In my house, seven people share a bathroom. My wife and I, with our five sons, made a big move last year, going from two bathrooms to just one. We had been accustomed to the higher standard of two with all its convenience. At first, my brain wouldn’t consider it feasible or even possible to lower our standard. How could we live with just one bathroom?! Yet over a year later, we learned that it’s enough.
A few week’s ago at dinner, we talked about some goals for the year. One that’s been on the back-burner is adding a second bathroom. In fact, it was a condition of our move. We had determined that we could make one bathroom work long enough until we added the 2nd bath. So we started discussing the details on how to make the addition.
I kept leaning into simplicity. My thoughts were on eliminating pipe work for the toilet and instead going with a composting commode. Keep it simple! Minimizing piping would save time, money, and hassle. Then we thought further, why not eliminate the shower? A half-bath addition would be simpler than a full-bath.
With this minimalist train of thought, we considered what we really needed versus what we wanted. This led us to a surprising yet logical conclusion: we could do away with the second bathroom altogether and…live with just one like we’d been doing for the past year! Talk about simplicity.
After proving to ourselves it was possible for 7 people to share 1 bathroom, we realized it was also feasible. It’s definitely easier to keep making one bathroom work than trying to build more bath space. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Sure, it’d be more convenient to have two bathrooms, but it would also be more work in building and maintaining.
More is not always better.
We plan to stick with one bathroom for now because we’ve proven that it’s enough.
That’s the ideal. Enough.
It’s true that our one bathroom doesn’t always feel like enough. Sometimes one of us must wait in the hallway, doing that little squirming dance. My wife and I don’t get to enjoy having a Master Bath all to ourselves. Sometimes the shower runs out of hot water and you don’t want to be third in line. It might seem less than ideal in some ways, but it works well enough!
So this ‘lower standard’ is our ideal; we are learning that living with less is enough. Whether one bathroom or two (or many things versus few), maybe the right term is contentment, because in some ways, enough is immeasurable.