Giving Up Space, Gaining Room to Live the Adventure

Written by Martha on March 4th, 2011

When my husband first told me he wanted to move to a downtown condo, I called the idea “Jeff’s Folly”. Granted, our four children were almost grown. I, however, was ready to fill the empty bedrooms with a sewing room for me and an office for him. I also was not into the increase in housing cost.

Then a family crisis became the catalyst for change. I embraced and even pushed for the move. We pre-packed and staged for a quick sale. In six months we had sold our home just before the market took the downward swing. The condo was not ready, so we moved in with Jeff’s parents and lived in their basement for three months! Not the scenario I had envisioned!

Little did I know the benefits we would realize from that push beyond our comfort zone.

  • We were forced to let go of belongings that reflected a former military life, raising four children, and maintaining a house in suburbia. At first it was hard to release the things we had accumulated over 30 years of marriage, but once we got on a roll it felt so freeing! We were able to let go of hardware, lawn care tools, formal kitchenware, unused clothing, and books.
  • Although we lost 1,000 sq. ft., we actually gained in usable space. By eliminating the rooms we were not using (DR, LR, 2 BR), the spaces we live in daily are larger and easy to keep clean. We love it!
  • We spent precious time with Jeff’s folks. Having lived much of the last 20 years hundreds of miles away, we did not maintain a close relationship. Little did we know that Jeff’s dad would pass away suddenly three months after our sojourn in their home.
  • Selling early made our move possible. We found that other potential residents of our condo waited too long to sell their outlying homes. They were not able to find buyers when the time was “right”. Our basement dwelling was a blessing in more ways than one.
  • Instead of sewing, I started my own solo practice as a professional organizer, a field I have been practicing for more than 20 years. Our second bedroom is now my office and a sometimes guest room.

Now rather than “Jeff’s Folly”, I call the move “Our Mid-Life Adventure”.

We walk across the park to the Arena Grand Theatre at least once a week for the “Two For Tuesday” movie night special, complete with a healthy dinner of pizza, popcorn and soda.

  • We walk across Nationwide Boulevard to Columbus Blue jackets games in the winter to cheer on our neighbor Mark Methot who just made first line as defenseman.
  • We walk a block to the west in spring and summer to Huntington Park for the Columbus Clippers minor league ballgames.
  • When grass needs mowing, leaves raking, or snow plowed, we watch out our 5th floor balcony as the Nationwide crew takes care of it.
  • Our family physician, optometrist, and pharmacy are in the Eye Center one block away.
  • We can walk 6 blocks to Giant Eagle, or drive 5 minutes to Kroger.
  • There are over 30 restaurants within the Arena District we can choose from if cooking a meal is too much trouble.
  • The south facing windows allow us a perfect view of First Night Columbus (New Year) and Red, White and Boom (4th of July) fireworks.
  • When we want to travel, we alert the building manager to collect any stray packages. We cancel mail and newspapers, lock the door and are off!

I knew we had made the perfect choice for our new home when our 30-Something daughter and son-in-law asked if we wanted to exchange homes for a week sometime. Fist pump – Yes! We gained much more than we gave up in space and stuff. We are living an adventure and planning our next move.

I’d love to hear from you! What step have you taken out of your comfort zone? Is there a decision or move that you are putting off that might be your next adventure? Send me your comment.

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