Major decisions seem to daunt me these days. Recently I've struggled with the question of whether or not to try to sell my house, then buy in the downtown neighborhood I obsess over.
I've been through hell and high water of my own making. (There's nothing wrong with my existing house, located 7 miles from downtown on one of the world's largest public rose gardens.) I've made THE DECISION numerous times, only to flip back the next day.
This week I went so far as to call the realtor over to my house so that he could initiate the listing process. He photographed each room, advised me on what needed to happen before the open house this Sunday, and we filled out the paperwork. Before he left he planted the "For Sale" sign firmly in the ground.
That same day, another house, 2 houses down from the one I wanted originally, went on the market. This changed everything. I liked this new house, but it had certain drawbacks, like no garage. But it was cheaper.
The main effect of the new house was that it caused me to lose interest in the original, more expensive house. When I sat down looking at the photos of the new house, I glanced around at the place I already own, with its "For Sale" sign out front, and said to myself, "This is crazy. I'd be selling this house on the park in great condition for this dilapidated old thing downtown with no garage and one measly bathroom."
I called the realtor and told him I didn't know what I'd gotten myself into, but it was wrong. He told me to uproot his "For Sale" sign and bring it to his office. He's letting me off the hook. Again.
Yes, I'm relieved, because getting my house ready to sell was absolutely exhausting. Now that I'm off the hook again, I can attempt to live my life instead of constantly working on the house.
Yet I am nagged by the thought of a pedestrian lifestyle in a bustling neighborhood that could have been. The suburbs don't suit me well. According to studies of the psychology of space (where we live), most Americans don't even realize what they are missing by living in the suburbs. The sense of community created by front porches, sidewalks and neighborhood grocery stores and coffee shops is virtually unknown to many of us.
I grew up with front porches, sidewalks and neighborhood grocery stores. I walked everywhere, even in college, and felt empowered by that. Where I live now, the car is not only mandatory- it rules. Pedestrians, though rare, must yield to the SUV.
Let's hope that my dream of moving is simply being delayed a bit due to the fact that the right house at the right price is not available right now. That's why my resistance was so strong. When the right situation arises, I will carry out the work with ease.
And meanwhile, I will be figuring out what improvements I can make in my life without buying a new house.