We’ve been in our new home for almost two weeks now and it’s starting to feel less like a holiday and more like everyday life.
The realities of this 130-year-old house have become apparent, like the drafts that seem to pour from every window and the wonky floors. But also the hidden treasures, too.
Like the huge windows that let in the morning sun and the lush garden that can be seen from every window in the house.
It’s definitely not a house lacking personality.
The hard things, like the lack of central heating, make me thankful for all of the modern conveniences that I’d usually take for granted.
Feeling the frozen air on your skin of a morning is only enjoyable when it’s your very own home – a place you’ve chosen to inhabit. I don’t think I’d be so excited about it if it was an Airbnb holiday rental.
We chose this rickety old house, in this old Gold Rush city because we wanted to do something different.
Different, to us, is stepping off the ever-accelerating treadmill of city living, and saying no to the stress of huge debt.
Debt, that in Melbourne means you will shell out at least one million dollars for a non-descript house in a non-descript suburb. (You don’t even want to know how much a house costs in one of the suburbs you actually want to live in). Courtney Barnett didn’t call it Depreston for nothing.
Moving out of a city I love might be a compromise, but it’s a compromise I’d make any day of the week.
Less debt equals less stress and more quality time as a family.
One of my, and our collective family values is to value experiences over stuff. Getting mortgaged to the eyeballs in one of the most expensive cities in the world just didn’t make any sense.
Getting a small mortgage in a smaller (but equally as beautiful) city, did. It means more travel, more time together and more of the things we value. Like a walking lifestyle, nature and a more simple life. It’s a no brainier.
It feels like the best decision we’ve ever made, and although the leap was nail-biting, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Being clear on my (and our) values and the kind of life we want has been what has made this choice possible. Doing that kind of work is the hard part, not the decision that comes afterward – that feels easy.
If I hadn’t done it myself I’d still be waving my arms around in the dark hoping to grab onto something of meaning, and most likely coming out empty.
So here I am, on the other side of a huge decision feeling pretty damn good. I haven’t felt this way in a long time and I’m astounded by how well you can adapt to change when that change is exactly the right fit.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s still freezing…
I don’t pretend to like the drafts, but they’re our drafts, which makes them a bit more tolerable for the moment.
For now, at least, this is all feeling like a nice – slightly chilly – dream. But who knows what’s in store. It’s only two weeks down and a lifetime to go.
For someone who gets bored easily, it’s going to be an interesting ride.
I’m just going to hold on and enjoy it.