How does one measure a life?
The job you have? The car(s) you drive? The school you went to? The followers you have on Instagram? How much you have in your bank account? Your refrigerator? Your closet?
Is it the house you live in?
I don't really know the answer to this question.
I thought I did. I thought that fulfilling a dream, checking off those shimmery boxes on the glitter page of life, meant I had arrived. And then the universe showed me how wrong I was.
A life is not meant to be measured.
It is meant to be cherished, loved, lived, felt, touched, tasted.... EXPERIENCED.
It is not meant to languish in places that keep you stagnant. It is not meant to be owned. It is not meant to be weighed down by the sheer magnitude of THINGS.
We've felt this weight in our house the last few years. Encumbered by all the things that don't show up in the dream part of building a "Dream Home". The cost of some dreams, both financial and emotional, can sometimes be just too much. We envisioned this house as our "forever home". That was before our forever was interrupted. Before we could truly appreciate what "forever" means.
In February of this year, while looking at the magical mountains of Kauai, out the window of a tiny condo, 5200 kilometres from our home, over the phone with our real estate agent, we bought a new house.
(No, not in Kauai! Although that dream is still very much alive!)
We bought a 1200 square foot, 60 year old bungalow, close to our neighbourhood park and the kid's school. It was perfect and I knew it even before we Face-timed a showing with our agent.
We took possession in April.
We called our contractor in May.
We got the permits approved in July.
And excavation for the renovation/addition starts this week.
We've realized a few things this fourth time around. (Yes, you read that right.)
- Size doesn't matter. Thoughtful design does.
- More (square footage/lawn/length of a kitchen island) doesn't mean better. **This concept applies to many things in life and we are all trying to embrace it.**
- We like to design and build houses.
- HOUZZ is my best friend. Sorry to all other besties - you will get me back in 10 months or so.
I am not going to say that this house is IT. That this one will be our forever home. I can't. I don't know what the universe will offer up next, and I am accepting the notion that home is not the four walls around me. It is the four souls that I share space with in this world (yes, Willow counts).
As far as I am concerned, the biggest lesson I have learned in the past two years is:
Life can not be measured by WHAT you have. If it has to be measured at all, it must be by HOW you live.
And so here we are, changing the way we live.
To reflect the kind of life we want.