Tuesday, November 22, 2016

24/7......how do we do it?

7:30 am - Tuesday - 49 F degrees, humidity 79%, wind 2 mph out of east southeast.....hmmmm, that is different.  The temp inside the bedroom got down to 58 last night with my window open.....perfect!

Monday was a hangout kind of day for us......until about 10:30 am when we decided to go 'junking' which is just another way of 'hanging out', right?  There are actually several good thrift stores within a short distance of us including one called 'Mega Thrift Store', and is it ever 'Mega'.  How it was laid out, and the variety reminded me of a well run Goodwill store.  It is located at the intersection of Foothill and Cedar.....probably a little over 1 mile from the Fontana/Rialto Elks Club.  As it turned out both of us found things we could not live without.  We next visited the local Goodwill, but did not find anything we needed, so it was off to Costco and Smart and Final to do some shopping.

When we lived in our 'sticks and bricks' home a trip to Costco meant a lot of bulk purchases, and the car was usually full upon return to our 'sticks and bricks'.  Of course, over the years of  'sticks and bricks' living we became attached to certain brands we found at Costco and we continue to shop there for those brands.  Compared to others checking out we look like pikers.......our basket is never even close to full, and it cannot be full, because where on earth would we put everything?  We have only been to this particular Costco at Sierra Lakes Shopping Center one time and that was the last time we stayed at this Elks Club......the parking lot there is a nightmare, and the layout of the interior streets in this large shopping center is pathetic.  Just getting in and out of that parking lot without being involved in a car accident each time seems miraculous to me.  By the time we arrived back home it was close to 2:30 pm......doesn't get much better when you can 'hang out' with your best friend all day long, right?  

You know, periodically I get asked how it works being with your spouse/partner essentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It is a valid question, and I sometimes am in wonder at how well we get along being together 24/7.  Having been on the road for close to 5 years now, and having lived in the Newell for almost 6 years now we run into a lot of folks just like us.....husbands and wives, life partners, etc. who are also together basically 24/7 and get along quite well, so I know we are not unique, and I also know others who have left the 'fulltime' lifestyle as it was not working for them.

You might wonder if we, and others like us have some sort of secret formula which defines our success.  I'm not sure about everyone else, but our secret, as it were, is that we have always been good friends going back before the first time we dated just shy of our 19th birthdays.  When we were married back in 1971 we made it a point to never go to bed angry with each other.....over the years this policy led to some late nights as we strove to resolve our differences before going to bed.  The end result, we both believe, is that our ability to each take responsibility for our part in the dispute and apologize has built a level of trust between both of us. Knowing your partner has enough self awareness to know when they have crossed a line, or offended you, and is willing to take full responsibility creates a reservoir of trust, respect and good will that makes us always feel safe with each other.

I have said before, and I still believe that if your marriage/relationship has existing issues before you head out to live full time in a tiny space those issues will only be magnified, not diminished.   Those that successfully transition from a 'sticks and bricks' home to living in a tiny home and continue for years on end already had a good relationship, and usually see that relationship strengthened.  

When we talk with folks who want to go 'fulltime' they always ask about how we got rid of all our 'stuff', how we chose our particular tiny home, what it costs to live on the road, what you do when things break, etc.  These, of course, are all valid and important questions, but the most question.....How to you live together 24/7?......is rarely, if ever asked, and it is probably the most important question about this lifestyle one can ask their spouse/partner, and themselves.  A certain amount of relationship introspection is necessary in the months and years leading up to your launch date to be sure your relationship is solid, and that you are prepared to live 24/7 with each other in the same small space week after week, month after month, and year after year.  Ultimately, the state of your relationship before you begin your 'fulltime' life will determine to a large degree the longevity of your 'fulltime' experiment.  Many things may change about how you conduct your 'fulltime' life in a tiny home, but the one constant is you must have a strong, resilient relationship regardless of whether you live in a 5th wheel, a Class A, Class B, Class C, travel trailer, tent trailer, or tent......whether you stay in one place for weeks, or months at a time, or move a lot.

In our case when I approached TLE about traveling and living full time in our Newell after retirement she was unsure how being together 24/7 would work, and look like.  Let's face it, we were both working at the time and saw each other for an hour, or two in the morning, and in the evening......being together 24/7 is a whole other animal.  She was still over a year away from retirement, so I suggested we rent out our 'sticks and bricks', and live in the Newell in a nearby RV park for a year before we went on the road, and she agreed.  Needless to say, there were adjustments we both had to make in that context, but we figured it out, and within 6-8 months TLE agreed she could live with me in 220 square feet.  Of course, she was still working, and we were not together 24/7 yet, but ultimately her instincts were correct, and now we find ourselves just a little over 60 days from having lived in our Newell 'fulltime' for 6 years.

In closing, when you and your spouse/partner begin to think about going 'fulltime' the first question you should be asking AND answering is 'What is the state of our relationship?'.....of course, if you are a single guy, or gal the foregoing does not apply......this is strictly advice for couples, not singles, or families with minor children......there are completely different issues, and questions which must be asked and answered.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. That is so true and is an amazing lifestyle. Works for us too, we have been fulltime now into our 11th year and both love every minute of it.
    Great posting and very valid points.