Sunday, March 06, 2011

[House and Home] House Schooling

House Schooling: I may have mentioned (have I?) that I am actually living in the house now. As a result, everything I have to get done is in my face every minute. Like life, it's all about patience and priorities.

I have some big ideas: I have a vision of a hot tub and plunge pool out back, and I think maybe there is an opportunity for a small addition off the master bedroom to add a big walk-in closet and storage area. But I also know I am living with a 17-year-old roof and water heater. Both seem to be functioning well, but...priorities.

There are small things I'd like to do: Add vanity lighting in the master bath and get a reverse osmosis water filter system installed (it's very cool). There a couple places I have picked out for Roman blinds. But I'm still waiting on the handy-man to finish the shelving in the mud room and the master bath (projects now four weeks on...). Then there are the furnishings. I have no furniture in the living room, dining room or kitchen. I need to outfit the basement bar. And oh yeah, there are three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs that are also empty. I like to think of all this less as "empty" and more as "a blank canvas". Waiting is good, I tell myself. I need to be on guard against buying something I won't like just because of my impatience to have everything done NOW.

Of course, before any of that comes getting my old place sorted out and sold or rented. That's a time sink and wallet drainer right there. On the other hand, no hurry. It's beginning to look like there's no point is selling. After 15 years of ownership I would have to take a loss. Might as well rent it for what I can and hang on to it for a while.

It is OK for things to be unfinished -- Life is a marathon, not a sprint -- Be accepting of unresolved issues. All this is advice I would, and probably do, dole out regularly, yet I struggle tasting my own medicine. So whatever the frustrations with home ownership, I have no regrets. Facing all this was the whole point.

Well, at least it was one of the points. The other point was financial. Buy at the bottom of the market (I hope), live here for another 15 or 20 years, at which point I will be close to retirement and hopefully have a nice profit if/when I downsize.

But the big point was that I did not have to be the person I was at age 49 for the rest of my life. I should still be learning, changing, trying new things, taking reasonable risks, and generally improving myself and gaining wisdom through experience. In fact, I should be better at it now than I was 25 years ago having had all that practice. So far, in those terms, the house has been a huge success.

At some point, when all this becomes second nature, I will stop boring you with house stories. Either that or I will start to go off on rants like I used to about travel. If the later, I expect that may coincide with the need to mow the damn lawn.