Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Perfect Space

The last few four or five weeks we've been living out of two suitcases, more or less. There's a car seat beside the bed, gathering dirty laundry and random baby books. I'm pretty sure we need more space, even with our 25 items of clothing each.

For just over 3.5 years, Eug and I lived in an apartment that's not much bigger than our cabin on the boat. And it was perfect for us. We had a very large cupboard for storage, and we were actually able to host about 12 people on a couple of occasions. We moved because the large downstairs apartment became available (we take almost all opportunities like that), even though I wasn't sure if it was necessary until later in Noah's life. We moved again, to an even nicer space, but by this time we were giving away our stuff and never quite settled in. On the ship, the challenge is not only the transience of it all, but that the space is not designed for a small, very active, child.

Soon we'll go from this extreme to the something amazing: a little house of our own. Our property (erf)is 90m2 (about 1000sqft), and the house has two levels (which is unusual for Observatory).

Which started me thinking about how to make a good space for three- almost four people. Along the lines of "Your Money or Your Life", I tend to think small and central is a good choice, because it doesn't make sense to pay for space we don't absolutely need. But I have a grey zone, because I'd love to have a space for chickens/quail and a space for friends and family to stay for months on end. One solution is to have a space that can be rented out on Air B&B when we don't have visitors. Which may happen, one day, but likely not for a few years.

I think this tension- between having enough space for us and having enough space for who we'd like to be- highlights the challenge of making a so-called "perfect space". So maybe it's ok to just toss out that term, and say that it's ok to settle for mediocrity (at least when it comes to living space) and embrace some of the tension of living in the present while hoping for exciting things in the future. And perhaps it's possible to take small steps towards becoming good hosts and urban homesteaders- even with a space that's just right for the four of us.

No comments: