Hi friends! It is fun to welcome my friend Jeff Gonyea to share his family’s story with you today. Jeff and I met when I was a barista at Starbucks several years ago. He came in every morning and started his day with an extra hot mocha. We would chat over the bar while he tapped away on a laptop in the corner. In recent years he and his wife have been taking steps to minimize their home and lifestyle. So without further ado… please welcome Jeff to Smallish. 🙂
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My wife and I sold our dream house. When we bought it five years earlier, it was absolutely our dream house. For me, it was nearly five times as large as the apartment I grew up in as a family of 5. This house had large bedrooms. It had a huge living/dining/kitchen connection. It had a huge empty basement for a ‘separate’ room (for me to work or for the eventual kids to play.)
“So, if it was your dream house, why did you sell it?” you may ask.
When we posted this house for sale, it was because we had learned something. It took years and many conversations most families are unwilling to have. It even took running from a wildfire (the Waldo Canyon fire in 2012) to learn — but we learned that this isn’t our dream.
Our dream isn’t the house.
Our dream is the family we want inside that house. Our dream is the HOME — not the house. Our “dream home” is different than our dream house. As we got closer to posting our house for sale, we watched friends follow the “American Dream” of upgrading (i.e. buying a bigger house) because their family was growing or getting older and they each ‘needed their space.’
While we listened to other families moving in this direction, we chose to move the other way. Our new house has exactly HALF the square footage of the house we sold. We have since had a daughter. She is our precious angel, and we realized we don’t want to move our daughter ‘away from everything.’ We want to cherish every moment we have with her because the years, months, weeks and days we know will pass all too quickly.
We can’t cherish every moment if most of those moments are in separate square footage. We’ve been in the new, smaller house for a year now and we have loved every moment it has allowed us to have with our daughter, our family.
Our family’s dream is not the house, our dream is the HOME. The close, peaceful atmosphere inside the actual walls. The relationships dwelling inside the physical house. Those things are more important to us than square footage. Those are the things that make up the dream home.
This post isn’t a manifesto to say that we know better than others. This isn’t to say that everyone should downsize or go minimal or make any changes at all.
The purpose of this post is just to ask you one question:
Have you decided what your dream really is? What does your dream home look like?
Have you decided what your dream really is?
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After serving eleven years as an active duty Air Force finance officer and civil servant, Jeff stepped away from two successful and lucrative careers eight years ago to pursue his life’s mission of helping people achieve their dreams through Impact (www.jeffgonyea.com).