When “The World is your Oyster” and you have the opportunity to choose what you want, how does it make you feel? Excited? Or overwhelmed? Or both? The range of emotions I’ve been going through this while on this adventure (of selling my house and changing my life – moving to the opposite coast and not knowing what or where my next home will be) often goes from excitement to overwhelm. At moments, I feel them even at the same time!
How to cope when faced with too many choices? Now that we’ve crossed the country, and are starting to buckle down to deciding our next home, I’ve noticed a pattern of considering options along the way. The internal question I repeatedly ask is “Could this be my new home?”
Much of western culture is based on freedom of choice, which is supposed to lead to happiness. Choosing from so many options can be daunting. We often take the easy decision – even if it’s not the one we really enjoy – just to make things simple. Underlying making a choice is FOMO (fear of missing out) or making a “mistake”. In our fast-paced world, the pressure is on to make quick decisions. And this can lead to dissatisfaction, and – worse- beating yourself up for making the “wrong” choice.
One way I overcome overwhelm
Take a look at what I’ve seen across America in the pics below. Many of these alternative homes gave me reasons to consider what I like, what I want – as well as what I don’t want. I have intentionally slowed down the process. Maybe this is to avoid feeling bad about myself, or being afraid of making the “wrong” choice. The way I see it, by being “in the moment” (not making final decisions but allowing what could be to show up in it’s own time), is my adventure in exploring what resonates with me.
Maybe, as you cruise through the photos, you’ll see a parallel in your life where being open to new ideas can help your dreams come into sharper focus, or taking the time to deeply consider your feelings to all the choices can change your feelings of overwhelm.
A few months ago I woke up to a very vivid dream, almost like a vision of my future. The clarity was unusual (most of my dreams are…weird, as dreams tend to be!). I saw myself on a piece of property (mine) with a variety of tiny homes – from vintage Airstreams to a tiny house painted a deep blue with white trim and other interesting elements. The property had big fir trees, and the tiny dwellings in a rough circle in a meadow. Pretty specific, huh? The dream, the vision, has stuck with me, reassuring me that this life direction will lead to something really cool. The feeling that came with the dream, however, is that there is a lot of work to do to make this dream a reality. First things first – what will be our first tiny home project?
Tiny Home inspirations
Inspirations included a ghost ranch, a riverside home, and a small house from the 1800s.
Inspirations for building homes – shapes, textures, materials and patterns. Photos above are from Boston, Ohio, Michigan and the Oregon coast. Photos below are from a favorite art installation at Burning Man (2019) called The Folly. Their use of patterns and materials offered surprises at every turn.
RVs, Buses and Campers to convert to tiny homes!
Travel Trailers as Tiny Homes
We love so much about Airstreams, except their hefty price tags. The first “used” one we explored was in Staten Island, NY. It had been used in a Spider Man movie and was a burned out shell. The owners still thought they could get a couple thousand for it! (Crazy!) We recently checked out this vintage Argosy, which is about the right size, and has good potential. Airstream at 31′ is almost too big. It’s a shell, a project started by someone else who isn’t able to finish it out.
Antidote for overwhelm is slow down
Too many options, too many things to do, the general busy-ness our culture pushes – can be the causes for overwhelm. It can be hard to take the time to slow down. It’s also hard to get quiet enough to listen to your inner voice, the one that helps you make the “right” choices. This is exactly when you take these “obstacles” of the rush of events, and turn them into challenges to overcome – to find your adventure of how to slow down and let go of overwhelm.
I chose to not make immediate decisions about what my next home will be. Was it simple? No. I’ve had lots of doubts, second-guesses and the urges to take the easy way out. But I’ve also experienced the fun of learning new things, experiencing what different options feel like, and discovery of what I truly enjoy. Isn’t that what having an adventure mindset is all about?
Could this be my future tiny home? I can wait, and look forward to the answer when it does show up! (And to seeing if my vision comes true!)
For further reading
Interested in more research on tiny homes? Check out my other blogs on the topic: