Have you ever stood in the middle of your living room, listening to the shouting neighbors and looking at the heaving floorboards and thought, “Gosh, I HATE living here!!” Maybe even shouted it at the picture frames on the wall, as though they were to blame?
You’re not the only one.
I often hear people lament about where they live. Sometimes it’s got nothing to do with the place they live in and everything to do with the people they live with. But a lot of times it’s about the poor condition of the house, or the unpleasantness of the neighborhood, or the distance from town being too far or not far enough.
As I thought about all these people, I realized something
that, to me, is deeply and personally important. I realized that where we live
is more important than we think.
Where we live affects how we live.
Where we live affects our peace and happiness.
My Home Story
This struck me as I was unwinding one day, sitting back in my favorite recliner with my bare toes covered by a fuzzy blanket. I sat there, surrounded on three sides by walls of windows, and had a panoramic view of our snow-covered acreage. The deck, flower garden, and acres of fields around us were shimmering like diamonds in the sun’s rays, and I couldn’t stop grinning and sighing happily.
This was where I belonged.
This was home.
Our Border Collie sat on the driveway, also looking out at the fresh snow, watching for birds, critters, anything to dart out of the still landscape and amaze him. Each of us sat, watching and waiting for surprises to reveal themselves in the quiet winter scape. It felt like a game of hide-and-seek, and I found myself holding my breath as I waited.
It was the most refreshing piece of my whole week.
And it had everything to do with loving where I lived.
Thirty years ago, however, I would have hated this place. The acres of snow and quiet isolation of country living would have driven me absolutely batty. So, at that time, the place I loved living was an apartment, right in the middle of a bustling neighborhood and close enough to businesses I could see their flashing OPEN signs from my window. The buzz and bustle of people everywhere and all around was comforting and enjoyable to me.
Put me there now though, and I might go a teensy bit insane.
The Timing of Loving Where We Live
Thinking back to my apartment days made me realize something else: our enjoyment of where we live is hugely impacted when we live there. Loving where we live has seasons. There’s a timing to it.
What If I Hate Where I Live?
Sometimes people stay where they are even if they’re miserable. Sometimes it’s because they think there’s no other choice, other times it’s just because the easiest thing to do is the same old thing. It may be miserable, but at least it’s familiar, you know?
If you or someone you know is wishing they could love where they lived, and wishing it really could feel like home, I want to tell you something that took me a lot of years to learn.
Ready? Here it is: you are not a tree. You are not rooted, unable to leave your situation.
If your environment makes you feel like you can’t even enjoy your property or if it feels toxic to you, move! If your house suited you five years ago when you were starting that family, and now you’ve out grown it, you don’t have to stay there. Let yourself change with the season and discover that new home for a new time. One that suits you. One that you can truly love.
And, if you love where you are, plant trees and watch them grow. Enjoy it. Take care of your home, celebrating and even sharing that joyful space with others.
This whole thing about loving where you live is why I got into real estate in the first place. To help people find a place they can love. A place just perfect for them. A place to call home. Because loving where we live is a marvelous gift.
What do you love about where you live?