Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Priorities of Being a Homeowner

The thing with being a homeowner is that it changes your priorities in life.

Just over two years ago, I moved into my house. I’d lived in apartments before and was ready to have something that was actually mine. It has been a joy having the freedom to do what I want whether it be painting, ripping up a floor and replacing it as well as having a garden fit for dogs and for growing vegetables.

It’s just that this has now become my life. I’m not complaining, trust me. I rather love my life. When I lived in an apartment, it was much easier to find time to go to my parents’ for the weekend or take off and fly to L.A. to visit. Nowadays, it’s not that easy because there’s always something to do at home.

I don’t mind. I’ve actually got to the point where I like mowing. If you read back over the blogs I wrote when I first moved into the house and had to start mowing, you’ll see this is quite a departure. I find it slightly peculiar that I now take a weird sort of pride in making sure my lawn looks tidy and looked after. I like to drive home and see my tidy lawn and how it contrasts with Mr. Enormous Trouser’s unkempt one. I find it therapeutic to pull out the mower and cut the lawn.

I especially like the feeling I have after the grass is cut and I can sit on my patio, drinking a beer and admiring how nice it looks while the pups roll in the clippings. Why the like to roll in the clippings, I do not know. When the grass is dry, it’s not so bad. When it’s wet, it makes a mess. It’s most annoying when I give the girls a bath and they immediately run outside and roll in the grass clippings.

If it’s not mowing, it’s laundry. I have to admit, after years of having to pump quarters into machines, including the college years, I’m still thankful that I have my own washer and dryer and that if I forget my clothes in the washer, there’s no one to dump them out on the floor. Since the pups are afraid of the laundry area due to the fact that I accidentally knocked a laundry basket on the floor, narrowly missing them, I highly doubt they’re likely to dump my clothes out. Also, they have no thumbs. This would make it difficult.

There’s also the small things such as remembering on Wednesdays that Rumpke come the next day so I should have my rubbish out by the curb. This is actually pretty easy to remember because my neighbours remind me by putting out their own rubbish. Also, confession time, the pups and I enjoy our Wednesday evening walks because we’re nosy and it’s quite fun to see the boxes and things by the curb and know who bought a new TV, who has a new baby and who got a new puppy. Yes, we’re nosy. I prefer to think of it as “studying humans” in order to be a more effective writer. Ok, fine…it is nosy and probably a little weird but I think I get it from my grandmother.

It’s nice to have the freedom to decide that I want to have DirecTV without having to find out from a landlord whether I’m allowed a dish or not. It’s nice to have dogs without having to pay a deposit for them. It’s nice to decide that I’m fed up with the window coverings and I can change them without having to worry about storing the old ones to put back up when I move out.

Of course, the flip side to having all this freedom is when you have a period of time where you have termites, your dryer dies and your fridge dies in the same week, it’s expensive. When the air conditioning goes out, it’s my responsibility to get it fixed. I have to be the one who’s there to let repairmen into my house because it’s my responsibility.

It’s an up and down journey that has become my life. I’ve somehow transitioned from someone who will splurge on a pair of Vans shoes to someone who’d rather buy a new side table for my Tuscan room. I price the cost of a new bathroom when I go in Home Depot. I get excited by the Lowes advertisement to see what’s on special.

You get it. I just did. It wasn’t until I was sitting at work thinking of all the things I had to do this evening when I realized that they’re things I have to do because I own my house. I don’t mind one little bit but it occurred to me that my life has become rather quiet and peaceful throughout the years. I don’t go out as much after work because I’d rather come home to the dogs, kick of my shoes and curl up with a good book in the sanctity of my Tuscan room.

I don’t know if this makes me boring or not. It probably does. Yet there’s a strange peace in finding a life where being able to own my own grill and use it is a little bit of a delight and where I can sit out on my patio, surrounded by sunflowers and herbs that I planted and know that this little corner of the world is all mine.

Whether it’s exciting or not is irrelevant. It is exciting to me, even in the quietness of the life I have. I think that’s what really matters. And I think the dogs would agree.

Happy Thursday!

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