Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Book club

I am part of a wonderful group of girls (just under a dozen) who form a book club.  We are all young mothers, and we take turns picking a book and hosting each month.  It's low key and informal, involves lots of food and drink and laughter and even some discussion of the book, along with many tangents.

Next month is my turn to pick and host, and I have pulled out an old favourite to introduce to everyone: "Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology."  I'm rereading the book again (for at least the fourth time) so that it's fresh in my mind.  I'm also sure that with my latest surge in simple living I'll have new ideas and opinions sprout from the pages.

For today, I am thinking about houses.  A friend recently downsized her home.  And no, it wasn't because her kids had all moved out.  In fact, her two young boys are the same ages as my oldest.  She just decided that she didn't need all that space.  (There were other factors, too, and most had to do with the type of community and surroundings they wanted as they set down roots.)

I can't remember if I read it, heard it, or had it in conversation (okay, it was probably on CBC radio!) but someone was talking about the average square footage of a house in 1950 as compared to today.  Houses have doubled in size, which the size of families has steadily shrunk.  This stat from MSN said that "the average American home swelled from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2349 square feet in 2004.  And in the 1950s, many families had more than the average of 2 kids we have today.  Let's say it was 4 kids in 1950 - then each person in the home had about 164 square feet.  Today each person would have 587.

I want to always be happy with the home that I have.   I want to drown out the voices that tell me I need more rooms, more space.  No I don't! I want to scream.  If anything, I just need less stuff (and I'm working on that.)  I like a home that doesn't separate everyone into different rooms and levels.  I like a place that hums with activity.  I like an environment where our paths are crossing all day long.  And yes, I like a quiet nook in which to retreat now and then, but a corner can always been found, even in our small home.

There are so many people who have much, much less and are unhappy.  There are so many people who have much, much more and are unhappy.  I simply pray for happiness and satisfaction with what I have been blessed, and to always be reminded that I can make any house a home, regardless of its size or layout or decor.

"Establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." 
- Doctrine and Covenants 88:119

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