Sometimes you see the path clearly that brought you to where you are. But along the way you may not even known you’re on a path. Getting to the Tiny Idea was a lot like that.
Over the past several years there had been a lot of reaching for some sort of idea for the future that would actually seem doable, connect with our passions and would motivate us towards it. Only we weren’t sure what exactly we were searching for, we only knew we were searching and we hadn’t quite found it yet.
We tried on many different ideas, a lot of them based around someday moving onto my family’s farm in Oregon. Then early this last year we found out that possibility would no longer be available to us. Suddenly we were in unknown territory. It was both a scary and uncertain place and a place of pure potential, but we were still at a loss. Nothing had reached out and REALLY grabbed us, pulling us in one direction.
So we wandered about in our minds, and in our search for what to do, where to be, for what would even seem possible. For what “home” would mean for us. We were yearning for something a little different and caught between conflicting ideas, interests, and passions within ourselves. We were not sure how to pull it all together in a way we knew was the right thing for us, especially when so many pieces of the puzzle were obviously missing.
Having struggled with debt, job loss, and financial insecurity off and on for years, we were becoming leery of many of the traditional routes taken these days. We still had debt, only one income and several stresses on that income. If there was one thing we DID know, it was that we wanted out of that situation, not even deeper into it. We began to pay more attention to the alternatives that struck a chord with us as we heard and read about them. One such thing was the tiny house movement
The tiny house theme was something that seemed to tickle our fancy. It interested us enough to follow links on-line and read articles or look at new plans being put out. We’d pick up nearly any magazine off the racks if it had a small house theme on the cover. In all that reading we had certainly heard of the Tumbleweed Houses, originally designed and built by Jay Shafer. These were homes built on trailers that helped people get around minimum square footage rules often set for building on a foundation. These were some seriously small houses and we weren’t too sure how we felt about that.
We knew from being long time backpackers and campers that we could be comfortable and happy with a minimal amount of things and space, as long as we had access to the outdoors. We would be sitting next to a mountain lake and say repeatedly that the only thing we really missed was our cats, our bed and the shower. Then we’d get home, get used to how we were already living, lose sight of that awareness and stop being able to think small. Something was still missing. Something still needed to shift. Something needed to speak to us deeply enough to keep us in that place.
It was a night in late November when Mark saw a video link come through his blog feed and thought it sounded interesting. We sat the laptop up on our coffee table that evening and hit play. By the time we were done watching the video we were both sitting there with expressions of amazement and excitement. We had found the missing link to it all – the puzzle piece that when it fell into place the Tiny Idea was born and it had the same silly grin on its face as we did.
I’ll finish Part 1 with the video that brought it all home. And in Part 2 I’ll share more about what it was that finally made it all click. And no, we aren’t ski bums in search of the perfect powder.