27. wow. There are days that I’m discontented with our basement house, wishing that we had a ‘regular’ house w/ a nice view out every side, room to host lots of overnite company, etc.
    This past spring, I had plenty of oppertunities to be thankful for our house when I heard of people all around us losing their homes to storms and floods. Each time I told our children how blessed we were to have a sturdy home, it just re-affirmed the same thing to myself. Thank-you for reminding me that contentment comes from within, not my surroundings!

  28. Simple and less is always better. I keep saying that on my videos.

    By the way, your daughter is a spitting image of you.

  29. I really needed to read this today! I’ve been feeling less than content in my house when I should be looking around and enjoying all of the things I’ve been blessed with! Thanks for the reminder of what’s really important.

  30. My favorite quote about our house: a bunch of people were over and one guy looked around and said, “so, is this a 2 story?” hahaha! He couldn’t believe our family of four lived in 903 square feet, 2 bedrooms and one bath.
    We LOVE it. So true about being able to clean the entire house in less than an hour and it does force you to stay organized and not bring in unnecessary stuff. I’ve learned so much living in our little house. I really believe it keeps our little family very close.
    Oh. and we home school, so we really do LIVE in these 903 square feet. :) <— those 3 extra square feet are important. its my master bedroom closet! heehee!

  31. Emily, this is so so lovely. I have found the same to be true in so many ways. Five years ago, I would have sworn to you I COULD NOT LIVE without a dishwasher. Three years without one, and now I wouldn’t take one if you gave it to me. Honestly. Going without is such an incredible path to contentment. You have spoken it here more eloquently than I ever could.

  32. I was just contemplating all of this yesterday as my daughter say along to Raffi’s “All I Really Need” in the van. We really do only need a song in our heart, food in our bellies, and the love in our family.

    I am so incredibly grateful for this beautiful, imperfect house. For the opportunity to be creative within it and with it, that it reminds me so much of my grandparent’s house, and that it’s surrounded by cornfields.

  33. This was a powerful post. When we learn to appreciate the small we truly find the bigger picture. ;-)

    I loved seeing my “life word” on your wall too…Simplify. I have a similar plaque on my wall.

  34. Thanks so much for this post! We have been in our “fixer upper” for 6 months now, and we’re not able to do the gutting and renovating that we wanted to do originally, but I’m finding my happiness in the little things and that’s such a blessing! God has truly been teaching our family–we’ve been without air conditioning, without power, without sewer services, and all sick with the stomach bug since we’ve been here! And before that my husband lived apart from us for 10 months. So I am thankful for a house we can all live in together, for coolness in the 100 degree heat, for working potties, for health, and for all of the little things that are really the BIG things! Praise God for He is Good!

  35. This reminds me of how we often view our finances. If only I could make just a bit more, then I could get out of debt, be happy etc. But then once we get that raise, we find we need just a little bit more. Our house is not perfect as far as our needs (or should I saw wants?), and unfortunately, nobody is cleaning it or decorating it for me, but I do truly love it. It has pros and cons when compared to our old house (or any other house), but there is just something about it that I love. The space. The location. And most importantly, my family who live inside of it with me.

  36. I’ve definitely been guilty of the “when this happens then I’ll be happy and everything will be different” mentality. For a long time was “when we own our own home” or “when the kids are past this stage” and now I find myself owning my own home with two pretty great kids who are growing up too quickly and I’m trying really hard to just enjoy the now. It’s not always easy – there are always new pretty things to want, but the truth is, even when I might want something new, I am very happy with where I am. And that’s awesome.

  37. avatar
    Rita Gleason says:

    Great reminder. We live in a small one bedroom house. It feels spacious to us as it has a nice open floor plan. And truth be told we LOVE this house, thats why we bought it. We at the time did not have any children but now have two with dreams of more. We hear often how we need a bigger house, but really do we? Do we need more rooms to separate us? Do I need a bigger house to clean? Do we need more yard? Anyway, no it is not the “Ideal” for a family of four. But its o.k. and our boys love this home and their closeness to us. Really its o.k.

  38. avatar
    Angie Pearl says:

    This is timely. We are at this moment getting our gas lines replaced in our home which was built in the 1900′s. I was getting very grumpy about all we still have to do after living here for 5 yrs. This was a good reminder to be grateful for what we have.

