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Movie Review: Hampstead

Delightful film!

I was most certainly delighted by this film. It was sweet and funny and awkward – just my type of movie. I also love that the main male character wanted to live a life he was proud of. He wanted to live with a small eco-footprint and forget about the wealth and standards of society. It had me dreaming of all of the possibilities in this world for how to live.

I've lived in more tiny apartments than I can count. I've lived in a dark and dank duplex with brick walls, a cute little home with wood floors, and a wood-burning stove. I spent thirteen years at my favorite cottage that somehow felt rural in the center of a neighborhood with a dirt backroad to get to it. I lived in a large, modern tract home with hundreds of neighbors (maybe thousands?) over a square mile. Now, I live in a tiny cabin on a lake so close to the ocean that I can sit on my deck and hear the roar she makes after a storm. All of these places I've lived and somehow I never knew until the last couple of years that there were more options – van life, boat life, building your own space, living in a tent off the land, and so many other ideas of how to live. Why don't we teach our children that there are many ways to create a home, not just one capitalist way to live?

I don't know where or how I would have lived if I had all of this information growing up but I do know that life wouldn't have seemed so difficult and mystical to master. I would have known that life didn't take dollars to make me happy but rather a sense of peace and pride in how you live is what makes one happy. Lately, I have the feeling that our society has been a sham for my entire lifetime (and likely further back as well). The "work-hard-pull-up-your-boot-straps" mentality was to placate the masses to give them the hope that they can be rich too if they just work hard enough (or maybe work yourself to death). But rich in what? Rich with money does not always make you rich in life. I find as I age that richness of life comes from joy and joy comes from doing the things you love, having those you love around you, and living in a space that feels like home – and everyone's definition of richness is completely different! And that's okay too.

I love our little life in our tiny cabin with our four cats, a tiny plot of land on a steep hillside with more steps than I care to count. I find joy in being surrounded by nature and wildlife. I enjoy building gardens and growing my own vegetables. Life here is a grand adventure and one we are enjoying quite a bit. And I know that someday my opinion of what brings me joy about the place that I live might change but at least NOW I know that there are so very many options for what the next chapter might bring someday. It opens the possibilities to be wide and incredible instead of pigeonholed into how much money we have. We could live anywhere, any time!

I highly recommend this film. Although it's definitely a romantic comedy/drama, it most certainly reminds us all that life is precious and that we don't have to settle for one way of living that suits some made-up society standard.

Where have you always wanted to live? Feel like you can't afford it? What are the options? Could you live there in a tiny shack or make your own place or live on a boat? If you want it, there's a way to get it... go on and live your best life!


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Illustration by Blume Bauer ©

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