Saturday, April 30, 2011

once upon a time. (a modern fairytale).

i should be sleeping.  the hours logged getting shut-eye are few and far between these days and, to be quite honest, a failure to take advantage of the same is just poor planning on my part, but, as luck would have it, baby is sleeping and i'm awake.  so.... i will overshare on this, my very public journal of my most private thoughts.

good news! we are officially homeowners.  as of sometime in the late afternoon of thursday, april 28, we own our very first home.  the closing was actually pretty anti-climatic as big events go.  a lot of signing our john hancock/fuegers on a bunch of meticulously prepared documents, a few seals of a notary stamp, a handshake... and the keys were ours.  i might have cried, except that the whole shebang took place in the board room at my office, and the key players were people i work with professionally... so tears would have been a faux-pas if there ever were one.

after all the i's were dotted and the t's crossed, we headed downstairs for a celebratory cocktail with some friends. (yes indeed, i am fortunate enough to work at a firm in the same building as a restaurant/bar.  and yes, i do believe good, bad and ugly moments should be celebrated or commiserated over a draft of blue moon.)  and then... we headed over to the new place.  we had packed a picnic pizza, some miller lite and jack's bathtime necessities for our first night in our new house.  we spent the first few moments walking through the empty rooms, calling to each other to come see this nook and that cranny that we'd forgotten about since our initial tour and home inspection.  we excitedly made furniture placement plans, and there was some very casual talk about future parties and bbq's to be hosted.  and then we laid jack's quilt on the floor, opened the box of now cold little caesar's pizza, cracked open a celebratory miller lite and enjoyed a brief moment of celebration of home ownership.

i very cheesily said to john, "i'll probably always remember this night."  and i probably always will.  i thought back to so many moments of frustration over being a renter and living in places with appliances or lay-outs that just weren't quite right.  i remembered painstaking discussions about saving every penny so we could afford to start the house hunt that would lead to our "dream house."  and somehow, as i bit into crappy pizza and sipped on cheap beer, it seemed to all have been worth it.  the satisfaction of having finally accomplished this purchase was worth all the stress, worry and anxiety that we've dealt with over the past few years.  we wanted a place to put our shoes, hang our coats, and call our own.  and now we have that.

it's not that remarkable.  people buy houses every single day.  realtors show homes to hopeful couples so frequently it's not anything to write home about.  this post is nothing short of completely ordinary.  except to me, it means validation for long hours spent studying in a library or drafting briefs or waiting for john to get home from a job he didn't necessarily love but took to better our future.  i made silly faces at jack and smiled ruefully at my husband, and i thought  this is what life is all about.

many a time, i've opened a pottery barn catalog and wished that i lived in the homes depicted in the pictures.  i've longed to open the door to a home with perfectly coordinated decor and cozy, inviting accessories that grace the pages of better homes and gardens.  but on thursday night, sitting cross legged on the hardwood floor of my  living room, i felt content.

so many times i spend moments wishing for something better, hoping that my life will read more like a fairytale than reality, thinking, "but i'm working so hard.  i deserve this."  i'm driven by this need for perfection, for something more or greater.  but on thursday, it was enough.  i felt content.  i felt a calm wash over me, and i felt... at peace.  at home.  for a few brief hours, i didn't think about what i wanted to do to the space i now own.  i stopped worrying about the million projects i want to complete over the years as we turn this house into our family's home.  i didn't even spend one minute wishing that the kitchen walls were some other color.  i just kept looking at my husband and my son, thinking this is enough.  this is all i need.  this is all i want.

i expected that when i woke this morning, the familiar sense of oh-god-now-we-have-to-tackle-this-that-and-the-other would come flooding back.  i expected to be overwhelmed with the feeling that i needed to put pen to paper and compose a long to-do list.  i figured i'd start worrying about which purchases to make and which home improvement stores to visit.  instead, i still feel the same sense of peace and calm.  i'm right where i need to be.  somewhere between working so hard to get there and being there, i've arrived.  i am who i want to be and i am here.

maybe the same old feelings will return.  maybe tomorrow or next week or next month.  maybe this is just a brief respite from my usual approach, but for the time being, i am content.  and that, my friends, is worth a post in and of itself...

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