That Feeling of ‘Home’

home-is-where-the-heart-isI guess looking at houses for rent may seem like a waste of time.

It will be a few weeks until we have our deposits together (probably about $2,500) to be able to look with purpose.  As in the ability to sign on the dotted line when we find what we want.

It’s been some time since I had a space that was truly mine.  I guess the happiest I felt was in my little apartment in Toronto.  It was so small I could almost stretch my arms out and touch the walls on both sides.  But I made it mine and I made it beautiful.  It was a pretty hip set up and I had my balcony professional pigeon netted, to create a nice escape.  Chairs, herbs, cherry tomatoes.  In a high rise of club going single people, you could tell who the extro-intravert was.

I didn’t have the money to do much more than pay rent and buy groceries.  (Sometimes with the groceries).  I learned to live lean, forgoing my cable television channels for internet.  I didn’t much like tv anyhow so I didn’t suffer too much.  And I had an online community I was actively a part of, and that filled the social component.

And sometimes I dated.  Okay, I went on a lot of coffee dates and sometimes I dated for longer than that.  I had a lot to learn about men and about myself.  I did the field work.

When I moved out of my apartment and into Terri’s house, I moved into the basement and smack dab into their marital and financial problems.  Yay.  That place never felt comfortable.  How could it be with all the screaming, yelling, fighting, slamming doors and desperate calls (followed by verbal abuse) to credit card application centers.  My shoulders were constantly up around my ears in the house.  Worst mistake I made in a long long time.

The two transitional rentals in Windsor were a choice to put myself somewhere affordable (as I was 100% subcontract employed for the first time in my life).  It also placed me within 30 minutes of the Detroit Airport for domestic flight savings.  I haz… smart.

But those two properties were the homes of other people (again) and subject to the problems of the owners that lived there.  The marital issues, the relationship problems, the financial issues and the emotional volatility of people with problems.  Everyone has problems (myself included) but when you are living in someone’s house you become a sponge for their problems.  It’s really hard to isolate yourself from the volatility.

After Kevin sold his house, he had 30 days short closing to find somewhere to live.  He found a semi-detached (they call them ‘duplex’ in the USA).  One bathroom, two bedrooms and the rest is tiny but appointed and suitable for a single person.  Not for two adults, twins boys and two pooches.  It’s too small.

I’ve made some arrangements and pending a few administrative things, we should have our deposit together shortly.  And I can’t wait.

I want my space again.


… restore myself and my feeling of security.

I gave away so much of my cool stuff during the transitional period. Stuff I loved (just to be clear).  I didn’t have a lot of options moving out of Scary Terri’s house.  I just wanted to get as far away from those two miserable people as I could and as quickly as possible.

I want ‘stuff’ again.  Fancy lamps.  A linen closet where I can color block and fold my towels neatly.  I want a bigger kitchen that fits the cool appliances I did manage to keep with me.

Still frugalista, by no means do I intend to do anything foolish like go on a mass spending spree.  But I’d like to have a garage again so that I can sand little occasional tables and do cool crackle finishes, upcycling my finds into hip furniture full of character.  I’m kind of good at interior stuff and nothing matches… but it always ends up looking great.

When I put in the time and hours I do, that’s one of my happy thoughts.  I am going to get to decorate and make a space mine.   Express myself creatively and design something that feels like “us” as soon as you walk into the door.

And so on mornings like this, after we made a mess (and cleaned up) making banana bread with the twins.  After my coffee I sit and look at pretty pictures of possible rentals and I smile.  The next step to helping me feel settled is a space that I can create for our family.

Did I mention I am going to be debt free (minus the car) in March? That hard thing I did aggressively doubling up on payments has paid off.   Learning to live tight?  Those tools stay with you and make pretty amazing things happen.  I am proud of that personal ‘comeback”.   I want to get myself back on track as though… I never got divorced.  That big blow to my finances and emotions.  I healed what I could that didn’t start with a dollar sign.  And now… it’s time to fix the rest.

A bakers rack, wicker baskets, new towels… room for my espresso machine.  My own tomato plants this spring (seriously excited about the small shit that I am sure mean less to other people than they do to me).  A patio set.  A BBQ.

It’s never about what other people have vs. what we have.  It’s only about what I USED to have… and want to get back.  Then I will feel like I am back on my feet again, and exactly where I am supposed to be before life tested my adaptive skills.

And I want to cook/burn dinner for new friends again.  I missed entertaining while hiding in the basements of unhappy people since 2010.  My peace is a place that feels loving, and positive and like us… and I can’t wait for the settled feeling that comes with that.  It’s been too long.

Something that is ordered, pretty … and kind.  And the things that used to hold me back?  They still hurt… but I am learning to shake off the past.  It has no bearing on my future, and I can’t change a single decision I made that was … made with my heart and not my head.

I’m very focused on winning in the present.  For a husband and two little men, and two very incorrigible mutts.