  39. A powerful – yet kind – reminder. :)

  40. Thanks for the comforting thoughts. We moved into a small Victorian house after getting married, and after bemoaning the lack of closet space, I concluded there was absolutely no way the house would work once we had kids. However, now that I’ve read several books/blogs about simplicity, I caught the bug and am excited to make our small house work even with a family. Like others have mentioned, there’s such a freedom to living simply. Owning fewer belongings, paying fewer bills, and working fewer hours more than makes up for any amount of happiness that a large home might bring.

  41. I really love when you say, “When I let go of the idea of someday happiness, I found it in everything around me.” That’s what I’m trying to live right now. My boyfriend and I recently moved into a new house (cottage, 2.5 bedrooms one bath) and it’s slightly bigger than our last place, but just right for us. There are no closets here, and I’ve given away so many things that we just don’t need anymore because of it! Feeling much lighter and lots happier.

  42. This was such a perfect post! Contentment … there is alot to be said for that.
    Have a pretty day!
    Kristin

  43. I am working hard to let go of the idea of someday happiness. I agree that periods of going without does teach you to be grateful. I am grateful for times in my life where I was very poor and somehow magically always managed to get by. But, it gets harder to be grateful when the going without goes on and on and on. That’s how we’re feeling around here right now anyway. At least I know that change always keeps coming. Hopefully soon I’ll be feeling grateful for this time of struggle.

  44. Thank you! It is so easy to feel down about our living conditions because they are not meeting our expectations or dreams. Three years ago we bought a house that seemed merely to need a facelift and has ended up taking all of our extra funds for hard core repairs. Before we get to the fun stuff like new light fixtures and matching door knobs, we have to tackle the rest of the mess, and there’s a lot of it. We have had to let go of those things that we had intended to change and simply live with what we can fix. It’s okay, though. We are learning more how to be creative with limited space. God is still working on me in the area of contentment. :) Reading posts like this one about enjoying what we have, and others about how to make things beautiful through simplicity and a tiny budget help a lot! God bless you always!

  45. This is a conversation/discussion that happens regularly in our home.
    Simple truth. Beautiful truth. Blessed we are.
    Godliness with contentment= great gain.
    Precious gratefulness feeds the spirit!
    Thank-you for this reminder today.

  46. I love this and think it’s so true. We moved into a new house a little over a year ago and it is much bigger and newer than anything we lived in before. Previous to our new house, we lived in a small 1 bedroom apartment and two basement rentals as we were saving up for our first house. I always thought…one day, when I have my own house and more space and newer things, it will be soo great. I was always looking forward. Well, we hit the housing market right and were able to buy a lot and build a new house. I was so excited. And the truth is, I love my house, but nothing changed. I wasn’t any happier because of my new house and all my new space. I specificially remember the day, a month or two after we moved in, that this realization hit me. Yes, it was nice to have 3 bedrooms so we no longer had to share a room with our nine month old baby, but other than that, everything was the same except in a different set up. Having a new house with granite countertops and updated appliances had nothing to do with my happiness. It’s not that I was unhappy, but I had a strong realization hit me that we chose our own happiness. I have just as many happy, fond, and loving memories looking back at living in our old basement apartment with an outdated, 70′s style as with our new house. I’ve realized it is so easy to look ahead and think, “It will be so great when…” when we need to realize that the time that is great is now. Obviously, I can ramble on this topic, but it is one I feel strongly about :).
    Love the article and thanks for the reminder!!

  47. What a great reminder to have us open our eyes to see all the great things happening in the most simple of moments. Yesterday I was traveling through the airport and saw a family bustling through to their connections. Each member of the family was helping out by carrying their own items, even the littlest one who was no more than 3. It was adorable to see and I couldn’t help but think how great it is that everyone has their job and is helping to keep the family together. The simple things in life are the best! Would love to hear more examples from you.

  48. That’s lovely. A very healthy reminder for all of us who potentially have too much to begin with! I love my little house and am very happy here with my family. Sure, my laundry is under the house full of cobwebs and we don’t have many cupboards. The paint is daggy and things are a bit of a shambles. But it’s home!

