Un-compartmentalizing: 1 year later

Today I decided to check out what I wrote about a year ago today. When I went into my blog archives I discovered this draft post that never saw the light of day. I thought I might revamp it a little and post it today. 

I was thinking today [April 29, 2013] about how much my life has changed since we moved into our tiny house. There were the obvious things like reducing my expenses so I could quit my job. There were the intentional things like going off grid. There were some unexpected rewards from freeing up my time and living in this way.

One of the ways my life has changed the most is that nothing I do is compartmentalized.

My entire day, from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I go to bed at night, is integrated and the reason I can live this way is because I drastically changed the way I live.

An average day for me, in the years leading up to our big change, was to set my alarm for before dawn. Get up, roll out of bed, hop in the shower, dress in professional clothes, and grab some breakfast. I would also try to catch up on personal email and social media so I didn't find myself being distracted by them at work. This wasn't always possible.

I would get in my car and drive 45 minutes to a job that was only 15 miles away. I would walk in the door to the office, interact with my co-workers, employees, and clients and simply wait until the clock said 5:30 so I could leave. I had a bad habit of eating my lunch at my desk, too, which is totally unhealthy.

I was pretty good at my job and sometimes I even enjoyed it. As soon as the clock struck 5:30 I would get in my car and drive the 15 miles back to my own house. The afternoon commute sometimes took over an hour.

When I got home I would eat dinner and watch TV. Some days were reserved for "going out" and others were for staying home.

A year ago [author note, this post was written in 2013 and never published], I left my former career and followed my real passion. We moved into the tiny house and my income became 100% dependent on freelance jobs and my own ability to market myself. Now my day consists of writing, marketing, making food, going for walks, and doing my chores. It is also made up of activities that build community whether through the internet or by heading into Asheville and interacting with others.

Now there is really no difference between my work and my life. Everything I do is because I want to do it.

As a concrete example, lets look at exercise. I loathe it in general. Every once in a while I would decide I needed to "get in shape!" and would get up a half hour earlier in the morning and ride our exercise bike. It was miserable and I never stuck with it for very long.

Now, we built our tiny house on a mountain without road access. In order to from our cars to our house we have to climb a 200 vertical rise over approximately a quarter of a mile. Every day. Sometimes several times a day. Sometimes in the rain and sometimes in the dark. But now, my exercise is built into my life. It isn't something that I have to schedule, it is just something that happens.

I never want to position my lifestyle as the only right way. I happen to love this new, non-compartmentalized world view. I happen to love that I can integrate my work and my life. Others people love different things. I would be very bored if everyone in the world loved to do the same things I did or did them the exact same way.

I was able to use the tiny house as a way to un-compartmentalize my life. It allowed me to see the world in a different way and figure out what actually worked for me rather than doing what was expected of me. This, to me, is what deliberate living is all about.


  1. Excellent introspective post. Finding a way to live deliberately is typically very hard in our culture. You have found a way to pull way from the culture - a positive way.

  2. Enjoyed this post today. In principle, the direction I'm heading with my little house project... http://skrewconventional.blogspot.com/


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