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Happy Is as Happy Does…All Summer Long

With the official start to summer just a few days away, what will you be looking forward to? Walks along the beach? Mini golf? Wearing shoes without socks? Not only was I lucky to have grown up on Cape Cod, Summer’s Headquarters, but I’m even luckier that I get to return each summer.

“The whole summer?” friends ask. “How are you able to swing that?”

“Simple,” I say. “It’s part of my Living Large philosophy.” Of course that is the result of an unintentional living experiment in which I resided in a shoebox for five years.

“Yeah, but I’m not going to move into a tiny space,” they respond.

Here’s the good part: you don’t have to. Living Large does not require one to live in 90 square feet (collective sigh of relief), but it does require you to ask yourself, “What makes me happy?” and then find ways to achieve that.

Living in a tiny space helped me to answer that question. Doing what I love is more important than having things to love. Take for instance my car. I call her Edna. She’s a 2001 Honda Accord LXI that still runs like a dream. Could I go out today and buy a brand new car? Yes. Am I going to? Absolutely not. My Honda has less than 100,000 miles, a retractable moon roof, a 6-CD holder and a tape cassette. But the best feature? My bicycle fits perfectly in the backseat.

A car study featured in Forbes magazine listed the top 15 features people want in a new car. Well guess what? Edna has three of the top ten, including the number one: power driver’s seat.

Instead of tying up my money in a new car that depreciates the minute I drive off the lot just so I can say it has heated front seats, I’ve got that money in the bank, available to cover expenses while I’m enjoying the summer writing, speaking at Tiny House festivals, cycling, playing with my niece and nephew, working out with my folks at the Cape Cod Canal, getting them to assemble jigsaw puzzles and more. To me, that is worth a lot more than heated seats.

What makes you happy?

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