Credit: Free photos from acobox.com
Sometimes in life decisions seem clear cut; easy. You make a choice and everything about it feels right.
Other times, things are not so simple. You have to leap over chasms fully aware of the darkness below and the possibility that you might end up falling.
I am so confused right now about the house we are supposed to move to. The neighborhood is right. The schools are right. The proximity to dear friends is right. The price is right. I can list about 30 things that are right about this both in the short and long term.
It's just the house.
I'm having a problem with the house.
And I think the problem is, I'm spoiled.
My house problem is the kind of problem you would only find a middle class stay-at-home mother whining about. There are plenty of countries where five families might share a single house of this size and still feel so grateful to have a roof over their heads.
Despite my awareness of the baggage (entitlement) I bring to the issue of the house, I'm still grappling with my own discomfort. We're about to make this huge jump and I have to negotiate the problems that I foresee before we get there, so that I can fix them and make things function for my family.
Or, if I can't fix them... then I need to be perceptive enough to let go of the house before we actually make the move.
Here are the problems as I foresee them, having spent about an hour inside of the house this afternoon:
- All three of my children will have to share a fairly small bedroom, which is flush with the ground outside and so a bit damp and cold. It is located on the shady side of the house. I am worried that they will be very crowded and chilled in there.
- The bathroom has a very old school low-to-ground heater that I fear could easily burn my daughter and will take vigilance to keep her away from it.
- The uber-palacial house next door features a large swimming pool with a loud motor (filter?) that runs all day and is annoyingly located about 10 feet from the master bedroom of our house. So much for peace and quiet. My husband went by their house this afternoon to ask if it runs all night as well. Apparently they do turn it off at night.
- There is a huge shady (old) tree in the back yard that has so much foliage hanging down, it has created a dark wooded kingdom below where there are certainly a wide variety of insects and I am guessing also rats, mice and possibly (although perhaps not likely) snakes. Possums for certain though. It will definitely need to be cleared out.
- There are about five gazillion black or brown widow eggs located all along the eves of the downstairs level of the house (which is storage for the owner). Which is especially a problem for me when you add it to this next one:
- All of the screens on the windows of the house are broken, falling out of the windows, leaving large gaps for insects to come into the house.
- My allergies weren't great there this afternoon :-( and I do have a very strong allergy to both dust, mold and grass. A modern condo without a yard would probably be a better fit for someone with my allergies.
and yes, I know that widow spiders are EVERYWHERE in this city because we've had them at our last 3 homes. So that really can't be a deterrent in moving...
I am worried that there will never be a moment of peace for me living in this new house. It is so small, I can hear my children talking in the back yard from the front door. If I am always anxious about them getting hurt or bitten in the back yard that takes away the best part of the entire home, because the yard itself is vast and definitely the most attractive feature of the home.
But then I have to ask myself, does it really matter where we live if we are in the right community? As long as we have walls and a roof, and a heater that basically works? Does it really matter where we live if we are actively saving money toward a new home of our own? If we know this is only temporary, can't we just work it out, no matter what the problem is?
Which brings me back to my original confession, which is that I am so spoiled.
Can I just confess that I love living in our current beautiful house with its stainless steel appliances and its gleaming wood floors? That I love the quiet whirr of its forced air heating and the elegance of its recessed lights? That I adore having an actual dining room to eat in with company? And an actual toy room where I can send my kids to frolic while I peacefully cook dinner?
I'm 35 years old and I like living well. I like things that are clean and easy to maintain, without mold or dust. I've gotten used to the easy life and it's hard to go backward, even when we're going backward in order to ultimately move forward.
Part of me also thinks that maybe we should make this move *because* I don't think I'll be fully happy there, just to see if it turns out to be a lovely surprise. We've certainly made moves in the past that I thought would be amazing but they turned out to be a real challenge. Maybe it's time to take the bull by the horns and do something I'm not that excited about, in order to see how great it might actually be.
My husband and I have discussed it all at length. In his heart he just wants to buy a home, so whatever we can do to get ourselves closer to that goal is what he wants to do. From that standpoint, moving is definitely the right thing - we stand to save a lot of money each month by moving. That said, he is so busy with work right now the entire move is up to me... including making the actual decision of when and where to go.
I talked all of this over with my mother tonight and she said that before I go to sleep I should try to visualize my family at the new house and set the intention that when I awaken in the morning, I will know the answer to this question.
I really hope she is right. I feel so much pressure to make the correct decision here, a choice that will bless my family and also our neighbors and friends. When I used to have a career I loved collaborating with other people to make a shared decision, because it seemed like collectively we had a broader perspective and made sensible choices. Going it alone is liberating, I guess, but also really scary and pressured. What if I make the wrong move? Literally?
It is late at night now so for the time being I have to turn this over to a higher power and let go. I pray for guidance, I pray for grace. I'm grateful to have the opportunities that we do... I'm grateful for the blessings and miracles we are surrounded with every day. I'm grateful for my children and husband... and if you're reading this, whomever you may be, I am sincerely grateful for you too.