It started last summer as an idea: a place to go to relax. No big planning required, just go. Have more quiet. Spend more time with the kids. Regenerate before returning to the madness of our daily lives. Ideas of a cabin by a lake (too buggy) turned into thoughts of a cottage near ocean (perfect!). Before we knew it, we found a house we loved...and yesterday we closed on it. It's ours.
Every step in this process has been illuminating. There were serious conversations about money, of course...but even those blended into discussions of what we want our lives to be about, how we want to live, where we are and want to be going. The craving for more quiet and slowness has predominated those discussions. Oddly, making this huge new purchase got us to think about simplifying: we have cut far back on stuff we were paying for but don't really use much, or value (phone and cable services, stuff we buy, money we spend without thinking about it, stuff in the house we don't use). Eventually, we decided that this house is just right for us and where we are and what we want. And the point, really, was to spend money, time, and energy on what will add value to our lives.
We started out looking for a house to escape to on weekends and occasional weeks. The house we found is one we plan to spend every summer in, from the time the kids get out of school until it's almost time for them (and me) to return to it. Along the way, somehow, this also became a house that we are considering if/when we want to take that next step, to a permanent change to a simpler lifestyle, with less full-time madness.
I am, as always, impatient to know how it will all turn out. But, Howard keeps reminding me to stay in the moment and enjoy what it is, right now.
I think we're going to like this cozy cottage of a house. Rest assured, more pictures to come as we settle into it!