The Year of 40: Love it or leave it
by Christie Browning
**Author's note: This blog series is a year-long installment which will chronicle the year that I turn 40 with some comical moments, retrospective insights and empowering calls to action.
About three years ago, my husband and I fell in love with the house we live in. We loved the location, loved the country, quiet setting, adored the bright, open floor plan and thought we had found our forever home.
But during the past three years of living here, we have realized that this in not the forever home we thought it was going to be. Actually, my sentiments are a bit stronger....I WANT TO MOVE ... AND WE CAN'T MOVE SOON ENOUGH!!!!
The once remote location that offered that get-away-from-it-all opportunity has turned into a horrible long commute that is wearing us out. My husband drives about 45 minutes one way to go to work in a neighboring city. I too drive about 30 minutes one way to the same city. All of our family who live in this area, live in the neighboring city -- we are 45 minutes to an hour away from them.
That country, quiet setting has come with animals running at will in our area. I'm not just talking about the wildlife -- that part of animal activity is pretty cool. No, I am talking about folks who have 30 cats living outside, which of course never stay in their yard so basically the whole neighborhood has 30 cats. And the same goes for dogs. Being out of the city means there's no leash laws so dogs are free to run and roam and do whatever else they like in any yard they like.
The open floor plan that we loved, now lived in, proves to be lacking in storage and efficient space. There's not enough counter space, the bathroom desperately needs a vanity and not just a sink, and there's just no closet space for storage.
I've been itching to move for about 6 months. It would just be easier to be closer to our work and our family. And I really think I was born to live in the city :) But as much as I want to kick my legs and stomp my feet, we are here for another 10-12 months....as far as we can see.
It's funny how something that seemed so perfect loses it's allure over time. In our disposable society, we've come to love things temporarily...as long as it's pretty, polished and perfect. Otherwise, toss that sucker and start over. We see it with our possessions, our relationships and our churches.
There's a lesson I've come to realize that I am supposed to learn in the midst of my desire to move....that is to embrace the lost art of contentment. To slow down and appreciate what I have and what my Heavenly Father has given me. I can't say that I've got this skill set down just yet, but I wonder what our world would be like if we weren't always chasing after the latest and greatest, tossing aside the old and outdated? I think we'd move at a slower pace. I think we'd appreciate the little things. I think we would take time to tend to the things in life that really matter.
I know myself pretty well...and I know that I am going to get the itch to up and move once every other week. It's going to be a battle between contentment and "I want it now!"It's gonna be a hard lesson to learn.... but I guess I have about 12 months to study.