It’s A Marathon Not A Sprint

I hear baby chicks are sold out this year from my local retailer. I know egg prices are through the roof, and likely going up still, but I wonder if people know how much goes into chickens before you even get an egg. There’s 18-20 weeks before they start laying. In that time they need food, sometimes medicine, and a fair amount of caretaking.

You definitely don’t save money on eggs by getting chickens, that’s for sure! I’m in my third year of working toward food independence and that is probably the biggest misnomer. It’s not cheap! I’m not saying you shouldn’t get chickens, I just hope people don’t rush the process. Good things take time and life changes are rarely ever easy, even the good ones. 

I decided to go into architecture in fourth grade because I heard pretty loud whispers of human caused climate change. I thought I could make a positive impact if I could impact the biggest contributor—our buildings.

Thirty years later and there is still so much debate about if the climate is even changing. Painful as it is to watch unfold, I trust my gut. We’ve done what we can and  minimized our impact by living tiny. We’ve been hearing forever that monocrops are going to be the downfall of our food systems. So I plant a garden.

The thing I have learned about that, if you’re starting from zero skills, it takes YEARS to get good enough to feed yourself. If I am lucky, we have four to six (expensive) meals a year that are 100 percent grown by me. At three meals a day, that is less than half of one single percent of our food that I successfully grow. And I am three years into trying! My point is that it takes time to make these lifestyle shifts and implement change.

Our housing system is the same, maybe even more advanced stages of brokenness. Affordable housing is a joke.

The systems at work have not prioritized living, only growth. I don’t know what percentage of our population has to become homeless before the powers that be make real efforts to shift the narrative. I don’t know if they can, the system has run amuck!

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What I do know is that we can’t wait for them. We must make moves now to take care of ourselves. There is urgency and there is time. 

Living tiny is just as much a lifestyle as a literal action. It’s acknowledging the broken system and choosing differently. Sometimes it’s forced on us and other times it just makes the most sense. I still get asked what the transition from “normal house” to tiny house was like and, for me, it was pretty seamless. I think that’s because I have always lived little, even in my big houses.

I set up sitting areas in my closets because I had nothing else to fill them. I had completely empty rooms (yes, plural) in my oversized (normal) house. My transition wasn’t hard, it was just more of me exposing myself outwardly. 

A dream written down becomes a goal. A goal broken into steps becomes a plan. A plan with work boots on becomes your reality. Remember, don’t rush the process. Good things take time. No step is too small. Sometimes rest IS productive. 

It’s way too easy to get caught up in the wheels of our system, living small has allowed me to step backward and see it for what it is. A high speed chase to destruction. Eggs are the current canary in the coal mine that symbolizes our broken structures.

Gardens are still an expensive hobby I will continue to tune. But getting myself out of the current housing dynamics has allowed my life choices to be intentional instead of reactionary. I believe that will be revolutionary for our future. Some people that would have never considered it ten years ago are looking into tiny houses as a way of housing independence. Still, others are just looking for basic shelter.

All of these responses to the times have something in common: none of it happens overnight. Practice makes progress.  

Article By: Macy Miller for Tiny House Magazine Issue 122.

Tiny House Magazine Issue 122

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