I started Day 7 of my Advent Gratitude intending to write about how grateful I am not to be a minimalist. Because I am blessed with an abundance of office and craft supplies, I could contribute to our school book fair's organization and marketing without having to sap the money we raised for the library. I had a fantastic time working at the book fair, was inspired to read lots more books, and felt really confident in making recommendations to our customers.
I'm excited for this new transition. We'll be driving distance to family again, so no more relying on airlines and all their restrictions to maintain our most important relationships (and foster our kids' sense of family). We have friends a short distance away that I'm looking forward to reconnecting with, and the town we're moving to is diverse, but with a long history, has amazing restaurants and tons of character, and should be really fun to get to know.
We made a quick trip east to find a house. We are buying again, although we'd left that decision till we saw what was available. The new house fits the lifestyle we've been trying to build here for the last few years beautifully. It's older, and needs my loving care (unlike the Big House or the rental). It has a giant yard, with plenty of space for the kids to play like crazy and for me to start another kitchen garden (or, down the road, maybe even chickens!).
It is bigger than the rental, nearly as big as the Big House, but we didn't choose it for sheer size. The layout of the rooms is more in line with our needs. There is space for my husband and I each to have our own offices again. This was of very great concern to us as we searched for a new home; we have such different styles in how we use our workspaces that it's not comfortable to either of us to be together. Rather than having three living rooms, as we had in the Big House, we have one living room, one dining room, and a kitchen with enough room for the kids to have breakfast while I make lunches, but not so much space that we need two complete dining sets. Crucially, the house has a basement. This is not the sort of amazing man-cave basement with the wet bar and the giant movie projector, but a simple, large, dry space with walk-in storage for Christmas supplies, etc., and open space for the kids to play.
Best of all, the house is in town, walking distance to a huge selection of local shops and restaurants, as well as the kids' schools and my husband's new office. We won't have to be car-dependent (as much, at least, as we have been). The kids will be able to hang out with their friends without tons of scheduled playdates, and I'm looking forward to their developing the independence, confidence, and spontaneity that comes with personal mobility.
I am not a minimalist. I don't want to be a minimalist. I am grateful to have had the experience of our little rental house to help me be able to shape our priorities, and I am grateful for the liberty that this upcoming transition will bring me. As I navigate this transition I hope to continue to share the lessons I've learned here with all of you. And I hope you'll follow me to Maryland as I continue to learn to make our life the richest, fullest, kindest life we can lead.