The concept of a “forever home” is not a new one. It is most often used to refer to rescue animals, destined for a trouble-free life when they have found their new owners. It can also be used for humans – when we have found the house we intend to spend the rest of our lives in.
It can’t hurt to dream… can it?
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In some ways, this is a lovely sentiment. The idea that there is one place out there that will be our forever; the homely pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But… it’s also not so nice, in a way. If you think about it, it tends to mean that every other house you live in – i.e. the majority – is your… temporary home.
That sounds less pleasant. 80% of the places you live are just temporary? Stepping stones on the road to “the one”? There’s pretty much no area in life that we’d accept this. We don’t wait until we are nearly pensioners to marry our significant other, having tried out plenty of others. We don’t buy anything else “forever”, either. Our cars have dates of exchange, our clothes go out of style and our tastes evolve. So why are our homes expected to fall into one of two categories: the mythical “forever home” and then the just… all the others?
Life is too short for this kind of thinking. A forever home is a great concept for a rescue pet, but not so much for humans. The idea that you might one day want to move on from your current dwelling doesn’t mean that you don’t care about it, right?
Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap of leaving things for the “forever home”. These are the things we have on our wishlist and can’t imagine parting with, such as custom backyard pools and converted wine cellars. We’d never want to sell a house with something we had designed, so it waits for the forever home. And thus, we spend much of our life in a house that isn’t quite as we want it.
Reality or for the future only?
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And… not to be the bearer of bad news, but – well, the house you’re in right now might be your forever home. You just don’t know it yet. By putting off the things and denying yourself in the quest for something better one day, aren’t we selling ourselves short?
Or is there some benefit to the concept after all? Time to examine the pros and cons, and then you can figure out what works for you.
PRO Forever Home: It’s A Dream
Dreaming the days away…
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Sometimes, we need something to look forward to. After all, we know that there is not really gold at the end of a rainbow – but that doesn’t stop us wishing that there is.
Is the idea point of the idea of this end house, that will meet our every desire, actually in the wishing? Perhaps it is the aspiration that is important – something we can anticipate. We all need to have our idea of perfection in mind.
CON Forever Home: It’s A Dream
Can something be a pro and a con at the same time? I’m making the rules here, so, yes!
For some of us, we will never live that reality. So we spend our lives in houses that are good enough, never doing the things we want to really make us love them. That’s a pretty depressing situation, meaning nowhere is ever fully satisfied. You keep putting it off and dreaming of the next step, but you will ultimately end up with a lost dream you never lived out. Perhaps it is better to focus on reality.
PRO Forever Home: It Might Actually Happen
Maybe there is something at the end of it.
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This is the area that makes it difficult to argue against. While some of us may never reach that perfect home, some of us will. We will find the perfect place we want to spend our lives; our dreams will come true; the sky will glitter with our delight.
In these circumstances, waiting and saving money to lavish on our eventual end property seems sensible. There are many things we save up for and then can go wild and enjoy – so something as fundamental as the home we live in is a tangible goal.
CON Forever Home: You Don’t Appreciate The Space You’re In
It’s said that envy is the enemy of peace, and there is some truth to this with the idea of a forever home. When you think of this blissful property you one day intend to inhabit, it can mean that you are effectively envying the you of the future. That person will have their desires; the crisp interiors they love; the rooms they never want to leave.
In the moment, that can be rough – because it means you don’t have what you want. It means you are settling, and that means you are not appreciating the now. It means you are not getting enough of the home you currently have, which is a shame, as it probably wasn’t cheap.
So Where Do You Fall?
It all depends on what motivates you as a person. If you need targets and goals, then the idea of a dream property in the future can be enough to keep you going. If you can fix it in your mind and try to make it a reality, then you can handle any temporary upsets because they are just that – temporary.
Reality or aspiration?
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If, however, you are not sure how you will get to the point of the perfect home, then why waste your time dreaming of it? This is particularly true if funding your dream home would mean a massive change in financial circumstances that is unlikely. Take a deep breath and learn to appreciate what you have. Furthermore, don’t just accept – if you need to make changes, then have the energy to do them. Get the swimming pool; fix the dodgy plumbing; go for the wine cellar; paint a thousand accent wall! Make your custom alterations and do things that make you happy. There is no point wishing for a future and saving your energy for it, if it isn’t going to happen.