November 23, 2020
As I sit in my recently painted den, with my desk back in its place from a short stint of squatting in the living room, I can’t help but to think about the amount of space I have access to in my home. While my home is not large by modern understandings of what a home should be—built in the 1950’s and having little additional space than was originally allotted to the military family that lived here—it is more space than I have had access to in the past. Ignoring for the moment the large lot that this small house is situated upon, I have a room to dedicate to work and reading which is separate from the space I entertain or eat in. This really is a first for me.
Having lived in rental units the majority of my life, most often in apartments, I am more than content with having access to only a small amount of personal living space. I find that having less space at home offers the opportunity to become more appreciative of what one has; to value what is truly needed. Considering what one owns as a matter of necessity forces a person to live directly within their means. Living small is to live with intention, resulting in an individual coming closer to what really matters in life.
When it comes to outdoor space, I prefer to consider city parks, the streets, and other public places as the my outdoor space to use how I see fit. Why should I bother to have a small amount of private, when I have access to an almost unlimited amount of communal, open space? Perhaps it is the collective mindset that I find myself easily drawn to which is more prevalent in my own views than the individualistic society which I exist within, but I question why I wouldn’t share space with others when I can only use it a fraction of the time as it is.
With that said, whether I am thinking about indoor or outdoor space, I recognize that I am fortunate to have to more space than I require. I can move freely from one location to another, both indoors and outside, without the need to take into consideration the others I may be sharing the space with (aside from my wife). A great many people, perhaps the majority of the world, do not have this privilege. This is not lost on me.
Even in a home with additional space, different rooms for me to occupy, I know that the winter to come will be hard. If I were still living in previous accommodations as the winter of a global pandemic hit I can imagine that the state of my mental health would be in poorer shape. As I settle in to a long and cold winter, one that is likely to be lonelier than the months that have come before, I’ll be thinking a great deal about how having access to space shapes an individual’s mental health, including my own.
- I started to collect and read some graphic novels. While only in digital format, I am not certain why I haven’t taken myself down this rabbit hole before. Given that some of the most compelling stories I love in film format started as graphic novels this seems like an easy entrance point into a different form of reading. As I read primarily works of non-fiction, I hope that graphic novels may provide a way for me to become lost in works of fiction—a feat that I have not had success with in the past.
- As mentioned above, the den/office/lounge/spare room in my home is now painted. They call the colour, Mac & Cheese, and I can confirm that when the can was opened we thought we were painting with cheese sauce. The colour along with a refresh of all of the white in the room is a welcome change from the poorly completed paint job that the previous owners had on the walls.
- I have slowed my reading this month to take in only, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
- Although I have tried to limit my use of new technology and software, holding myself to the very basics that I know I will always have access to, I have found a strong connection to notion.so . Unlink Evernote and other all-in-one tools, something about Notion seems to click with me. I know that I have only scratched the surface of what it is capable of, but I can see myself using this service (and paying for it, if needed) for a long time coming.
Inspired by the /now movement, this page is updated on a semi-regular basis with the things that have the majority of my time and attention.