Last weekend my husband and I sat side-by-side as he showed me pictures of a boat that he loved. It had a lower deck with room to sleep 4, a cool little kitchen with a table to sit at and some other things that as a boat lover, made him slightly giddy. It was nothing fancy, no crazy yacht, it was gently used and somewhat reasonably priced (or so he tells me). He talked about renting a slip and taking little trips in it to wherever these types of boats can go.
HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” was playing in the background. I have become sightly obsessed with wanting a “tiny house”, parked on a magnificent piece of land on water somewhere as a weekend home. I get real estate listings from a town in the Berkshires with cheap houses for that dream of a second home. I speak about this as though it can actually happen. And that gorgeous English cottage above? It’s actually on a street named “Fairy Tale Lane,” somewhere in England. That is the ultimate dream and I understand that that’s all it really is. Just a dream.
We live in what I think is a “tiny” house. It’s under 1,300 square-feet with really low ceilings and small bedrooms. The fact is, it has absolutely everything we need and has an extraordinarily large backyard. The previous owners planted beautiful flowers including two of my absolute favorites. But, I find myself dreaming of higher ceilings with enough room to install ceiling fans in every room . I want central air and a finished basement. I want a “she shed” in the backyard so I can go somewhere and write.
Right now, we’re living the reality of cobbling together and doing that shuffle game to cover bills and to uncover places where we can cut back. We’ve gotten better at this. In a year there will no longer be a significant monthly payment that will allow us to breathe a big sigh of relief. My husband is on the fast-track to ongoing promotions of potential significance. So, we wait, for small and gradual windfalls that may allow us some small luxuries that we’ve worked hard for, for me to stop working at a job that I adore, but creates panic and anxiety that I’ve never had before, and be able to travel with him to cities that I’ve always wanted to go.
I have always worked with underserved populations, the homeless, incarcerated women, and addicts who have lived under bridges. They DREAM of owning a home and see my life as “living the dream.” And they are absolutely right. I know I will never get a $3.7 million book advance that Lena Dunham just got. I know that I’ll never own a apartment in Manhattan. But some of those other things I’ve mentioned? I see high enough ceilings for a ceiling fan. Central air, easily done. Pre-fab sheds are not impossible to turn into something that could work as a place to write. Finishing the basement for my husband’s man cave? Totally doable.
We all have dreams, they push us forward and if we have to compromise somewhere between a cottage on Fairy Tale Lane and a gently used boat, that’s okay. We’ve done just fine.