The spaces we inhabit are extensions of us

“Houses are like the human beings that inhabit them.”
— Victor Hugo

I have owned only two houses in my life. The first for seventeen years. It was heart wrenching to leave having inhabited the space for so long, seen my children grow there and begun my married life there. It was my first really grown up thing to own.

It flooded you see. After a huge renovation that transformed the house it was inundated with filthy flood waters in 2011. While others left the area, part of our house was still habitable but changed. The sense of peace and tranquility we’d established felt sullied. Each time the rains came, panic rose in my chest. Would we flood again?

So having loved that space and the surrounding area we made the difficult decision to leave. Four years on, I feel really comfortable and settled. I inhabit a new space. A large, open, light space. On a hill. Each nook and cranny of this space reflects our personalities. It’s comfortable and convenient, close to the city and facilities yet tucked away from the hustle and bustle with a forest close by.

Now, my beloved and I find ourselves at a new juncture of our lives. Nearing retirement, with a moderate debt still in play. We have discussed ways to become financially independent. One solution is to downsize. My anxiety levels rise at the thought. I feel like I belong here. There are so many positive reasons to stay. There are so many features of where we live we couldn’t find elsewhere for a fraction of the price.

We’re at a crossroad.

I know it’s only a house we inhabit and that it’s the people you are with that make life full and worthwhile. I do know that. I also like comfort and beauty and space. It is more than just the house too.  One becomes settled in a place, part of the landscape, especially when that landscape appeals to the senses, as the river did (before it flooded) and the forest now does.

There is another element in our mix. Do we stay in this city, my beloved’s hometown, or do we move to a much-loved holiday destination in the Blue Mountains? Crossing state borders as well as a new threshold.

Why is it so hard to make these decisions about a material possession? Well, I think it’s because, for me at least, my home is my safe place. My retreat from the world and a place I can craft to express myself. A house is not just a place to inhabit but a place that creatively reflects who we are. Location too plays a role, as mentioned earlier. Where we live is as much an extension of us, or we become and extension of it, as much as the house itself.

What is special about the place you inhabit?

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6 thoughts on “The spaces we inhabit are extensions of us

  1. If that photo is from your current home I can see why it would be tough to leave. Dave and I downsized 4 years ago and left the home we had been in for more than 20 years. For us the large yard and large space felt like it was weighing us down. I hope you can come to a decision that feels right.

    • Hi Sue. The photo is of the house we left after 17 years. It had some lovely spaces like that deck.

      When it feels right the shift won’t be so hard. Thank you for sharing your story. We’re obviously not alone in our thinking 😀

  2. Rob and I are already discussing where we will be and what we will do when the children are off living their own lives. We have lived in this current house for 9 years and I think that is the longest I have ever lived in the one place! I love where we live but there is always something in me that looks.forward to the next place, the next life. Perhaps we will end up in the Blue Mountains as well! It certainly has a lot.going for it. xx

  3. Pingback: Author Interview – Justin Hamlin – “Jezebel”, “Dog Meat”, “The Samurai of Gosford Green” and “Tenacity (Castle Book 1)” (Urban Fantasy/Crime Thriller/Horror) | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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