  49. This post resonates with me so well…I too have been living in a house while in my mind was on to the next house. I’ve been here physically for nine years, but have only really enjoyed what I have for the past year. I said to my husband that I love this home now and for the past year so much, and he told me what a shame as he’s enjoyed it for all the nine years… I was missing out so much living in the future.

    It is such a blessing to be present every day, living in the moment with our young familes. These days will soon be gone and it’s important to be in the here and now while we still have the time. Thanks for a beautiful and important message Emily!

  50. Three cheers for this post! I feel the same way about my house – I viewed it as temporary at first, but now (four years later) I’ve come to embrace it as HOME. I don’t need bigger or better to be happy. I just need the people inside :)

  51. After having children, we have discovered we really want less HOUSE and more PLACE.

  52. Thanks for this post! Very impressive. It is true that the best things in life are unexpected because FUN can be found in the most unexpected places.

  53. I always wanted a nice house in a quiet upscale neighborhood. I dreamed of a huge yard. We spent a year living in a very poor urban area as part of our education. We lived around people who would never even have a fraction of what we had (and we lived in a very smal apartment). All the sudden life looked differently. When our year was over, we moved to a more comfortable area in a nice home. Now my heart is back in the poor urban area and I want to go back. I know life won’t be better there–it will be ten times harder. A piece of my heart is still there.

  54. I often find myself thinking about the future rather than realizing my present happiness. But contentment is something I am working toward. I wonder where we learned be discontent because it seems like a fairly constant struggle for alot of people I know.

  55. I make it a rule never to compare myself and my way of life to others. This only leads to discontentment. Instead I like to make the best of the situation I’m in and you sure did that too. Be happy with what you have and your life will be all the more beautiful because of it.

    Laura

  56. Thank you.

  57. We live in a rental house and sometime I think we should be striving for home ownership. But the reality is that we have a really great rental in the country on 13 acres with very, very reasonable rent. That reasonable rent allows us to be self employed and still enjoy where we live very much. So just when I think we need to own a home, I’m reminded of how much we love where we live now and what that truly affords us. Great post.

  58. Thank you for this post. I needed a gut check, as I’ve been living in the land of “someday” happiness, which is pretty miserable for today. Our issue is we bought a 730 sq ft. fixer condo 6 years ago– back when we were newlyweds and the real estate market in So. Cal. was booming. The plan was to fix it up, sell it within 3 years and buy our real house. 6 years and 2 kids later, we’re cramped and have a house that is worth less than half of what we owe on it. I’ve largely come to terms with it (see this blog on the matter: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8514290634487255459#editor/target=post;postID=6556109811782282477) but, I find myself living in the land of someday happiness in other facets of my life– “if only I worked less” is the most frequent land of someday. Currently I’m working hard to get to a point where I work less, but I need to step back and start being happy in the moment.

    • Yes, yes, yes! This is exactly our situation. We bought a condo at the height of the real estate market in our area 5 years ago, and it was great for a young couple. It’s actually been OK for us and our son, but I find myself wishing ALL the time that we had a yard for him to play in, and more space so we could add to our family. It is really a struggle to feel content when I know I could have something so much more for the same price we paid for the condo. Then I have to remind myself that I am lucky I have a warm home that I can afford and food on the table, and that’s all that really matters.

  59. Great points you’ve made. Sometimes we get so caught up with what we don’t have, we don’t take the time to appreciate what we have and what makes it so special. I will certainly work hard on getting better at this in the future.

  60. Hi Julie. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a very nice story to be shared!

  61. “There are things that make our lives easier or prettier, but I learned that none of those external things was going to make my life better.”
    Love this quote! It’s absolutely true. I have been on a mission to simplify our home, because I feel like all the things we have just distract us from life with each other. Thanks for this great reminder…

  62. This article is such great timing for me, so THANK YOU! We live in a small 60 year old home with very little closet space, no attic space, and no garage to park a car in (because that is our only storage space). For the past 4.5 years we have worked very hard to become debt free and save up for our “dream home” with large closets, more than one bathroom, spacious living areas, etc. We are just about to start working on the plans and I have been stressing out over the cost of my “dream home”. It’s so easy to forget the joy of living in the small home with a simple lifestyle.

    Thank you again for reminding me how wonderful life is right where we are.

  63. Thank you thank you for this post! I read it on my phone at a park and it completely transformed my day…now days later I had to search my ” blog reader” to find this post again and thank you!

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