Of House and Home

I live in a nice house. Not extravagant. Not palatial. But nice and comfortable. I should be thankful, and I am.

Sometimes, I fantasize about living in a smaller house, or returning to that 2-bedroom waterfront apartment we lived in once. Most of the time, this fantasy comes to mind when I’m driving to work on Monday mornings, thinking about all the chores that still need to be finished or house work that should have been done better. The bb gun hole through one pane in the window needs to be repaired. Gotta call the lawn care crew to come out and check on the shrub. I forgot to inventory the 2nd pantry (yes, I have two) for dinner ingredients. Oh, right, a heating element needs replacing…

I don’t remember having so many worries when we lived in that lovely 2-bedroom apartment with the gorgeous view of the lake.

And then, there are those days, after sending Ty to school (you know how much I love our morning routines), I look around my sun-filled house and wish I weren’t in a hurry to leave it and head to an office. There are so many things to do and enjoy here, but no one’s home to do and enjoy them. The piano sits silently in the living room. The Chinese watercolor scrolls in the dining room don’t get the regular admirations they deserve. The guest washroom only gets monthly cleaning because we seldom have guests over. Heck, the guest bedroom still has that new house smell when I occasionally open the door to retrieve something from the closet. There’s a huge yard: front, side and back, and I could only wish there were foot traffic on that grass so I might get a chance to complain about how the lawn got ruined during our last party. There is no party, ever. Ty actually took a picture of the flowers in our backyard and text’d it to me a few weeks ago, because he knows I’m never home to see them.

I’m missing out on my own life, let alone that of my good friends and relatives. And I’m frustrated about it.

Tulips, early spring

Tulips, early spring

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  1. Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    While space is never something I am going to have an issue here in Brooklyn, I know what you mean about time management. The more we try to put on the plate (and I know you well enough to know that you tend to fill up your plate), the less of it we enjoy.

    Been spending a lot of my time and effort trying to figure out what I want to keep spending my time and effort on going forward. I don’t think it will mean more time in the back yard, but I do think it will make the things I end up sacrificing that time for more worth while.

    Sadly, I don’t think the worries are about the space, but where we are in our lives. We are at that point where things only get put on the plate and once on they never really seem to come off.

    Looks like we both have to start learning how to say no and do more of less. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Veronica
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michael. You’re right about space vs. time. Been enjoying the return of your personal blog lately, especially http://michaelschechter.me/wafer-thin-decisions/ . Please keep the posts (and puns) coming. Your blog keeps me sane. :)

      • Posted May 23, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Thanks, I’ve been enjoying being in a productive writing flow again. Wafer Thin came pretty quickly, actually wrote it on my iPhone on the subway :) Glad to see you back at it as well!

  2. Posted May 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Life is a lot like software development: each time you add something, you take something away. When I take on more work, I add to my bank account and take away time with my family and friends. I recently accepted another calling at church and I know it will lead to meeting more people, but it will take away time I used to spend at the gym. It seems as though I should be better skilled at balancing this stuff, but I’m not sure I’m any better than I was when I began my career.

    • Veronica
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Hey Brett – Congrats on your new calling at church! Logically, I know all the give/take/win/lose should all even out over time, but missing somethings/ones for a prolonged period of time makes me frustrated. Time to re-prioritize?

  3. Posted May 23, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    V –
    I have had those thoughts – the ones that make you wonder if work/life balance is just a myth or urban legend that someone created to make us all crazy. There are days when I would simply like to enjoy what I have instead of heading out in the world to create more, help more, do more. Wish I had the answer for that. Unfortunately, the pattern continues. Until we say enough! That’s when we are in control of the here and now of our life and make the choices that fill our hearts. For me, that happens in many ways and at the most unexpected times. I’m sure it’s true for you too. But boy would it be nice to party on your lawn!

    All the best,


    • Veronica
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Hi Rod – Thanks for sharing your experience. Perhaps the key is for me to better identify and appreciate those “unexpected times” you mentioned. When we do throw that backyard party, you’ll definitely be on the guest list!

  4. Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    When we create space in our worlds, we sometimes realize we don’t have the space in our lives. It would be easy for me to simply say “this too, shall pass”… but since I often find myself in a similar frame of mind to yours… I know that it sometimes feels all too permanent. Yet, somehow, it does seem to pass until it returns again. We live lives that we never planned on- hell, I thought my new job working from home would mean more time with my family and more “free time”, yet I’ve been away a lot and too busy when home to realize that I’m working from home most of the time. Still, I keep that little dream of hope alive and smile when I get a picture text from my wife of the baby playing at the zoo while I’m sitting at home working and staring at yet another spreadsheet…

    Enjoy those beautiful flowers and the too-alive grass. You’ll have time to smell the flowers and trod down the grass when you have the time, whenever that may be. The good news is that you know what you are missing and why you are frustrated; as Iggy Pop says in the song “Cry for Love”- “If you’re crying for love, then there’s a still a chance you’ll get it.”

    • Veronica
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Hey Tim! Being an ocean away from your family (including an adorable baby girl) for extended periods of time has to be so hard on you. I should probably quit whining because I get to see mine most nights, even though it’s often just enough time for a quick hello. You’re right; it’s a good sign we’re still thinking about it and wanting more. Thank you for your words. :) Hope the typhoon doesn’t last long this week so you don’t get a bad case of cabin fever.

  5. Geekgiant
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Soooo, seakitten BBQ soon? :)

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