By: Kristi Hartman
I struggled coming up with a topic today for MMW, and my mind keeps going back to the same thing: living in the moment. This has been a topic of discussion for my husband and I many times throughout our marriage, during many different seasons of our lives. A lot of it has had to do with our homes, and learning to 'bloom where we are planted.'
First there was the tiny, sliver of an apartment we rented after we got married, and after a few months to a year, we spent too many hours wishing it away for something bigger, newer and nicer. Then came the next few years of life when kids started joining our family, and the apartment seemed to grow smaller and smaller each day. (Funny how these small little humans in our homes take up so much space, isn't it?)
Anyway, after a few more moves into one town-home after another, we finally settled down into a bigger, newer, nicer, town-home that we bought on our own. The first few years were filled with contentment, happy with the way we decorated, designed, and made our home together. Soon, another kid came, and after a few years later, another. After 2 years of failed attempts to sell the town-home due to the bad housing market, we felt stuck. Stuck in our town-home, and feeling like we were going to be stuck there forever. I spent so many hours looking at houses online, trying to make something work of our situation, and wishing and dreaming for something else. We wanted a single family home so badly, yet felt like it was never going to happen for us. I would look longingly at the pretty suburban neighborhoods as we would go for Sunday drives, wishing that we were driving home to one of those, instead of into our town-home neighborhood. I wanted a garage for our cars, a backyard for our kids, and a place to finally settle down and live.
One night as I had had a particularly sad day of feeling sorry for myself and our situation, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my cute family eating dinner together. I was struck with a thought that entered my mind peacefully, but as a strong reminder. The thought I heard was, "Would your life really be any different if you were in a home?"
As I considered this question, I knew my answer was a resounding 'No.'
My life wasn't going to finally start once we had a single family home. It was, in fact, quite the opposite. It was passing me by. I had already spent too many hours and days wishing for something different in my life, when I should have just been enjoying where I was right then.
After this realization came, I tried to re-focus my priorities. I don't need certain things to make me feel happy or settled, or to give me permission to feel like I can 'finally' settle down and live.
I'm sure you've all heard the infamous quote by John Lennon:
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.
So true, but so hard to live by sometimes.
And, if you're curious, we did finally sell our townhome last summer, and moved to CO, and are now living in a single family home. It's definitely been great having a little more space and a yard for the kids, but the feeling I felt back at my dinner table still rings true. Life doesn't really feel that much different. I am still the same Mom, my kids are the same kids, and we are still a happy family, no matter where we call home.