family minimalism vanlife

Tiny space living

March 26, 2020

Living together in a small space is something we get asked about a LOT. The solution is being flexible & learning to ask for our space. Andy wants to shave – I’ll sit reading on the bed for longer. If one of us wants to cook, the other plans something that doesn’t interfere with that space. Headphones are the work of angels.
All of our early arguments around space grew from a lack of communication. We didn’t tell each other what we needed, instead expecting the other to telepathically guess. Yeah that went well. Although in order to communicate our needs we first have to establish with ourselves what they are & be confident in asking for them. Realising just how unaware we can both be about that was a revelation.
We’ve learned never to presume that we know what the other is thinking, and definitely never use those presumptions as the basis for our own actions as that leads to all sorts of weird misunderstandings.
For example: on rainy days I do yoga indoors but as my mat fills the entire floor space I’d presumed Andy would be annoyed. So I just stopped doing yoga on days when I couldn’t get outside. Over a few months I got cranky & irritable & began to focus on all the things Andy was doing wrong. Like eating. And breathing. And being alive. Eventually (and it took longer than I really like to admit) I said to him how frustrated I was that he was preventing me from doing somthing I need to do daily to stay sane. He had no idea what I was on about of course because I’m VERY good at hiding my feelings & smiling & saying everything is just FINE. He said he loves it when I do yoga in the van as it brings a calming energy to the space & any time I want to do it I just have to say & he’ll move into the lounge/bed area to read/work/listen to music…
It’s the simplest thing & yet left to fester unspoken, without resolution, it could have been the death of us. These days a conversation goes like this: I’d really like to do blah today prefably early/late? / OK no worries, I’ll plan to do blah blah and then I’ll get out your way? / Yes of course I’ll do blah blah blah in the meantime.
Oh BTW I love you.
No I love YOU. #couplelife

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