For the third time in as many years, there’s a new housing development being built right outside my neighborhood.
I live in the sticks, so there’s plenty of land.
I hate to see the decimation of the lovely farmlands. I cringe as I watch the hundreds of trees turn to mulch as they feed them through the tree-eating machines. I hate the ugliness of the construction. I miss the fields and the cows and the wild turkeys.
Sure, 16 years ago my giant neighborhood replaced acres of gorgeous woods and meadows, but that’s different.
My neighborhood is necessary.
This new development is different, though, and maybe even worse than the others.
It’s on the golf course.
And by “on the golf course” I mean that it now blocks the view we in the necessary neighborhood had of the lovely golf course as we’d drive home.
Now, instead of seeing the impossibly green fairways and colorfully dressed golfers happily enjoying life during the summer, and the patchwork quilt of oranges, reds and golds of the perfectly manicured trees in the fall, we have a never ending white plastic-looking fence and cookie-cutter town-homes spaced about two feet apart from each other blocking everything but the tippy tops of the trees—the trees I’ve marked the passing of the seasons with on every drive in and out of my neighborhood for the past 15 years.
I’ve been infuriated about this for months, and when the model home opened up a couple of weeks ago decided to pay a little visit so I had more ammunition to add to my arsenal of complaints and general displeasure, all of which are usually aimed at my husband, because obviously.
I wanna move.
Not away from the demolition and destruction of the sprawling, open farmlands that I lovingly like to moan and groan about when they’re not being demolished and destructed.
I wanna move there.
One surgically-bootied foot inside the door and all gripes about the horror of what these money-hungry opportunists were doing to my golf course view was forgotten.
The house was adorable.
The house was open.
The house was fresh and light and contemporary.
The house was clean.
Decorated completely in cool grays, silvers, and whites, everything about it was perfection. Sure, it’s smaller than my house, but with one kid out the door and the other with one foot out (practically) I’m obsessed with downsizing (i.e., throwing out 23 years of accumulated crap and starting over). Everything from the light fixtures in the kitchen to the whimsical bird canvas in the laundry room (which was off the master bedroom closet, which is a BRILLIANT idea) to the antique-but-probably-purchased-at-Hobby-Lobby cabinet of cubbies down in the basement bar was drool-worthy. The decor, the layout, the view of the damn golf course out the walls of back windows—I left there with more than a feeling of envy; I left there with a visceral feeling of wanting change.
I love my home. I love the color scheme (think brown, taupe, and herby green…and then repeat about 10 times). I love the memories we’ve made here over the past 15 years. I love the framed photographs lining every surface and the stories that every scratch in the wood floor tells (mostly). I love the stability this home has given my children, since as a child I moved around more times than I can count and never experienced that in my life.
Not unlike many of you, seeing a fresh, new home is always something that fuels both inspiration and depression in me. And I know that model homes are just that: models. No matter which definition of the word you’re talking about, one thing is for certain: they’re unattainable perfection. Where are the stacks of mail? Where are the piles of shoes by the mudroom door? Where are the sticky notes reminding me to give the cat insulin or pick up the dry cleaning? Where’s the glass of water on the nightstand or the piles of dirty clothes on the closet floor? But the clean, perfectly put together rooms that you’d never be able to replicate no matter how much money you could spend on a designer can make you feel like shit about your own house, no matter how much you know that what you’re feeling inadequate about is not reality.
But back to the model home.
The one I hate and love.
The one I want to move into.
The one that I realize is just a metaphor for what I’m craving in my life: change.
You guys, I don’t play golf. I don’t like golf. I don’t ever, ever want to live where I can see anything related to golf out every back window in my home. I don’t want to ever live in a home where I can not only see the grains in the wood of my next door neighbor’s house out my side window but could literally touch them if I reached my hand out. I don’t want to be surrounded by gray walls in every room of my entire house, no matter how cool and refreshing they are.
But I do want change.
Is it a mid-life crisis?
Despite the fact that I’ll be *whispers* 47 this month, no. (Besides, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m probably well passed mid life.)
Is it boredom? Maybe. Living in the same house with the same furniture and the same damn colors for 15 years can get old, stability for my children be damned.
Is it “the grass is always greener” syndrome, rearing its ugly head as it does for all of us when we let our “be happy in this moment” guard down? Sure, a little bit. But like I said, I’m not wishing for bigger and better … just different.
And that’s the answer, I think.
I want something different.
I feel stagnant.
Let’s face it, I’ve been with the same man since I was 18-years-old, had more or less the same hairstyle for just as long, vacation in many of the same locales, shop at the same stores, and will happily watch When Harry Met Sally—for the 59th time—any time I come across it on cable. And while I hope to God I’m with that same man for another 29 years, go into panic mode whenever I get more than 2″ of hair cut off, will never complain about a vacation—no matter where it’s to, won’t be disappointed if I die in a Target, and will never not love WHMS, I’m ready to shake things up a bit.
Does that mean moving to a fresh new house with less bathrooms to clean? Not in the next four or five years, which I’m actually fine with because it will take easily that long to get this house cleaned out and up enough to sell.
Paint a room gray and accent with silver and white? Please. Don’t make the brown and green everything in my house laugh for a week at the very thought.
New shoes in a sassy color? As much as I love to use shoes as therapy, I’d probably just end up with black. Again.
I’m not entirely sure what the answer is or if I’ll even find one in the near future.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t start looking.
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