I live in the home my former husband and I bought together two decades ago in which to raise our children. We renovated it pretty much top to bottom, inside and out. It’s a beautiful home in a great location, and now it belongs solely to me. I realize what a great thing this is, and I am appreciative of this home every single day.
What I don’t love is having all the responsibility that comes with home ownership, especially as I get older. When we were in our 30’s, it was fun to renovate and paint and repair. It was wonderful to have the funds to make changes that individualized our home. We made lots of great memories under this roof. Now, in my 50’s, taking care of all the little things that go wrong and keeping things in good working order is wearing on me.
This is the time in life so many people start to think about downsizing. Their kids, like my older child, have left for college or started their own families. The larger homes we wanted for birthday parties and the yards we wanted for our dogs are starting to become tiresome to care for. People in midlife start to think about the things that really matter and what they want to do with the second half of life, and I can tell you that in my case, I really don’t want to continue caring for a house I bought with a man I’m no longer married to and now have all the responsibility for. (I’m writing this after forking over a huge chunk of change to a plumber, by the way.)
Am I whining? Yeah, a little bit. Why don’t you just sell your house and move, you ask? Well, at some point in the next few years, I probably will. My son will be a disabled adult at that point and will probably want to live in a group home with peers and hopefully, hold a job. I will be fully employed. My current partner and I will need to re-evaluate our housing situation and choices will need to be made.
It’s both exciting and sad to be thinking about this. I’ve learned that the best laid plans can go awry, and I’m also a worrier and always feel like a plan provides me with some sort of inner peace and security.
Midlife is such a weird time.