Do you remember a few years back I was crazy enough to buy a new car? My old car was ailing and I could not fathom being without wheels. I’d had leukemia for two years at that point, and didn’t know how long I’d be around, but here I am. I haven’t yet needed to buy the extended warranty but you never know.
You may not be surprised to hear, then, that over the past week, J. and I have been coveting a beautiful house that’s gone up for sale a few blocks from ours. It has been recently and lovingly renovated and has many attractive features. Oh, how I’ve always coveted a kitchen island, and a back door that goes straight out to the deck, and a front veranda.
We’ve been casually looking at homes for sale in the neighbourhood over the past year. We’d never leave the neighbourhood because our stupendous support system is here. Only a few of these homes have sparked our interest. This latest house ticked almost all the right boxes.
I should confess that there is absolutely nothing wrong with our current home. It is on a lovely treed lot with a beautiful fenced yard. It is in good shape and we have maintained it well. But our mortgage-free house would likely sell for less than this new home would cost.
We are so lucky that we have survived comfortably on J.’s income since I stopped working four years ago. We may be able to leave our retirement savings intact for some time even if J. retires from her full-time job, which she plans to do soon. This is not the time to take on a mortgage, however small.
In our discussions, J. actually considered working for a year or two longer so we could afford this house. Then she came to her senses. She’s been so excited about the possibility of retirement that working longer is crazy. J. has worked hard her whole life, and the last two years she has juggled two jobs. I support fully her retiring from her full-time position. She’s earned it.
After putting in an offer on this home, we spent the weekend convincing ourselves of how lovely and perfect our current home is, and how hard it would be to give up. Sure, that other house is gorgeous, but we are happy here and do not need to move. Despite all my attempts to convince myself of our wisdom in staying put, I’ve been feeling very sad about our decision to withdraw our offer. The right decision doesn’t necessarily make me happy.
I don’t dwell often on the impact cancer has had on our lives, including the drop in our income. Cancer or not, we have a great life and are blessed not to be living paycheque to paycheque as so many are. Heck, we are lucky to have food on our table and a newly shingled roof over our heads. By tomorrow, I will put Sadness away and focus on all I am grateful for. Or if not by tomorrow, then by Friday, for sure.
(Sadness exits stage left.)