Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Life As A House


The evidence is well-documented, both anecdotally and scientifically. People are most comfortable in, well, their comfort zone - even if their comfort zone is flawed. I’ve seen it in the weight-loss community where it takes folks a while to adjust to the new body and all the comes with it. Some people do adjust to the new lifestyle, while for others, the new body brings with it too many other issues and soon they return to their former size.

The same phenomenon occurs in abusive relationships - people stay because even if it is painful, it is known, while the unknown is even more frightening. Simplified, yes, but the fear of the new and different can be powerful.

The draw of the familiar is powerful and for me, the familiar is “we are not supposed to have nice things”. I’d changed that around a bit, to make it a bit more palatable for me to something like “I am not materialistic”. Things and possessions aren’t important. I’d already been through something similar with MalibuKen. I’d driven my trusty truck for nearly twenty years and while I was very grateful for the opportunity to do so, I wasn’t particularly proud of the truck. And I did love Mitzi, my $1,700 commuter vehicle, but she certainly wasn’t the stuff that dreams were made of, but she was such a step up for me that I adored her. And the truth is, if it had been left up to me, I would have never picked MalibuKen for myself. I would have chosen a lesser model. And I am proud of MalibuKen, but I think the real sign of growth in me is that I am considering trading cars sometimes within the next year or so, to find something that fits in the actual garage. Rather than just “making do”. That, for me, is personal growth. I do not have to make do. I’ve had a lifetime of “making do”.

And so it goes with the house. I’ve never lived in a place I was proud of. I’ve been grateful, but I’ve never been proud. I was always taught, always taught, that “pride comes before the fall”. I can see now that this “teaching” was a way of making the old living conditions seem almost, well, virtuous. And while I’ve successfully eschewed the cluttering/shopping/hoarding legacy, what was ingrained was the “I guess we can never have nice things”. So buying this “nice” house is a real step outside my comfort zone.

I’m not buying a fixer-upper. I’m buying a house that is beautiful, as it is. I’m not doing anything to “earn” this house. I’m not restoring or saving it or getting some fabulous bargain. Pebbles calls it charming and modest. I call it solid and confident.

This is not a house of chaos. This is a house where care is shown and practiced, and yes, perhaps a little pride. This might be the house where my maybe-future grandchildrens’ memories are made. This house is how “normal” people live. People have commented that I don’t seem particularly excited about this new place and the truth is, I’m still adjusting to the thought of it. I had a hard time picturing myself living in something so wonderful. It’s like that post weight-loss sensation of not recognizing yourself in a picture or in a mirror or your reflection in a store window as you walk down the street. It takes a while to recognized this new, inner core that is now being shown to the world.

This is my new house and I am proud of it.

14 comments:

  1. Great curb appeal! I wish you a world of happy memories to be made here:)

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  2. Just yesterday I threw away a sweatshirt that still had a lot of good years in it. Why? The sleeves were too long so I rolled them up but when I tried to wash dishes and pushed the sleeves up they always slipped down into the water and then with my other wet hand I would shove them back up only to have them fall again. I decided that as soon as I was done with the dishes I would take off that stupid sweatshirt and throw it in the trash which I did. I kind of had second thoughts because it was a color that I really look good wearing. Anyway - you are worth being able to enjoy where you live and being able to drive something you feel good about.

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  3. You deserve it! The thoughts of future Gkids made me smile. What a lovely home to make beautiful memories in.

    I totally understand your feelings. Not having nice things. It's something I struggle with all the time. I love how you are "settling in" to the house. Thoughtful. Yep, I like it.

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  4. Wow, I have got to come by here more often. So much to say. Just know I am thinking of you with beautiful thoughts for the future. Your new home is just lovely.

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  5. Roxie,
    What a poignant and amazing post. It speaks to your past, present, and future. I'm so glad that you are taking this opportunity to gift yourself with something that will not only leave a legacy for grandchildren, but will provide a place of peace and beauty for yourself. My best to you and your family.

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  6. When I first bought my house, I kept wondering if it was really going to happen. It's easier to believe in the negative; letting myself hope for the best was a stretch. If you hug the negative thoughts close and refuse to feel hope, you don't feel let down if (I originally wrote 'when') something goes awry.

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  7. It's a lovely home - looks adorable. I love your descriptions of it - "a house where care is shown and practiced, and yes, a little pride." Rightfully so.

    May many happy memories be created within it's confines and surroundings!

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  8. What is even more wonderful, maybe, is that the house is getting you Roxie.

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  9. Go Roxie! So happy you are embracing the wonderful things you deserve. :)

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  10. it's is beautiful as is.
    Im stealing, errr, appropriating that for my week.

    Im going to live my life through that lens.
    with all things.

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  11. As well you should be. And proud of yourself as well. May you have many happy memories is this beautiful home.

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  12. When I saw the photo, I thought, I want to live there!!! Congrats and I echo what Helen said :-)

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  13. Funny, how when I look at this house, I TOTALLY see you there. It looks so nice, pleasant, and inviting. And that just makes me think of you. A perfect match.

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  14. Moving - and moving!
    Wonderful.
    Love the title, too.
    That movie was out when I was working on my own house.... Metaphorically - and Pier and Beam.

    Now, "peering and beaming" for you!

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We'll try this for a while.