A house I used to live in was recently torn down and replaced by something much more beautiful. It's big and white, with windows and a porch. It has a farm-house vibe in the heart of our favorite neighborhood. It's dreamy.
As I drove by one night, all the lights were on and it looked like it was glowing. I saw the family moving about inside; the owners are younger than me. I thought about the joy they must have felt when they moved in with their new baby, an urban family's dream coming true.
I rounded the corner to my rental, just up the hill, and I felt jealous.
I found myself dreaming of having that home for myself. Of having a little Saxon babe to put to bed in a brand new room, smelling of fresh paint. I thought about the way the kitchen was probably still packed with boxes. I wondered if they were eating pizza on the floor while making a plan for organizing their new space. All the while, of course, picturing myself doing the same, calculating how (if?) I could ever make it happen.
I laid in bed that night, listening to the sounds of our friends in the duplex upstairs. Their boots struck the bedroom floor above me, revealing exactly where they were in the house. I listened to Chris' steady breathing; he's always asleep before me. I thought about that cute couple down the street in their big, new house.
But this time, as I took in the simple, easy sounds of our rental, I didn't feel jealous. I felt an overwhelming ease wash over me by the simplicity of our life and space.
Sometimes I find myself yearning for more glitz: a new house, a big vacation, boutique workout classes. Sometimes I troll Pinterest, drooling over all white homes and trips to Croatia. Sometimes, especially today, on Black Friday, I want to buy everything on the internet.
I'm more than aware that, to some, our current lifestyle is extravagant. To others, we're living super simply. The key is finding the sweet spot. The one that's right for us.
For me, it has been about learning to let go of comparison, knowing that it only makes me want more (trips! clothes! dates!). It has been about practicing gratitude and learning to appreciate the things that give me life - the natural light the pours into our house each morning, coffee dates and outside adventures. It has been about learning to love cooking at home for one another, but appreciating every minute of a date night.
I imagine this will always be a balancing act. Someday, we may have a little bit more (a home we own, perhaps?). I hope that, even as our life changes, we continue to strive toward simplicity.
I hope I remember the sound of the boots above me and Chris' deep breathing - knowing the familiarity and simplicity of these things is sweeter than the new and shiny that often tempts me. I hope I always remember the simple joy in a good cup of coffee and a morning spent outside. I hope we trend toward less stuff, more time together. Less wanting, more gratitude.
This is my hope on this beautiful, crazy Friday.