Why Bother Staying Put?
Thirty years ago, when we first moved into our present home, if one were to describe my level of satisfaction with it, the word content would not have been used in the description. Instead, I hung on my husband’s words when he assured me, “We will live here for five years and then sell it and move on.” But, we never sold, we never moved and instead, grew content with staying.
We Stayed and Contentment Came
We drove by the house more than once before buying it. It was a little old farmhouse on a large lot, and at the time, on the edge of town. We knew the people wanted to sell the house without a realtor and it took them days to finally show us the inside. I remember the feeling I had when we toured it for the first time: it was less than satisfying. The small kitchen had green linoleum and white metal cabinets. The living room, dark brown carpet. In the one bathroom sat a pink toilet and tub. There was one bedroom with a closet and I wondered where our sons would sleep. We ascended the squeaky wooden stairs to an open dormitory space where you could only stand upright if you stood in the middle of the room.
I had always imagined the house I would like to live in and this was not it. Yet we were desperate for a home of our own. Deciding to relocate into town after living in the country where cars were swallowed whole by springtime mud, we recently sold our house. We were temporarily living with friends. My pregnant state did not make me a patient wife and my husband, anxious to see me happy again, assured me that although the house was small, it would not be our forever after home. We purchased the little house on the big lot.
I remember the day we moved in. The snow fell wet and steady. Putting things away in the kitchen, the drawers squeeked every time I slid them open. Going to bed that night, I woke to car lights shining in the window. I told myself I could make this house our home until we sold it and moved on. But we never seemed to move on.
Instead, that first spring, our fourth son was born and rather than grass, tansy and thistle grew in the large yard. The roof of the old chicken shed collapsed and my husband noted the garage with a dirt floor listed to one side. He made plans to build a new one.
The following spring, the boys made a fort in the big tree by the barn, and played football in the yard that now had more grass than tansy. The new garage was complete and my husband added on to the kitchen, tore out the metal cabinets and pulled up the green linoleum. Each year, our little house on the big lot improved.
Remembering that this was not our forever after house, one spring a realtor walked our property and we discussed selling and subdividing options with him. He told us we should stay. It was a great piece of property to raise a family on. Another year, we took a road trip, just to see if we could find something better somewhere else; a larger home in a climate where it didn’t snow so much. Instead, we came back and made more improvements on our little house on the big lot.
Now, after so many years and so many improvements, this little old farm house on the large lot has become our forever after home.
Why bother staying put? Sticking around somewhere long enough is worth it. You just might find your contentment was there all along.