Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Being a Homeowner

There's something very empowering about being a homeowner. Something that is hard to describe. I am unsure whether it is the accomplishment of what is so frequently seen as the American dream, or the sense of owning, and therefore being in control of, your own space, or whether it is just being home. We so cherish the idea of having a home- it is, after all, where our hearts are. Whatever it is, I love it.

I was recently talking to a co-worker about being a homeowner and how it has changed my weekends. By this time last year, I'd been out paddling a number of times, hiking, climbing, weekend trips- you name it. People at my last job told me that they looked forward to Mondays to hear about what I had done over the weekend. Now my weekends involve scraping, caulking, painting, mowing, sanding. It's not nearly as glorious, and yet it's still so satisfying.

My kitchen in my apartment was beautiful. Ceramic tiles, new cabinets with shiny knobs. Bright, clean, nicely painted. Here I have the floor that never cleans, no matter how many times you mop it. The walls are half plastic sheets and half bare from our wall paper removal. The appliances are old. The windows should probably be replaced. But it's still my kitchen. Every day I come home to my house.

When I was in an apartment I was very strict about the heat. No heat before November and no heat after April. Do you know I've turned the heat on probably 3 times this May? Because I can. Because it is my house. For some reason it is less of a worry. If I can pay this mortgage, I can pay an extra $50 in heating bills.

I worry a little bit less. It is my home, and if something were to happen, the consequences would be unimaginable, but I worry less. Because it is mine. I answer to myself. And there is something comforting in that. I have so much cleaning to do tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after. I have to clean my house. Not my apartment that my landlord might see. My house. And I love it.

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