Life Changes and Downsizing

My new beginning. I am 54 years old and have come to some extreme decisions in my life lately. Some of which my family thought were crazy, but they are finally warming up to the idea of a tiny and time available life asĀ being right for me. Tiny houses and a life more thoughtfully lived. I’ve been toying with this idea for almost a decade and have actually started to implement very slow changes to get there in the last 3-4 years.

My stories may not be interesting to anyone else, but they define who I have become and who I am becoming. I worked at my last job as a chemo nurse until Aug. 31, 2016. The office was purchased by a medical center and I decided to try things other than nursing. I worked at a friends dog grooming and kennel for about 2 months. I absolutely loved it and was improving, but thanks to carpal tunnel issues I couldn’t do it. That made me sad because I truly enjoyed working with the animals. So I decided to try my hand at retail. Compared to nursing the pay is an unliveable low, but it has been so fun and stress-free. The mental break has been absolutely wonderful. I think I might decide to look for a nursing job, or something else different at the 2-year mark. During this time of non-nursing, I have discovered that I’m quick to learn new skills. I have not been very sure of myself until recently. I was “stuck” in an oncology rut after working in that area for over 28 years of my 35-year career. This time has really shown me my flexibility. I think for a while I would like to try working with dual diagnosis recovery.

Now, getting to the downsizing thing. My house is gone, along with about 90% of my stuff. I’ ve moved in with my oldest daughter and my possessions fit in my bedroom and on one set of shelves in the garage. I’ve discovered I really don’t need half the stuff I brought with me so I will be culling the excess again. I keep my 3 grandchildren, usually the baby so that my daughter can get things done. I laugh every day living here with them. As I think about future alternatives in, or to, nursing, I have been considering which direction of tiny will be best for me. I thought about a mobile tiny house, but I’m reconsidering. I think I want to get an RV first or convert a bus. I have toyed with the idea of travel nursing and the thought of just being able to tote my house sounds great, but realistically it would be easier to just drive or pull a lightweight trailer. Then I can use the RV/bus for short-term living and for trips with the grandkids. Eventually, I think I will be most comfortable in a house with 400-500 square feet. That’s all the space I want. That is small, but it would give me room for guests on occasion whereas tiny houses aren’t easily adaptable for guests. So I guess I’m still in the tiny frame of mind, but not so much super tiny. This is a debate stillĀ in progress. No finalized decision, but I have connected with a couple of reputable tiny house builders for some information on costs and weight (for towing reasons).

It is time to reconnect with family members and friends. I am trying to head to a life where that is possible. Things are not important, people are. As I get rid of more things I am connecting far more deeply with the people around me and I love that. This is just a step in my life journey and I am embracing the journey with all the good and bad now like never before. Wary but not terrified of change – it is a process after all. I’ve actually gotten to the point that I look forward to a different future than the one I had envisioned and it energizes me just to think about it (on most days).