I don't get shocked very often, but two times in two days I have been. First, Joan and I were being interviewed for a radio show by Renee Rongen, spokeswoman for the Pay It Forward Foundation and co-host of the radio show Life Talk. My jaw dropped when Renee told us about how -- at the insistence of her teenage daughter -- her family sold their house and moved into an old farmhouse half the size. A teenage daughter triggered a move to half size! I know that story. I am living that story!
Then today, an email came in from a family in Maine.
"We are a family of three. Our daughter has just turned 12. In February, mother and daughter went on a small trip to Mexico to visit friends and do volunteer work. Our daughter's perspective changed dramatically. When we got home, she asked if we could sell our house, live smaller and take months at a time to go elsewhere to do volunteer work. But we just bought our house a year ago!!?? And you know what, mom and dad realized that it was really what we wanted to do, too. Deep down. And so our house is for sale. Our downsizing started."
Are you kidding me? Hannah and I always say that we never expect anyone else to sell their house. "That's just a nuts thing to do," Hannah likes to add in our talks, adding that "everyone has more than enough of something in their lives they have more than enough of." In other words, the push is to have people start small, maybe cleaning out half their excess clothes or buying half the iTunes. Stay accessible, you know? And since the book was released in February, we'd not heard of anyone who had sold their house.
But here, twice in two days, we found other people who had sold their houses to live smaller and make their world better. We still don't set that as any kind of standard -- your half is your half -- but it's been quite a week...