Life is all about compromise.
Don’t get attached to anything too deeply, or you’ll have the awesome task of letting go. Don’t identify to greatly with the physical world or the material world or your income level or your possessions because that reassurance is as fleeting as the wind.
When I bought this house 10 1/2 years ago, I loved it. It was a mess, to be fair, but I could see its potential. I was Orthodox and so my house-hunting was driven by proximity to my synagogue and neighbors I’d like to invite over for a Shabbat meal.
I was pregnant with my second child, so the house we lived in, a bungalow with two main floor tiny bedrooms and one large loft upstairs I used as my office, was growing quickly too small. We didn’t mind the one full bathroom – that much. We wished for more, but we had other priorities.
In this house, we saw a neighborhood that fit our lifestyle, some features (like stone on the exterior and a big stone fireplace) that were attractive and the general disheveled state of the house as becoming our canvas to personalize a family home. And with baby #2 on the way, and no idea how many kids we’d have, or that our marriage would one day fall apart, a four-bedroom was the biggest we could find and fill.
And besides, these bedrooms are sizable. Easily, they could welcome two kids per room, maybe more.
Well, we stopped at three and the marriage ended. I remarried and gained another kid. The house fits us all. And it fits us well.
But what I fell in love with back then had to do with where I was in life. I no longer live there, and yet I still live here.
When Dan and I got together, we wanted a home that was ours, a fresh place for our newly blended family to create our own homescape. And two years ago when we looked at houses, nothing quite fit our vision. So we stayed.
We’re looking again and what I am realizing is that at this point in life, there is no perfect house. There is the almost-perfect house – but every single situation will require some tweaking, unless we had endless funding, which we don’t.
And given the perspective of the past decade, I think that’s ok. What I want today will not be what I want in another ten years. So why get too reconciled to the idea of perfect? Why not find the house I love 90% and be happy about that?
Of course, I already found the one I love. Who knows if it will work out. Regardless, it’s not perfect. It’s almost-perfect. The biggest dilemma in an old house is lack of closets and bedrooms my kids would have to share. In many parts of the world, the whole family shares a bedroll on the ground, and I’m talking parents, kids, cousins, you get the picture.
So if we move there, my kids will have to accept sharing rooms. And I’ll have to not feel badly about that. Because if it’s 90%, that’s pretty darn good.