Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Have House Envy


Uh Oh.  This can't be good.  I've been working on being happy with what I have - you know, developing some contentment and all.  But last night, we visited our good friends at their new home for dinner.  Oh, such a lovely evening.  And such a lovely house.  It's a victorian (as is ours - but theirs is nicer) and has these gleaming floors, beautifully painted walls, and nooks and crannies everywhere (what I love about these old houses).

So what's wrong?  Well... I have house envy all over again.  I get it around September and December - times of new beginnings.  I made it through Dec. with just slight pangs of wanting a farm, wanting to be out west, wanting something new.  I thought I was turning a new leaf with how easy I came through the month, and hadn't even looked at Realtor-dot-com once!

You may recall we were looking to sell our home.  We worked very hard to get the house ready for realtors a few months ago.  Everything looked amazing: clean, neat and sparkling. Then we heard how little our house was worth, and decided to wait for the spring market to see what that would bring.  After that, we found Dave Ramsey (See Saturday's post), and discovered that it's not our house that is causing our financial woes, but all our credit cards.  So we may just decide to stay here - the house just won't bring enough to warrant buying another in this expensive town.  The median house price is around $500K here.  Hmph.

So what does one do with house envy?

I turned to a great book with a ridiculous title - 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zen Living'.


We bought this book for our 14 yo son for Christmas this year.  He has been quite interested in Buddhism and we thought it would be an easy introduction for him.  Turns out, it's a pretty good intro for me as well.  What I read calmed me down from my pining for a new home.  The passage talked about the fact that in Buddhism, a messy house is NOT the sign of a messy mind... it just IS.  This means that just because my house is not quite right, that doesn't mean I'm not quite right with the world - it only means my house may be cluttered, even dirty at times.  It means dishes pile up during the day waiting for the evening clean-up.  It means laundry gets done when it gets done.  It means the landscaping will eventually measure up to what I have planned for it, even if that takes a few more years.  It means digging in a little deeper and finding what comforts and rescues us in this home.  Why do we turn to our abode when needing a little extra warmth and kindness?  What is it here that welcomes us to let down our guard yet again?

Good questions.  Do you ever get house envy?  What gives you comfort and love at your home?  What is it about your home that speaks to you - beyond being full of your things?  Do you have a particular connection with something in your home that brings you a feeling of centeredness?

4 comments:

Dogwood said...

Looks like a good book.

And, yes I do get "house envy" a lot! Restlessness gets me when I see great and unusual houses in both San Francisco and Grass Valley. The funny thing is that I really love both places and feel comfy, cozy and content.

SF~great view out of the windows of Potrero Hill. Love the twinkling lights at night. The sun setting on the hillside.

GV~great view of mountains with lots of trees to look at. Feels like living in a tree house.

So "acceptance" is my word for the year.

Dogwood said...

I keep forgetting to thank you for the nice ceramic token that you sent with your ATC. I really like it.

Barbara Bechtel said...

I have goldfish living in my pool. I have house envy. one thing at a time is what i keep repeating to myself.

goldenbird said...

Your friend's Victorian house is so beautiful. It's amazing. I don't so much get house envy as I get a longing to live in a little cottage on acres and acres of land. I've never found my dream house, except in my imagination.

I had a strong connection to the last apartment I lived in because of the bright sunny kitchen and gorgeous view of the mountains. That was the first time I felt such a connection with my home and had a hard time leaving. I still miss it.