Snap, Crackle or Pop?
by Bella Rum
Life is a series of decisions. If we’re teachable, we learn to extrapolate which results in better choices as we go along. Hopefully we get wiser. It’s interesting how some of us make decisions quickly, and some of us labor over our decisions.
I have a friend who can make a decision in the blink of an eye. She is the oldest child of seven. She’s the most decisive person I know. It happens that she’s pretty smart, and most of her decisions end with good results, but not always. More than once, after making the wrong decision, I’ve heard her ask, “Is this the hill I want to die on?” If the answer is yes, she changes her decision and lives with the consequences: more expense, husband’s ire, time wasted correcting the error, etc., etc. If the answer is no, she lets it go and moves forward.
I, on the other hand, get frustrated on the cereal aisle – too many choices. I just want my Rice Krispies®. I’m the youngest of four siblings. No one had much use for my decisions. They were often overridden by an older/wiser person who had already made their share of mistakes and learned from them. This doesn’t give one much confidence. And since the wisdom to make good decisions often comes from making bad decisions… Well, you can see where this is going.
Kids have to screw up if you ever want them to be confident in their decision-making process.
Jump forward. At sixty-four, even though I got off to a late start, I have made enough mistakes to have gained a little wisdom along the way, but lately I find myself questioning that wisdom.
We are looking at houses. I’m painfully ambivalent. Our situation is the opposite of the cereal aisle. Instead of too many choices, we have a dearth of choices. Our realtor wanted us to put our house on the market while we look, but we refused, concerned that we would sell our house and have nowhere to go. I’m certainly glad we did refuse. She has shown us nothing that’s come close to what we’ve been looking for until yesterday. And even then, it was not in our target location. It isn’t her fault. There are very few houses around here that meet our needs. When they come on the market, they go fast.
One of the biggest conflicts arises from the things we love about this area and this yard and even this house. The more May evenings and mornings we spend sitting on the deck, the more we think of staying put. It’s hard to push yourself when you don’t have to and when you aren’t absolutely miserable where you are. That doesn’t change the facts, though. We still need a first floor bedroom and bath, and we don’t need this much house, and we don’t need this much maintenance. So, there we have it. Decisions.
H says we can turn the living and dining room into a bedroom and bath, but that still does not solve the maintenance problem or a house that is ever too large for a
aging maturing couple.
We looked at a house yesterday that was very nice. It needed some changes, but everything was on one floor except for a bonus room. I liked it more than H did, but it was too far away from where I want to live. So we were in agreement, for different reasons, but still in agreement.
A Jazzy (scooter) was sitting in the dining room, and there were a few other signs that an impaired person had lived there. We saw the husband leaving as we arrived. There was no sign of a woman inside (a lot of fishing rods, male clothing, tools but not a scarf, skirt or pretty bottle of lotion in the place) and they had only owned the house four years. There were numerous signs of grandchildren. My guess is that she died or is in long-term care, and he is moving to a condo. Just my own internal story, but I bet I’m right.
I’d like for this move to be the last for either of us. I don’t like to think of either of us having to go through another move without the other. I know that’s out of my control, but I’d like to improve my odds if possible. This made me think more about a condo. H has been open to it, but I’ve been less receptive.
Snap, Crackle or Pop?