It has been a very moving year for me so far. No, really- I have moved two and a half times; more on that in a moment. At the same time, I have come to see the importance of prioritization.
We had tried to sell our [spoiler alert] old house twice before putting it on the market earlier this year. Each time got more and more ridiculous. We got helpful feedback from the showings of our 2 bed 3 bath 1,300 square foot home, like, “I loved the house but my grand piano wouldn’t fit in the living room,” or, “we wanted a house with three bedrooms.” I admit it brought out my snarky side as well. I wanted to tell all those helpful people traipsing through my house that perhaps they should have read the description of the house before coming, among other things. So, I dreaded putting it on the market again, but for a number of reasons we needed the house to be sold. Two things made me resent the house after over five years: the commute to everywhere I go, and the stairs.
The commute was just ridiculous considering where we live. While most people here blanch at a 30 minute commute, my husband was driving over an hour and my commute to one of my barns was 45 minutes. It really took a toll. I also had a lot of fear as a result of that commute. I was afraid to go to the barn by myself since I might not be feeling well enough to drive back. It may sound crazy, but pain and fatigue make even little things that we take for granted move into the territory of scary things that make you cringe.
The stairs were even worse of a problem. Now I know this sounds odd since I try my hardest to keep riding my horse and run, but the stairs were my nemesis. I lost count of how many times my knees or ankles would give out, or how many times I fell trying to take laundry up the stairs. It was embarrassing and humiliating to have a set of stairs beat me. I managed, and some days were better than other, but I wanted to sell the house to escape the stairs of doom.
Since my husband’s grandfather had died, the house he had lived in was empty and we were given the opportunity to live there. Moving was terrible but since it meant we didn’t have to live in our house while it was on the market, we packed all our things and started the process. Moving is never easy, but ours was made all the more interesting by our new house being in the mandatory evacuation for the Black Forest fire. So we moved back out again (someday I will have to tell you that story…), and then once the fire was out, we were lucky to be able to move back in. And, miraculously, our house sold in less than a week on the market. That was the first 1.5 moves.
But, we loved the new house. It was on 5 beautiful treed acres on a quiet, dead end, dirt road. It had space for my husband and me to have a work room, and still have two empty rooms to spare. It had a recently redone kitchen that I loved to bake in. We wanted to buy it, and long story short, we knew pretty quickly that would not happen. Especially not with the vague uncertainties about what my husband will do with his career once he finishes his degree. So we knew, that once again we needed to move. I couldn’t come up with a way to make it work financially.
Making that decision was more difficult than I can describe. I wanted so badly to stay in that house. It was perfect. It was our dream home. I didn’t have to face the stairs every day. Our commutes were shortened by over a third. I thought those were what mattered most. But what I learned through all this, was that priorities are sometimes more surprising and less obvious than we like to think.
We moved into base housing, and move number 2 came very suddenly. We moved with less than 5 days notice. But we made it. It isn’t a great commute to my husband’s job or one of my barns (it actually is very close to my old geezer horse’s barn though.), it isn’t large, it isn’t on lots of land, and it even has stairs, but it I love it.
It is comfortable, I can keep it clean (so far), I don’t have to face the stairs daily (the only thing in our basement is laundry and thankfully my husband helps with that), I can have my own work space, and it has beautiful views and many walking trails nearby. As I sit and type and look out my window at the mountains just after sunset, I now know that what matters to me is having a peaceful home. That means I am not afraid to do things like drive to my barn, and I still have a place that feels like home. I can have privacy, but the ease and security of a good community. I know I will still have good days and bad days, but I also know that I have home that isn’t a constant reminder of things I can’t do. Two and a half moves later I finally realized that was my top priority.
What matters most to you in a home? How do you know for sure? I am a very slow learner apparently, but I am beyond glad to finally be home! Sorry for the cheesy ending, but anyway, until next time, RAWR!!!