How Much Space is “Enough”?

This is something that I have been meaning to write about for a while now. When I was in grade school, we read a short story titled, “How much land does a man need?” It was about a farmer bragging that he would give anything to get all the land he wants, and the Devil just happened to be hiding behind his boiler.

The Devil then offered him all the land he could walk around in one day, from the time the sun rose, until it set. Long story short, the farmer died from exhaustion, and the Devil tossed a shovel to his now widowed wife.

The moral of the story? A man needs only enough land to bury him in.

That story has stuck with me into my adult life, and while I watch the media telling us how we can essentially buy our happiness with a bigger house, and more stuff, and I watch as many families all but attack anyone who thinks about this lifestyle, simply because they don’t get it. I think about that story.

I think about the people that attack the very idea of someone wanting to live this lifestyle. These people are so indoctrinated in the whole “keeping up with the Jones'” that they can’t see the forest through the trees.

This is even a theme that comes up in movies, but the one that really sticks out for me is a movie that just about everyone has seen. In “The Matrix”, Morpheus explains to Neo that they have a rule, they never free a mind after a certain age. The reason is that the mind becomes so dependent, that they will even fight to keep it the way they depend on. This is how I see those who fight against another person wanting to do something different than they have done.

Success is measured differently, by different people. For me, being successful is not how much money I make, or if I make the media headlines. It’s my children, and my family knowing who I am. It’s raising my children to be the best human beings they can be. It’s my children knowing that their parents are there for them, anytime they need.

How much land does a person need?

I believe that a person needs shelter. I believe a person needs a bed. They need to have food, water, heat and the ability to cook.

I’ve read several posts by other fulltime families, where they thought they needed the huge fifth wheel for the family, and after a year, they were selling and downsizing.

Living this lifestyle is a serious change in life, that is without a doubt. The one thing that always seems to be a central theme across all blogs, and posts, is that the family became closer.

I’ve noticed that, in our specific situation, our family has certainly become closer. There is less bickering, there is less “mommy! daddy! mommy! daddy!”. Our children are happier, and cry less. We live in an area that is smaller than some bathrooms I’ve been in.

Who needs that kind of space?

Our daughter has her own “room”, the loft above the cab, and she loves it. She goes there to get away and have quiet time when she needs it, she goes there to rearrange her stickers, she goes there to sleep.

Our son happily sleeps in his playpen, and we happily sleep on our bed in the back. We are all so close that we no longer require the baby monitor. It’s worked out fantastically so far.

When I first ventured into this lifestyle six years ago, it was for a different reason, but it started that way, and then grew into something even more amazing. The freedom I discovered has never left me, and I cannot stress enough that when you set aside the attitude that you need to have more than your neighbour, you will be free.

This is something I wrote six years ago:

What I love the most about my little home on wheels is that I can go anywhere and visit anyone. On a whim, I decided to head out to a lake I had never been to before, and didn’t even have to pack. In fact, the choice was made while sitting at a red light. I never have to pack to go camping, I can stay out late and not have to think about the 30 minute drive home. I can go to a bar, and drink till I can’t see, and go to sleep, not that I do that, but it’s an option.

Then there is the financial side, but I’ll save that for another post.

How much land does a person need?

Enough to live happily in.

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