Maybe you’re just like my mother. She’s never satisfied. ~Prince
I’ve never really understood all the lyrics to When Doves Cry, but the line above always leaped out at me. Ironically, not because of my own mother’s expectations. No, that line resonates because I find myself too often unsatisfied. I’m the one who’s always after the next accomplishment, the better title, the latest “must-have” item. And, to some extent that drive leads to positive things. I wouldn’t be where I am professionally without it. On the other hand, my credit card balance could certainly benefit from a shopping moratorium.
But, a bigger source of nagging dissatisfaction bubbled it’s way into my consciousness today when a wonderful post by Sock Girl at Old Blue Socks got me thinking about my constant, ongoing search for real estate. Granted we’ve lived in our current home for twelve years now. But I’ve been actively looking for a different one on and off for at least seven of those years. Online searches, open houses, and even the occasional round of official looking with a realtor–all coming to naught so far.
Here’s the problem. I really love the floor plan of our house. It suits our needs well. The challenge? We’d like a larger lot, preferably one that already has a pool or the room to add one. I feel this “need” both literally and figuratively on hot summer days like the ones we’ve been suffering through in Suburbia lately.
Prior to the economy’s recent nosedive, Adventure Guy and I went so far as to get some proposals from pool companies. During our updates last year, we decided putting in a pool made a lot more sense than moving, especially since we hadn’t found anything we really liked for less than several hundred thousand dollars more than what we could get for our current home. Unfortunately, our cash flow has become a bit lacking now, considering that a large part of Adventure Guy’s earnings come from sales commissions. And a pool falls squarely into the luxury category.
I’m working really hard on practicing delayed gratification. After all, we’re constantly reminding the kids that we need to be happy with what we have, asking them to appreciate how blessed we are in the scheme of things. No, we’re not the richest people they know, but we’re certainly not the poorest either, and we’re so fortunate that both Adventure Guy and I have good jobs in this tough economy.
In so many ways, I realize coveting a pool is awfully shallow (no, I really didn’t mean that as a pun). I felt this even more strongly when I read Sock Girl’s beautiful description of her dream home, a description that captures many of the features of my current home.
My dream house is not a mansion. It is roomy though, but not so large that I couldn’t clean it easily myself. It has a modest garden, or window boxes… just enough to make it pretty, but wouldn’t make me feel like I needed a team of gardeners to keep up with or like a failure when I don’t. It has a washer and dryer that is not in the basement. It has storage and big closets. There are at least three bedrooms (though a spare would be a bonus) and there is room to do more than just walk around the furniture. It has shelves and cupboards and drawers that work, and all our stuff is in those things. There is room to bake. And a welcoming place to take off your boots. And lots of windows. Maybe there is a deck, or a porch, or even just bench outside to read and think and stretch one’s imagination. It feels like home. ~Sock Girl
Thanks for the reminder, Sock Girl. My current abode may not be the ultimate dream house, but I know I’m fortunate to have it and even more fortunate to live here with the people who make our house a home.