An article in last Sunday’s Times covered a recent “curious mid-life crisis.” Feeling “anchored” by too many possessions, a millionaire simply decided to abandon them. He reduced his life to a tumi carry-on with 50 items (2 pairs of jeans, a swimsuit and 10 pairs of socks) and a plan to “downgrade” his life. His goal was to focus on the meaningful parts of his life, specifically experiences, friendships and family. I suppose it’s considered a “downgrade” since it’s contrary to how most people define success. Not me.
Since we didn’t cancel the papers, we still go home to pick them up. Our visit home today was bittersweet. It was great to see my son climbing trees in the front yard so freely.
Yet the minute we were inside… chaos. This seems to be the rule of thumb despite the size of the space we’re in. The more time outdoors the better. The difficulty in a larger space is that we’re so spread apart physically that I lose track of where everyone is. By the time I found out where the screaming and fighting were coming from today and ran up two flights of stairs to intervene (which I know I’m not supposed to do), it was too late. Someone was hurt. By the time we left the house, everyone’s voices were raised, be it from frustration and/or trying to communicate with each other from one floor up or down, in an attempt to be heard. This was definitely something I did NOT miss. What I did miss however, was having their own bedrooms to send them to, in times like these (and yes, I do know that time-outs don’t really work all that well).
The downside related to this in the condo though, is the noise level in a shared space. My friends ask what I’m really missing about “home” the most. My answer is always the same. Not really something I miss, but something that worries me. My largest concern is our noise level. I have THREE boys. They can be loud. At home I am seldom if ever concerned about the noise level. But I’m in fairly constant fear that we will soon be receiving our first noise complaint. It hasn’t happened. Funny enough however, when I walked into the hallway this morning, it was my neighbour who apologized to me, if I happened to hear his six month old crying last night. I heard nothing. I told him it was me that should be apologizing for the raucous noises he may be hearing through the shared wall. Likewise, he hears nothing. 🙂
We met a new resident and fellow dog owner on our elevator ride down to the lobby today. She asked us if we knew if the community had a pet washing station. Regrettably, I advised her that it didn’t. There seems to be an increasing interest in pet related amenities for sure these days though, and it’s definitely something I’ll share with the team, as I know it’s a topic of interest to them.
Despite the light rain tonight, we headed out for an evening stroll. As is often the case, we arrived at the lobby realizing that we’d forgotten something. This time, it was to use the washroom. Fortunately for a well laid out amenity space, we didn’t have to go back up. There are two on the ground floor. When we opened the door to one of them, we noticed yellow caution tape across the sink. A sign indicated that the sink was out of order and that they were waiting for a replacement part. Hey, these things happen! That’s an example of real condo living. That’s real living, period. However, the other very small thing I noticed was that rather than make the bathroom inaccessible to people because of the sink, they left it operable until the repair work could be done, not impeding the resident experience. They also provided sanitizer in replacement. A little example of GLUE. Giving Little Unexpected Extras. And if you opted for water and soap, there was another washroom available right next door to this one. Good planning goes a long way.
The night walk was an excuse to introduce my son to our neighborhood dessert parlor. Have you ever seen eyes so big? Knowing this is a 3 minute walk from where he now lives, he may never want to go back home!