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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More and Less

Today I learned: that while the average American family has gone from 3.1 people per household in 1974 to 2.6 people in 2004, the size of their homes has expanded from 1,695 square feet to 2,349 square feet during the same time period.

While I'm not surprised by this statistic, it's interesting to see the numbers. My husband reels against the modern age of "McMansions" and "Edward Scissorhands" suburban housing developments. My biggest issue, although I'm sure you can guess, is the sprawl itself.

Why do we need more living space for less people? Why do we need three bathrooms, four bedrooms, a family room, a living room, a den, a playroom and a finished basement all for one woman, one man and their single child? I admit I LOVE having my own space, a home I can call my own; I enjoy not worrying about my boys' running around or wrestling bothering the people downstairs, but I wouldn't buy something I didn't need just to impress my friends and neighbors. (Besides I'm not the greatest housekeeper and I don't have the desire to keep something that big clean.)

Just another example of how we Americans seem to have an infinite desire to consume all that is in sight; to live the mantra "Bigger is better;" that Americans do it better. And our inability to curb our appetites is leading to all sorts of trouble - harming our environment, our health, our relationships with each other . . .

Why do we feel we need to gorge ourselves? What vacuous holes are we trying to fill? And why do we continue to uncontrollably consume when all logic and emotion tells us it's not working?

P.S. I also learned today that yardwork can be fun, almost addictive, and even therapeutic. (It helps when you're doing said yardwork with a friend :) I was out in the yard today pulling weeds and dead brush (and strange stalks I'm not sure what they are yet) and it was invigorating and strangely hypnotic. I couldn't stop. I was soaking in the sun, getting a little dirty and not even noticing the tiny scratches on my arms and hands (until I washed up later and they stung just a little bit.)

My little green piece of the city with my adequately sized home sitting on top of it is plenty big for me.

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At 5/04/2007 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Em said...

You are right, we are a consumer nation. Every commercial tells us to buy. Products are upgraded so fast that what we have is out of date almost before we get it home. We feel like if we don't have something big and fast and powerful and shiny then we are missing out. A sad thing, really.

As for the yard work, I'm sure it could be fun. But it just always seems like work to me. LOL

At 5/04/2007 11:50:00 AM, Blogger cherylann said...

The strange stalks might be lillies of some sort. They usually bloom in the beginning of July... whether you take the stalk out or not. I always knew you would heart yard work. xoxo

At 5/08/2007 06:28:00 PM, Blogger Alex Elliot said...

Our home, while adequate for us, certainly is not a McMansion of any sort:) I do wish we had a finished basement though.


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