I will be turning 38 pretty soon. Today, as I walked from DD’s preschool through the cold, quietness of campus housing to the local coffee shop, I considered for the umpteenth time that I am pretty much 40 and where am I?
What really bothers me the most is I have so much to be thankful for, and yet it seems to get pushed aside by something that I think is a result of consumerism. I think it has pervaded my life to the point where I can’t even see the real value in things. It makes me angry, and frustrated at the same time.
When I think about where I am, my first thought is always that I don’t own a home. By this age I really figured I’d own my own home, a nice home, that I decorated and painted and filled with nice furniture and matching plates. And I’m wondering why this is so important to me. I’ve spent the better part of the last decade dreaming about home renovating and decorating. It’s not so much about fulfilling my artistic side, since frankly, I don’t really have one. I believe it’s more about wanting a house that is also a home. A place with personal touches that say “this is me“. About making my mark on a place. But, it’s hard not to blame shows like Trading Spaces, and it’s predecessor “Home Time”, and all that Learning Channel stuff that brought home renovating to its current level of obsession in our culture.
We rent. I find that embarassing. I should be embarassed about finding it embarassing. The fact is, we have a nice place. We live in a great neighbourhood, a relatively expensive neighbourhood. Our place is nice, it’s big, it has all the things one would want – a large kitchen, insuite washer/dryer, and two full bathrooms. I really, really like our apartment. But it’s not ours. So the walls remain off-white and pretty much bare, and our furniture doesn’t really match. And in my mind I have redecorated every room in this apartment over and over again until I practically have the Home Depot shopping list memorized.
But as every renter knows, there is no point in putting money into any decorating or renovating because it’s not your place and it’s money wasted. Especially if you consider that we don’t stay in one place very long (I mean, I suppose if I thought I would live here for years it might be worth at least painting). And every month we pay our rent into some guy’s pocket, making an investment pay off for him, not us. Our money is going to some other guy, instead of back to ourselves.
I have two amazing kids. They are both healthy. My husband is healthy (okay, he’s a bit fat, but otherwise healthy). He is a wonderful partner. An amazing father. THESE are the things in life that matter. These are my blessings, my incredible blessings. These are something to be thankful for, to be proud of accomplishing.
And yet, all I can focus on is the fact that I am almost 40 and I pay rent instead of a mortgage. What is wrong with this picture?