Back in September I stumbled upon a really great purse at Costco. It was one of those catch-it-while-you-can flash designer sales they have sometimes; the price was low, it wouldn’t last long. It didn’t last long. Even though it was exactly what I wanted, I didn’t buy it, because I hadn’t gone to Costco that day with the intention of buying a purse. When I went back to buy it a few days later, every last handbag was gone.
(It was a plum Kate Spade, similar to this one, but for less than half that price.)
I thought a lot about that experience afterward, not because the purse was a crucial life decision, but because the process of decision making is important, and that experience prompted me to examine mine. I even drafted a blog post about it: when is an impulse buy not an impulse buy? My answer: when you find the perfect thing you didn’t even know you were looking for—whether it’s a person or a job or a purse or whatever—and you can snatch it up, do it. Or at least think about it. Don’t dismiss it outright because it wasn’t in your plan.
I never shared that post, because the timing never seemed right. (Also because I struggled with admitting deep thoughts about a pricy material good.)
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Will and I have known for a little while that we wanted to move neighborhoods. We just made a move a few years back; it’s been a good move. We really like our house. But we don’t think it’s the neighborhood—or the home—we want to spend the next twenty years in.
And so we’d been thinking. But we hadn’t been looking.
Maybe one day I’ll tell you the story about how a strange and improbable series of events led us to come this close to making an offer on a house my great-grandmother owned 70 years ago (although honestly, it sounds like the stuff of fiction, yes?). We weren’t in the market when we stumbled upon the (her) amazing house for sale; I knew my great-grandmother had owned a house on the street but it took a while (plus confirmation from my mom) for me to realize we were considering the very house my own mother had had many a delightful childhood sleepover in.
Long story short: we didn’t buy it.
But the experience made us realize that yeah, we were ready to make a move, not now, but in the next year or so. So we regrouped. We made lists. We had late-night conversations on the couch, glasses of wine in hand. We talked to our realtor, and decided to take it slow. We would start checking out what came on the market, so we could figure out what we wanted, and what it would cost, and be really smart and deliberate and thorough about it.
Long story short: we bought the first house we looked at.
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We went to see it right after Christmas. On the way out the door that morning, I told the kids, Dad and I are going to look at a house this morning, but we’re not buying it. We’re investigating. We’re just checking things out.
But then I walked in the door for the first time, and went Oh. Will arrived a few minutes later, and went Huh.
No house is perfect, right? But this one felt awfully close to perfect for our family.
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The moving truck comes today.
The important things: we’re closer to the library, and to coffee. And to work and school, but priorities. (Also: I didn’t realize it till our second or third visit, but the house has actual, factual green gables. I can’t make this stuff up.)
I’m intimidated by the blank canvas of a new-to-us house (where does the sofa go? the silverware? the library books?) but I think I’m ready.
I’d love to hear your moving advice, tips for settling in, advice on where to put the glasses and silverware and library books. Tell me everything I need to know in comments?