Redefining the Dream

More than five years ago a neighbor’s tree catapulted my wife and I toward a different lifestyle. As longtime readers may recall from my post titled “Celebrating Life,” the aforementioned tree [a massive water-logged oak] landed on the roof of our dream house and consequently launched us on our journey toward a minimalist mode of living. With this defining moment came the realization that we wanted to live less tethered to one place by trading our picket fence version of the American Dream for a more mobile one.

So we methodically pared down our possessions, including our carefully curated library of more than 1,000 books. And in less than a year we were blessed to sell our renovated home for cash at the asking price even in the depressed market of Central Florida. Since that time Linda and I have lived in some very special places, not the least of which is the antebellum mansion we call home here in historic Franklin, Tennessee. Without exception, everyone we have shared our story with has said how much it resonates with them, whether or not they are willing to try it themselves.

And thanks to the good people at the Center for a New American Dream, we are able to share our story with many others. As of yesterday, we are being featured in the latest installment of the center’s Living the Dream series under the heading of “Living Large With Less.” We are very proud to be a part of the center’s Redefining the Dream program, “inspiring, engaging, and challenging Americans to re-examine their cultural values on consumption and consumerism and initiating a new national conversation around what ‘the good life’ and the ‘American dream’ mean.”