I’ve been thinking about downsizing for some time.
Living alone in a large home has been a cause for consternation for me over the past two years since Angela’s passing. When you have had a happy life in one place for a very long time, the thought of leaving that place is difficult to process.
Your intellectual mind is aware of the reality of how little sense it makes for one person to occupy a home that is so much more than you need. It ends up being something similar to renting an apartment in a large home. Three rooms is all you need, the rest is just for observing as you look into the empty living and dining rooms on your way to the den, which you actually inhabit most days.
As home styles have changed and adapted to our modern life styles, those formal rooms have pretty much been abandoned as unnecessary and even pretentious. Why have a room that you don’t use, even when company comes. Over the past few years of home entertaining, Angela and I found that even when we invited guests into the living room, they usually declined in favor of the more informal family room, the place with the fire in the fireplace.
We would talk about the waste of space that the living room represented, a relic from a time when families saved those rooms for company or special family occasions. But it was there, and in our case, not easily adapted for other uses.
As friends downsized, we began to understand the new approach on how to define the use of a room. The thing is that you make the room work for the things you want to do. The great room concept emerged, a kind of one size fits all designation for the room that is in the core of the house.
In some cases, walls have disappeared or been reduced to a minimum in order to lend flexibility to the use of the space.
So now, as I consider moving to a smaller, more usable living space, I’m torn about how much to hold on to and how much to leave behind. No living room, for sure, that’s a given. What about everything else? I know that I want to downsize, but I also know that I don’t want to downgrade. I like having the things that have defined our living space for all these years. I like the comfort of the amenities that I have all around me, the creature comforts and niceties that transform a living space into a cozy and comfortable home. I want my private bath with a walk in shower, my large windows that let in the light, (or better still) my sun porch with sunlight that streams in all around. I also like the kitchen that allows me to have everything I need right there.
So what am I saying anyway? Do I really want to just stay where I am? Do I want everything I have but reduced to a miniature version?
No, I really do feel that it’s time to move on to a place that is a compromise between everything that I have and everything that I need at this point in my life. I know that Angela would approve and even agree with me because we discussed it from time to time.
I’ll always want to have space for my kids and grandkids to visit, even if it means being creative about how to utilize space. But I know that the timing is right, and that my intellectual brain is nudging me to be realistic.
Bittersweet, of course, but that’s how life moves us to different places when the time is right.