We recently renewed the lease on our small apartment and while, in my heart of hearts, I knew all along that we'd be staying here at least another year, the months leading up to re-signing included many hours looking at apartments online and even a few in person. For a time, all I could focus on were the things about our apartment that drive me nuts (a "shotgun" layout, need I say more?), but when we made the final decision to stay, I realized I needed to spend more time thinking about the positives than dwelling on the negatives.
- Location, location, location. Over time I've taken for granted how fantastic our location is. Half a block from a park, 1.5 blocks from the subway, 2 blocks from our son's school, and with a walk score of 98, everything is within easy reach. When we were looking at other apartments, we saw many that were bigger and nicer than ours, but in much less convenient locations. It was a good reminder to us how highly we value our current location, at the expense of other priorities.
- We have a yard. WE HAVE A YARD! This feels like a minor miracle in New York City and I need to remind myself how lucky we are to be able to grill, entertain, store bikes, hang laundry, etc., etc. outside. It is a tiny yard. It is a concrete yard. But it is our yard.
- We are blessed with high ceilings. Not absurdly high, but about ten feet. This height helps mitigate how narrow the rooms in our apartment are (our kitchen is 7' wide, our living room is 11.5' wide, for example) and makes each room feel more airy and less claustrophobic.
- Water pressure. You don't appreciate good water pressure in a shower until you don't have it. Fortunately, we have it.
- The church. There is a church around the corner from our apartment whose back faces our backyard. This church hosts choir concerts and, best of all for us, plenty of choir practices. The beautiful music filtering through the church's open windows into our home is something I just love. Sometimes it's just lovely background music for us, but other times I stop whatever I'm doing and just stand in my back door listening, temporarily transported.
So, if you're feeling a bit down about your home or living situation, I challenge you to make a quick list of five things that you do love about where you live. These things may not trump your reasons for wanting to move, but hopefully they will remind you of things you can focus on and enjoy for now.