I think I’m often too busy to notice I can do better on less.
The conversation around budgeting/debt freedom/finances has been one I’ve been having lately. (more here and some more here) And it’s not even about money most of the time, it’s about food, time, commitments, things in my home, ideas that clutter up the thankfulness … and on and on and on.
We have a very small fridge in our kitchen.
And an even smaller stove.
I’ve been planning and searching for the new, BIGGER, versions of these appliances for a year now. And yet, it’s odd that we’re still fed healthy, homemade meals – almost every night. That this tiny little stove works like an army when we can whip out dozens of muffins, cookies for lunches, breads of all kinds and meals to fill our freezer. That I’m constantly amazed at the room we have available in our little fridge. It can get pretty full, but it’s never been empty.
And, this could be trying to tie too many strings to one conclusion, but I wonder if I’ll notice how full we are when we do have “more room”. This beautiful little house is actually more square footage than the home we sold in 2010.
(Photos of saying goodbye to that house here)
It has more walls, more stairs and a few other interesting elements that we didn’t have in that Ranch on Ardmore. A dead end street, the house that built our family. And our kids still talk about that house – there are things about that home that will be magical for us for the rest of our lives. First steps, first words. About a dozen paint colors on our master bedroom walls in 6 years (we could never decide) and the fire pit in the back. The place we came together as a family of friends. As marriages were celebrated and babies hoped for. We cracked open bottles of wine and fed each other over a fire. There were marathons of favorite shows, bridal showers and family get togethers. That house was like a glue, a glue we haven’t found again (yet) in this house.
And it wasn’t because we lost it or gave it away when we sold the house and almost everything else we owned. We’ll find it again. But it won’t be in a renovation. Opening up walls and new carpet won’t automatically make this home our new glue. It makes it more comfortable, that’s for sure, and maybe even a little easier to show people, if we’re being honest. But it’s not what matters.
And I can get all kinds of caught up in the things that just don’t matter. Stainless steel appliances, an island a mile long! Tile and drawer pulls and rugs and clapboard walls. Hardwood flooring, french doors, a bedroom without a washer/dryer hookup in it (and a functional closet that could possibly, just maybe, be bigger than 2X2) … the list just gets longer, the finances never grow faster, the disappointment, like a sour dough imbedded in yeast, can just grow larger.
This hasn’t been easy for me. Buying a home was always the goal of our debt free journey. We weren’t sure where that would be (nationally) and we tried and failed so many times in the 2 years we were renting. The first year we spent in an apartment on 15th St, with a huge porcelain one bowl sink and a view of the tree tops was our second beginning. Not that our first was something to forget or wish away, but it was our first grown up house. We stopped playing house and decided to own it. But we had to start like everyone else, with nothing.
Which happened to actually be everything.