parking garage lessons.

I’m lucky enough to work downtown and have a paid parking spot in my office. Crazy huh?! Don’t ask me how THAT happened! Every day the parking garage management team posts a saying/phrase to read when you enter/exit the garage. It’s a nice touch. Today, the sign read the following:

Be grateful for what you have – while you work towards what you want.

This feels so relevant to my life right now. I’m getting antsy to be in a bigger living space and own a house. I’m constantly looking on Redfin to check out the homes that are just out of my reach. It’s torture. I’m not looking for anything huge or fancy. A small, old, 2-bedroom, single family home with a cute yard, large kitchen and ample storage space would be perfect. Oh, the meals I could make with a bigger kitchen. The plants I would grow in a yard. And the sleep I would get without the noise that accompanies apartment living.  <<Insert a gigantic sigh here.>>

The truth is we are just not in a position to buy a home right now – it doesn’t matter how bad I want it. We aren’t. And even more disappointing, it may be a few years before we are. It’s not that I’m unhappy with where we are at. I want to be clear: I AM HAPPY. But there is an annoying part of me who wants to move up, evolve, improve…progress. And it’s that part of me that is struggling.

On the flip side, there is a youthful part of me (let’s call her Kindy-Mindy) that is relieved not to be tied to a mortgage in this economic climate. I’m not looking at how my home has devalued and I’m not stressing about foreclosures or unemployment. Kindy-Mindy reminds me that I’m only 28 – and that owning a home is for grown-ups. Kindy-Mindy still sleeps in until 11am on weekends and has been known to throw up from drinking too much. Home owners have to be responsible and wake up early on weekends to mow the lawn. Kindy-Mindy tells me that if I owned a home, Thailand for 17 days would have been completely out of the question.  Kindy-Mindy says I have my whole life to own a house.

On the other hand, I tend to be a tad ambitious. A Driven-Debbie if you will. Ambition is an interesting characteristic to have. It has both good and bad implications. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Debbie. I’ve always been driven. Always. For the most part, I think my ambition has served me well. On the other hand, it’s a slippery slope. I’m terrified I’m going to turn into one of those unhappy people who are never satisfied with what they have and are always longing for more. You know the type. It seems like a miserable existence – empty and discontented.

The bottom line is that I need to keep reminding myself that we ARE progressing. Buying a house is only one small piece of the puzzle. Perhaps I can pacify Debbie with a different goal?  Maybe I’m feeling this way because I’ve been in this particular apartment for so long. Maybe I just need a change of scenery. Regardless, I will try to be thankful for what I have now. And live in the moment a little bit more.  And remind myself that I already have everything I need.  Thanks parking garage management team!

(Also, I think I should start hanging out more often with this Kindy-Mindy character. She sounds like one cool chick!)

4 Responses to “parking garage lessons.”

  1. 1 Jenna
    February 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    It’s funny you post this because I’ve had TWO seperate conversations about this topic with two different people in the last two days. One thing I remind myself of everytime I get a little bit of the ‘Aw, if I could just have this or get to that point or have $XXX I think it would be better/awesome/relieving…’ is that it’s not accurate to compare yourself to others. It’s best to compare yourself to who you were a year, two years, ten years ago. If you are in a better place financially, spiritually, emotionally, and/or physically than you were last year then you are certainly on a good path. You will get there…and yes, no more sleeping in when there are lawns to be mowed. But if you are like me then lawn mowing is your FAVORITE part about summer!! YES! I’m serious!

  2. 3 kam2004
    February 17, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Kindy-Mindy is a good time! I should know… I experienced 4 awesome years of college with her 😉 What’s my younger alter-ego? Kara-Wara? I like it.

    Tell Debbie that when it comes to growing up we take one step at a time.


  3. February 19, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    You know what this post kind of reminds me of? (in a ‘hope you can follow this logic’ kind of way) My friend was actually so concerned about her forgetfulness that she asked her doctor about what the onset of Alzheimer’s looks like. His reply was, “If you’re worried about it you don’t have it.” My interpretation was that you have to be pretty self-aware to be concerned. That’s what your musings are like; you are so self-aware of the pros and cons of ambition, and life stages, that you can rest assured you are okay. The trick is to be ready to walk through it when the door of opportunity opens, which I know you will be. One major life event at a time is enough drama anyway! 🙂

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