Why Live In a Small Cave?

Updated February, 2003

Why Live In a Small

Stay Away, Putty Cat!

Oggy and his bride, Olla, lived in their small cave long enough to start a family and then decided to look for something bigger. Around on the other side of the mountain he found a cave that was huge. It had three large chambers in front and four small sleeping chambers in the rear. Olla fell in love with it immediately. So they moved.

Suddenly Oggy's life became complex. First he had to hunt further and further to find the furs to cover the floors of all the new rooms. Next he found he had to bring three times as much wood inside to keep the fire going well enough to warm the large outer room.

Olla complained that as soon as she had finished cleaning one chamber there was another that had developed new spider webs or bat guano. And there were so many places to store things she kept misplacing Oggy's crudgel.

Then the McForggs moved into the cave next door and let their saber cat have the run of the neighborhood. One time it spent an entire night trying to catch the bats above Oggy's bed, at least until the Smugg's cat on the other side went into heat. Then no one could sleep at all for the noise.

But the limit came when Ugg, Olla's half brother, and his wife and fifteen kids dropped by for supper. They stayed three months because with so much room there was no excuse to send them packing.

"Olla, ump e oyu gog," Oggy said, which means "Olla, it was a lot simpler when we lived in that small cave." Olla sighed and nodded her head.

Simplify. As you age you may find that that becomes one of your primary goals. If you must worry about as many things as you did when you were in your twenties and thirties, you start to come apart. Even though the quality of your thoughts improves with age, you cannot think as fast, and it is far better to concentrate on the few important things in your life.

When you simplify your life it means less hassle. Now why is that important? Blood pressure, headaches, grinding teeth, worry, and all sorts of bad things go away when you simplify. There are fewer things to hassle your life, so you have more time to be happy and enjoy the things around you.

Economize. Some people have so much wealth they work hard trying to spend it all. Other people are like you and me -- we do not have quite so much. It behooves us to find ways to limit our expenses so our capital assets last longer, hopefully for as long as we live. I have found my daily expenses are directly proportional to the size of my dwelling. A large cave means I pay more for insurance, power, taxes, maintenance, cleaning, furniture, food, and everything else.

One of the results of economizing is that your things end being closer at hand. There are fewer bits of trivia getting in the way and cluttering up your life and surroundings. It is easier to find something you have put down.

And if there is less clutter the job of cleaning is easier. There is less space that requires attention. There are fewer things to pick up. There are fewer places to put them.

Control. When you keep your available space within the limits of what you really need, there is not room for some unwanted soul to move in. Space for one can easily be shared and expanded with one other who is willing to be close enough, but not enough for a relative or a grown child. Now I know this flies in the face of some of the mothers whose greatest desire is for their twenty-four year old son or daughter to come back home, but that gets old after a while, at least for the father.

Mobility. For some of us one of the reasons for keeping the cave small is so we can move it from place to place. Why move it? To see a different sunset, to get away from some pesky neighbor, to find some place where the weather is more reasonable. There are many reasons.

There are many good reasons for living in a small cave, but I am the first to admit that not all reasons fit all people. There are a number of downsides, especially if the cave can be moved.

If you are claustrophobic you won't like the limited space. If you are insecure, you can't tolerate moving from place to place. If you are timid, you can't stand meeting new people. If you are envious, you won't have enough room to keep all the loot that proves you are better. If you are materialistic, you won't be able to give up all your stuff.

What 's your reason for not living in a small cave?

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