Like many people in our community, our little family is on a Lenten journey where we give up certain comforts and distractions in order to focus and re-dedicate ourselves to the source of true happiness. I’ve started the book, “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly (2016) and reflected on times where I’ve felt more satisfaction in my life.
When Sage and I moved back to the Mission Valley I knew that I wanted a smaller house. Thanks to the foreclosure market in the Flathead we lived in a beautiful house with 2 stories and –get this- four bathrooms. Four. The house I grew up in had two. This meant that after Sage or I cleaned two bathrooms, we had two more to go. At the time we had more bathrooms in our house than people in our family. It was ridiculous! I hardly even went up into the top story of the house (except to clean the bathroom) and I’m embarrassed to admit that one of the rooms up there became a catch-all that was a nightmare to pack up when we moved.
The house was beautiful and there were parts that I loved about it, but more often I had a heavy sense of guilt from not being able to keep up with it all. I realized that having all of that space, and all of the stuff that filled it, did not bring me true happiness. I was determined to downsize, and lyrics from Doug Stone's song, “Little Houses” (1994) helped ground me through the process.
“Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can’t help but communicate. And if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.”
Sage and I designed The Peaks and our house with a lot of care. We carried measuring tapes with us for a year so that when we wondered, “How wide is this hallway? How tall is that counter?” we could measure it in the moment. There was more than one night where I stayed up late with floor plans on my mind! We are thankful for the insight from many people, and a lot of their suggestions were put into use.
Now that spring is getting closer we have been giving more tours of the apartments. Out of my favorite feedback we receive such as, “I love this kitchen!” “What a great view!” “Look at that tiled shower!” my favorite comment is, “I could live here!” I am so happy to hear that because we took such great care to make it a place where Sage and I would want to live, and where we could see our parents and grandparents living.
While the house we live in is not small, the guilt I felt in the larger house is gone. There is plenty of room for our necessities and favorite things, but not so much that there are rooms and closets of stuff that I don’t use. I can honestly say that my happiness increased when the size of our home decreased. We hope that the residents of The Peaks feel the same way, and that they find our services help them on their journey to greater happiness.
Kelly, Matthew. Resisting Happiness. Beacon Publishing, 2016.
Stone, Doug. “Little Houses.” Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, Epic, 1994.
Lindsey Dorrington was raised in Ronan, MT, earned a BA at Carroll College, and married Sage Dorrington. Together they're building The Peaks: a brand new luxury retirement community. They love being surrounded by family and friends and adding to the beautiful town they call home.