Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Transitions & Things

There's been a lot of change and chaos in the Bentley household as of late. In short, our house has been in a constant state of recovery after the July rainstorm, all our office and kitchen things have been piled in our bedroom and living room, I've been working two part-time jobs, and we've been housing friends and family nearly every weekend since May.  My mantra this summer has been, "Two more weeks, you can survive anything for two more weeks."

Two weeks ago, I accepted the Campaign and Donor Records Coordinator position at Adventist Medical Center Foundation. This is the job I have been filling in at and was honored they invited me to interview and ecstatic when they called the next morning after my evening interview to offer me the position. For the first time since graduation I feel like I can breathe again. Our finances have been stressful and this is just the boost we needed.

During the last two weeks of transition, as I look at my piles of laundry and pile of things in the living room, I feel the chaos of my surroundings permeating my being. The more the stuff sits, the more I begin to wonder if I really need it. And really want it gone. I've been reading minimalist and simple living blogs trying to figure out how to go about downsizing and simplifying my life. I like peace and clean lines, but you'd never know it looking at my house (or desk) right now.

As part of our transition to a DINK household (double income, no kids), something we haven't been for a couple years, we are taking a hard look at our finances and our lifestyle. We want to expand our family in the next couple years and as a caveat to that we really want to ingrain healthy habits - both physical and financial - now by paying down our debts and making exercise a staple in our routine. 

One option we are looking at is leaving our 2 bed/1.5 bath townhouse in the suburbs for a 1 bed/1 bath apartment closer to my new job. It's easier for me to take public transit and the commute for Jason from the places we're looking at are shorter than what I will be driving starting next week. I love my townhouse and am both excited and terrified of downsizing. 

I want simplicity back in my life, I want those clean lines and a place for everything. I want to reach in a drawer and get exactly what I'm looking for. The difficult part is deciding what to let go of and what to hold on to. I'm starting small - a drawer here, a cupboard there, a closet - and slowly but surely freeing myself of things. You can do anything for a year, and if moving to a small house is what is best for us at this time I have no fear that we will be happy in our new little nest - wherever that may be.


Arly said...

Oh Nike. I just adore you. We've lived in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath 618 sq ft house for 8.5 years now. While it has it's trying times (GET OUT OF MY FACE!) it has wonderful qualities too. You learn to purge often, and buy only what you really need and like. (The key word being AND.) When Nathan came along it added that extra creative quality in finding space. His room also has the washer/dryer and storage.

The lovely moments come, when you know that this is YOUR house. Also when you realize that living in a bigger house means less time in close contact with your loved ones. We talk more and laugh more and spend more time together because we have too...

It'll work out. You can do it. Small spaces can work, and don't let anybody persuade you that "you need more space!"

nikeathena said...

Arly, this actually made me tear up a bit. Thank you so much for your encouragement - it's exactly what I needed to hear today!

Laura R said...

Nike, you're speaking my language! If you need a hand with anything, give me a call, I would love to help out!