by Andrew Odom
Somewhere along the line the American Dream seems to have substituted a quaint home in a nice neighborhood with a corner lot in a gated community. 2.5 children and a dog turned into an only child and a country club membership. Keeping up with the Jones’ got blurred with actually BEING the Jones’. The dream seemed to have become a nightmare with a constant pressure to own bigger and better stuff, get it ‘right now’, and 0 money down finance whatever you may want. And with such a paradigm shift came a bondage to the credit card and the loan officer. But is that really a dream or more of a suspended state of zombie-like animation? Is this the new truth? Do we need a bigger house, a better car, or a larger salary to find happiness? And just what is this elusive happiness anyway? Does it come about when we sacrifice our passions and, in some cases, our lives, for the pursuit of stuff?
If so, my family refuses to subscribe and we have set about on a bit of a r(E)volution of our own!
From 2009 until the present, my wife, Crystal, and I have worked hard at simplifying our lives. We have minimized the number of clothes we own, the types of food we eat, our dependency on cars and travel in general, the number of square feet we need to exist indoors, the amount of books we surround ourselves with, the number of CDs and DVDs we buy (largely for one-time use), and the overall debt we have amassed.
In this exchange we have maximized our quality of life, our love for each other, our desire to be the best parents we can be, our concern for the world around us, our ideas of entertainment, our health (mentally and physically), and our general dispositions. And now, our actions are manifesting themselves in the building of our own 240 sq.ft. tiny house!
Building our 30′ long home in rural middle Georgia has been incredible thus far. Because the build site is on my folks’ land we are benefitting from spending time with them on a regular basis, having an experienced craftsman on site, and being able to live virtually rent free in order to continue focusing our efforts on financial freedom. The exchange is great!
Having saved up the majority of our build fund over the last two years we have finally been able to focus in and beging building a little each day since the beginning of April. And because we believe so strongly in community and family we are bringing everyone along for the ride via our Facebook page, our website, and our YouTube Channel. We do hope you’ll join us as we work together to make living tiny mean living large!