Forever things are not real

We’re in a bit of an HGTV thing at our house, I guess because we’re planning to move yet again. There’s nothing quite like feeling great about a move when some couple in California is spending a million dollars on a 1,500 square-foot dump, and feeling negatively uppity when a nice family fixes up a place that only cost $50k. Simon is fascinated with the tiny house shows, until we explain to him that having a tiny house would require him to give up pretty much everything he owns (which isn’t even that much to begin with).

Aside from the hilarious and often ridiculous expectations of house hunters and renovators, I’m struck by the number of people who say that they’re looking for their “forever home.” That’s the strangest damn thing I’ve ever heard of. Granted, pre-2009 me felt really stuck, and I suppose a crappy economy and years of non-acknowledgment that being a grown-up meant I could move caught up with me. But from that year, I went on to move five times in four years. What brought me happiness wasn’t the idea that I could run from a bad situation, it was the idea that I could move forward to whatever it was that might make me happy and create a better situation.

One of the great truths in life is that we just don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We make our own future as much as we can or are willing to, and in doing so we’re free to change things. And while it might be sad or scary to think about, we also don’t know how much time we have. More to the point, we can definitely steer our lives toward intended outcomes, but the variables make the specifics impossible to predict. I mean, I have some clarity on where I want my career to go, but some random thing could come up that leads me to a different, maybe better path.

A friend of mine put this more succinctly on Facebook: “I often have to remind myself that this is not the last home/car/beach umbrella I am going to buy in my life. Pull the trigger. Do the best you can. Move forward.”

This is the truth. Things happen, good and bad, and we move forward. The idea that I would move into a “forever home” is quite frankly morbid to me. I don’t want to choose the place I die because I’m not even half way there. The amount of adventure available to me is infinite, and I’m not going to miss it.

Now excuse me while I ironically get the words “nothing is permanent” tattooed on my body somewhere.


Originally published at jeffputz.com.