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The American Dream?

December 26, 2015

I still have wrapping paper on the floor and legos covering the kitchen table…but I find myself deep in thought about the coming month.  We are selling our piece of the American dream and moving to a much smaller condo.

It is exhilarating. It is terrifying. It is liberating to simplify.

For nearly three years, we’ve lived in a large and spacious home. The kind that I would stare at as a child and imagine happy families and big noisy dinners. I dreamed of smoothly polished wood floors and pink princess bedrooms. Green lawns and bike rides through the neighborhood. Christmas in front of a fireplace. A house to grow up and grow old in.

Our house is beautiful. It is everything I imagined….only I didn’t imagine how much work it would be. I never dreamed it would take so many hours of my life to clean it and care for it. It was supposed to be our happy place. Instead, it felt like a second job.

We took a good hard look at the amount of time we were spending on the house…vs the amount of joy we were receiving. The mowing, the mulching, the cleaning, the snow removal, the everything. It was eating our days and nights as a family.

Sure. We love the house. We also love being able to veg on the couch on a Saturday without imagining how high the grass is growing outside.


We’ve scheduled furnace check ups, hot water heater maintenance, and shoveled snow from the roof and the driveway.

And I can’t help but recall that famous song…”Is that all there is?”

I had distant flashes of memory of the houses that I coveted as a child and young adult. There always seemed to be a landscaping truck or a middle aged couple sprucing up the place…whether in the yard or reflected in the windows. For some, it could be a labor of love. For us…it felt like more labor than love.

I am embarrassed to tell people how many bathrooms we have. It is apparent that we only live in 30% of the space we own. I recall few get togethers without days of cleaning and prep work to make unused space look the way that it should.

We began to talk about buying something smaller.

Do people downsize when they have two small kids? Wasn’t that something you did when everyone grew up and you no longer needed that big home?

It became painfully obvious that we were not using the space. “The house” was some third person entity. Part pride…part burden.

Living should be easier than this.

It took nearly a year to sell it. Now, we have a month to leave it.

I think that I have processed losing the ideal of the home. I grieved it for several months…hoping it wouldn’t sell. Then, I felt myself hoping it would. The universe seemed to be listening. It’s time to start fresh. It’s time to live small. It’s time to move forward.



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