Last week a friend posted on Facebook that she and her husband just purchased 10+ acres of land to build their dream home on and I am so jealous I can’t see straight. I can’t even talk about it without becoming grouchy. It’s petty, unbecoming and true. I’ve always desperately wanted to buy land and build my own dream home far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is surprising because lately, I have been in the anti-house mode. I complain about wanting to sell our home, move into a condo without the maintenance hassles and being tied to a mortgage. A house continues to mean yard work and monthly bills. Making this mystery even more confusing for me is the fact that the land my friend purchased still needs to be clear-cut for their home. The next year of their life will be filled with blueprints, permits, and contractors. Anyone who has ever watched HGTV knows their budget will be blown within a few months by unforeseen problems and that they won’t be able to accomplish everything they set out to do. You couldn’t pay me to manage that project!
I try to focus on everything I do have. I try to remember the concept of abundance – that if I really want a bunch of land and a brand new home, we can plan and save and buy our own piece of heaven one day. But that positive self-talk bores me, and I find myself on Zillow looking for property. This morning, after another day spent online researching property I can’t afford to buy, I realized I am not jealous of the property at all. I am jealous of their new beginning. With two grown children having recently graduated from high school and now attending college, their talk is now about spending Christmas’s and Memorial Days together with their kids and their future grandkids in that house. The house is the beginning of their new journey. I’m jealous of the tiny two-person team approach. It is just them deciding on the location of the front door, the paint color and the deck overlooking the backyard. In our stepfamily tribe, Don and I are very rarely the sole decision makers. So much of our life together is influenced by our schedule, the kids’ best interests, and one another’s perspective. I wouldn’t change that, but I envy the simplicity of two heads bent over the blueprint concept. I’m jealous of the ordinary story their dream home represents. Two people fall in love, get married, build a life with two great kids, and buy their little piece of heaven. It’s a straightforward, first-family narrative. The “elevator speech” for our family would require at least 12 floors. Our tangled tale twists and turns and includes an endless list of stops in between. I remind myself that I made the choices that put me in the middle of this intricate life. I am grateful my life today weaves together all the people I love. I’m happy here, with my daughter, boyfriend, and step-son, with our house in the suburbs, our pop-up camper and my second start (although I would still be happy in a condo). I wouldn’t trade this path for any other right now. I remember love and marriage and the baby carriage being the full story, but I love my story of starting in the middle, with the step and all our other prefixes, free of the pain of old wounds. I can wait for the promise of our piece of heaven in our own time and wish them the best of luck on their new journey.