The Big Tiny, by Dee Williams captured my attention while I was browsing through my local bookstore, searching for an inspirational read. I was drawn to the idea of a girl power story, and I was definitely not disappointed.
Dee writes about getting caught up in creating her dream home. All the improvements she makes to her house drain her physically, emotionally and financially. There was very little time to spend with the people she loved, so she knew it was time to simplify things. She set out to build a tiny house that could move with her, wherever life might take her.
As a twenty-something-year-old living in a city with some serious shopping, aka the Magnificent Mile, it’s easy to get caught up in “stuff.” I’m not a homeowner, but I can relate to wanting to make the most out of your living space by adding a personal touch. It is a constant struggle to turn down objects that I’m convinced belong in my home, like the beautiful owl dishes I spotted at Anthropologie. They would look great set on my dining room table, but would they really make the meals I cover them with more flavorful? Probably not.
Our culture has been groomed to constantly be considering the next purchase. Part of the “American Dream” is being able to show off our success through the things we can buy with it, right? Dee’s inspirational scaling back story refutes this claim, proving that happiness is not measured by material things..
Dee admits that getting rid of possessions that may have had emotional ties was not a walk in the park. She writes, “I didn’t plan for this sort of hardship; I thought getting rid of stuff would be a simple matter of elbow grease and logic. Feelings of loss or remorse weren’t supposed to be a factor, because the real adventure was in building the little house…”
Her witty telling of her personal struggles and triumphs left me thinking how necessary it is to reassess your priorities every so often. Whether you’re like Dee and you have a little porch where you can sip coffee and contemplate, or you enjoy walks by the lake like me, find what’s important to you and allow it to keep you grounded. She describes her newfound simplicity, “Whatever you call them, my systems keep me plugged into the day in a unique way. They keep me sober, and that’s a good thing.”
Our next Recent Reads will feature two spooky stories in honor of Halloween. I will be covering Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes, and Emma will review Prey by Michael Chrichton. Happy October!