Monday, May 24, 2010

My Next Move

I have moved around a lot – on the outside it must’ve looked like I had ants in my pants. Somehow in my apartment dweller days, it seemed it was easier to move, than wash windows.

But as I morphed from renter to owner, I came to see 7 years in one place was my limit. My pastime is reading “homes for sale” ads and imagining what I would do in terms of renovation if I acquired them. Sometimes I think my true calling was to be a real estate rehabber; but that would be a very stressful self-admission that I’ve been in the wrong career now for some time.

For me moving is like other people changing clothes. I want something different to live in - not wear. When I was a new mom, climbing the corporate ladder and “having it all" (ha ha ha), my moves were tied to a room for another child, a backyard to fit a swingset and a bigger better place overall. I always seemed to want more "space." A wise therapist once informed me that maybe I needed more space, but not a bigger house?

Once I tried on Seattle. But despite a number of dear friends, not enough sunshine. Too many cloudy days wouldn't suit me; I felt like I dodged a bullet on that one - it's harder to sell houses than return clothes...though I had to do it once quite quickly after I lost a job!

I am comfortable where there’s a lot of nature, water and the ability to see things going on in life outside my door. I like to live near a “town” where I can know the shopkeepers and a few neighbors. When I am too far into the woods or away from a large body of water – I feel mildly freaked out.

It turns out that I need to be living in a place that feels beautiful to me or it's like my hard wiring is out of whack. That feeling of beauty I get in my home is like what sunshine and water are to plants. Nourishment - pure and simple.

When I was 30 moving often involved more - land, bedrooms etc. Now I want bedrooms without a flight of stairs in case I need knee surgery. In my married days, a move's "stretching" or reaching almost always referred to finances. Today it may mean putting up with less - like not getting that extra bedroom or a coveted garage.

Yesterday I revisited a condo development where I once lived. I had a chance to rent or buy the same style unit I used to own, only this time with a better view and a garage! I'd have to essentially re-do the entire place – but I’d done that with the other unit. I was experienced with the exact floorplan!

Instantly I wanted to by-pass renting entirely and jump wholeheartedly into owning and renovating. After all, that river view was gorgeous and I could finally have it! It was thrilling to know it - and know it was within reach. But within an hour of looking at the place I started to retreat. I got a hit of Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Hadn't I done this before? Did I really want to do it again?

Within a few hours, I had my “Final Answer.” No this wasn’t Groundhog Day. I didn’t want to repeat the whole thing. Yes, I’d wanted a river view – but that was then. Now I'm jonesing for a new place with more space and a river view. It's good to know I can keep moving forward and not detouring to retrace some old footprints. That river view had become like the white go-go boots I wanted but never got. I'd moved on and so had my definition of what made me happy.

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