This year I intend to lose 25 pounds and keep 15 of them off. I am going to TXT message people less. I am going to commit to sending out 5 handwritten letters a month. In 2016 I am going to…..yeah, I’m not sure why I do this to myself either. Planning to exercise more, eat less, read a few more books, watch TV less, commit random acts of kindness, sing Kumbaya a little louder, are all new year’s resolutions that are examples of a tradition that actually dates back a few thousand years.
A little research from various sources shows that more than 4,000 years ago the ancient Babylonians celebrated the New Year in March when the spring harvest came in. They celebrated with a festival called Akitu which lasted 12 days. During those 12 days the Babylonians express to each other external oaths (as opposed to more emotionally-laden, internal ones). A few centuries later Romans run in the new year (also in March) primarily as a way to inaugurate the new city magistrates and bid farewell to the old. When Rome became an empire in 27 B.C. the day’s events also added a time for city leaders and soldiers to swear allegiance to the Emperor. As the confidence of the empire grew the New Year switched to January and became more associated to Janus or the god of home and hearth. The first half of the day was all about oath-taking and public swearings-in, while the second half of the days was for social activities. In fact, it is rumored that Roman citizens would present each other with gifts of honey and pear as a way to wish each other a “sweet new year.”
Sadly there is no direct line from ancient Roman tradition to modern New Year’s resolutions other than the desire to start anew in a number of arenas. With the modern tiny house movement approaching its 10th birthday it seems appropriate to start showing some resolve as to what will come about in the new year as a result of allegiance and presentation. That said, here are my Five Tiny House Resolutions for 2016 (in no particular order). NOTE: the following are in fun and meant to incite smiles and giggles.
- Talk about poop less. There seems to be a running joke about getting together a group of tiny housers. Apparently no group of TH’ers can gather without the conversation turning to poop talk within 10 minutes. Whether the focus be on humanure, composting, flushing, or just general plumbing woes, seems we all have a bit of a “potty mouth.”
Copyright © 2014 Leigh Rubin Cartoonist
- Discover the actual scientific formula that differentiates between tiny house and small house. The question has been asked so many times. What is the difference between a tiny house and a small house. Is it square feet? Is it number of occupants? Is it the use of a trailer? Just what is it? In 2016 I shall prove my Theory Of Universal Housing Relativity. My research has already determined that: x”(t) – ?x'(t) + x(t) = 0 where ? = 2ft2(a) + ?2. So now I just need to show (in simple, layman’s terms) that if a closed thermodynamic system is modeled by a homogeneous Markov chain, the chain must necessarily generate a dissipative system, i.e. conform to condition where the condition is also sufficient for a regular non-homogeneous chain. At that point it will become plain to see where a tiny house becomes an standard build, small house.
- Be awarded the Guinness Book of World Records record for man living in smallest space. The Keret House, located in Warsaw, Poland holds the Guinness title as smallest house in the world. The micro-house comes with a kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom, and measures just 3.02 feet at its most narrow point and 4.99 feet at its widest point, for a total floor area of just only 44 sq.ft. Built by architect, Jakub Szcz?sny, and Israeli writer named Etgar Keret, was actually slated to be the first occupant of the house. However, to this date there is no proof that he has spent a night in the space. Using 44 sq.ft. as the goal I resolve to move into an IKEA VALJE series of cube storage that totals just 40 sq.ft. My current plan is to create a small sleeping area that will double as a horizontal shower. A strategically placed hose and dump panel will be mounted to the floor allowing for humanure options. Meals will be limited to military issue MRE’s and my clothes will be folded so as to act as pillows and cushions. I have yet to work out how the cubes will be transferrable and moveable so as to take Southern sun exposure into account for year-round gardening.
- Pair my capsule wardrobe down to clothes that are not mono-chromatic. I have written about capsule wardrobes several times. But what I have noticed is that I always tend to focus on one color theme so as to make things less complicated. If I build my wardrobe on black pants (one pair cotton and one pair denim) I also tend to make shirts black. It is an unexplained phenomena and one that seems to be echoed by almost every major clothing brand in America. (sort of referenced in Devil Wears Prada)
- Decode the term “off-grid”. In 2016 I resolve to figure out what off-grid really means. The grid, one can assume, refers to the power grid wherein fossil fuels are cultivated and burned in order to produce electricity distributed through power lines into panel boxes filled with circuits that then convert to amps that power all sorts of machinery. However, it has come to pass that off-grid also refers to having a well to source water from, using zero disposables, making use of fiber for washable toilet paper (that is only washed in some distilled version of sodium tetraborate), and walking to work in vegan shoes that use no products….well, walking barefoot!
All kidding aside, 2016 is poised to be a good year because anytime people learn more about what they love, what they want, and how to achieve it, is a successful year indeed!
What would you add to the Top 5 Resolutions? Do tell!