So, my last post was supposed to have more going on but I was a little quick on the Publish trigger, so…
You do this Day in My Ideal Life exercise and suddenly you see what matters. To this point, I’d always focused on work – where would I be, what would I be doing, how would I make that work with my family’s needs?
When I was ready to jump back into my career, I did this and realized I’d eventually have to be in an office rather than remote and working from home. Talking with Joey about the details that mattered to me made our discussion much richer and more productive than if I’d just tried to put my feelings (of dissatisfaction and discontent) into words.
Now, though, in Limbo Land, I’m realizing I need to point my lens on my home life – what kind of place, what kind of neighborhood, what kind of rhythms would we like best?
So I did it. And though there weren’t (m)any surprises, it did solidify what I’m looking for in our next home:
- Our bedroom fits a King bed.
- Our neighborhood is very walkable and we have a number of places to eat very nearby. The area is also dog-friendly.
- In the vicinity of the places to eat are at least two options for things to do on weekends, including parks and treat options. (I forgot to mention a Farmer’s Market!) Also in the walkable vicinity is a place to get basic groceries like milk and dog food.
- We can walk to a library.
- Javi’s room is far enough away from the hubbub that he can sleep while we keep doing things (ie: not right off the living room).
- We have outside space, a lawn to mow (?) and a garage or workshop for DIY projects.
- The kitchen is open and we have room for Javi to cook with me.
- From the kitchen or living space, I can easily access and see the backyard.
- We have outdoor eating space.
- We have places to play and sit outside, even into the evening. Bonus for a fire pit.
- We have neighbors we encounter as we go about our day (over the backyard fence?).
- Our neighbors have kids and are friendly enough to come over on spur of the moment.
- Javi’s room is accessible enough to the main living area that we adults can watch over visiting kids while sitting on the couch or in the kitchen.
- We have a dishwasher.
- Our home life is manageable enough that we have “nice things” like comfy couches, soft (non-cat-hair-covered) blankets, and we live in a “finished” house (since I didn’t note that we spent all weekend renovating or painting or gutting anything).
Since this wasn’t a weekend with visitors, the need for a third bedroom didn’t come up, which is an important point since I keep thinking a third bedroom or finished basement is a must when really, the percentage of time we’d really benefit from it would be limited. It’s more important to our everyday life to have outdoor space accessible from the living area. In fact, now that I think through our day-to-day, a second bathroom is more important than a third bedroom!
I realize that I’m really focused on our interaction with outdoor space because it’s something our Knoxville house didn’t do well. We had more than an acre of woods and yard but we didn’t use it much because it wasn’t easily accessible from our living area – you either had to go out the front door and around to the fence on the side or out the kitchen door and down a flight of really steep steps. If we left Javi playing out there, we couldn’t see him from the house, so we never did. Poor dude’s playing time was always limited by the adults wanting to go back inside. Conversely, my mom’s house is open plan and he goes in and out all afternoon and evening. Though we can’t see him in every corner of the yard, the blind spots are limited enough that he doesn’t need adult supervision to get to go outside.
All of these are really helpful insights as we approach a whirlwind trip to Seattle to try to buy a house. Given the tight housing market, we’ll likely have a few non-ideal options we’ll have to choose from quickly in the hopes that our bid is accepted. Ugh, I’m getting anxious just thinking about it, so I have to remind myself that this is an opportunity to focus on and maybe get what really matters, not just what we think we want (like a ton of square footage, which we’ve learned we aren’t organized or clean enough to be responsible for).