Part of the fun of buying the house was a comment that Sara made in passing during the house buying process. She mentioned that she “finally feels like a grown up.” This comment caught me off guard, as one would assume that graduating college, graduating graduate school, getting married, having a baby, buying a car, paying bills or any of the hundred “milestones” that our culture puts upon us, would be cues for being a grown-up.
However, Sara genuinely felt this way and in thought about it over the last few weeks, I am starting to see what she means. I too have done all of the above, and I see that the responsibilities and our lives have come pretty close to full circle…as if buying the house is the last major checkmark to check off on our list to our passage into adulthood. Now there’s plenty of adult things to do yet, but we’ve nailed what I’ll call the big four:
- Graduate College
- Get Married
- Have a Baby
- Buy a House
But with these new checkmarks, a new set of responsibilities pour in. Now we have a mortgage, various insurances, and other budget items that we didn’t have to concern ourselves with before. Now, also we have to shovel snow in the winter, mow our lawns in the summer and fix things when they break year round. Part of that is scary, but ultimately, if one is honest with themselves, they’ll likely figure out that renting wasn’t exactly a luxury situation, either.
I often had to shovel myself out in the winter at all of my apartments, as I could not necessarily wait 3-4 hours for the snow plow. If I ever had a lawn to have mowed for me (often did not), it wasn’t much to play in anyway, so there was little benefit to be had. Most of my rental apartments were complete garbage inside and out – if things were broken, maintenance would often fix it, only for it to break later. Again. So yes, I’ll probably sneer and jeer after the 15th snow shower, the third week in a row in the summer that has a half dozen inches of rain each, or when the toilet breaks, the shower goes cold, or garbage is overflowing, because I’ll have to deal with it all myself (or with the help of Sara).
Obviously, I’m going into this in what I’ll call a “honeymoon period,” but I think I’ll rather enjoy it when things are done. I won’t have to rely on other people to do their own half-hearted cheap jobs. If I want it done right, I’ll do it myself, or I’ll pay the right price to get it done right. In all of my life, that attitude has gotten me further ahead in the long run, so I think we’ll do just fine. So while growing up probably means less fun free time, at least my place will provide a higher quality for the free time I do have. I’ll have things I want, they’ll work as I wish them to, and if things need fixing or replacing, Sara and I are committed to having budgets, back-up savings, and other means to supplement things when bad things happen. I think being a big boy and big girl together with my wife will be a pretty awesome thing. I’ll likely have to update you all in six months to see if I still feel the same way – I promise to be honest if I enjoy maintaining our home, or if I’m tired of the work already!