Honestly, this whole I Now Own A House thing is still so surreal. I catch myself smiling as I drive down the street toward it, thinking "Hey, that's a pretty cool house over there on the corner. Well, would you look at that? It's mine." Seriously. I have conversations in my head like that on a regular basis.
"I'm going to stroll down my hallway into my bedroom past my walk-in closet and go to my bathroom to use my toilet." Then I sit on the toilet and look around and think "Yeah, I think I'm going to rip this tile out of here and just paint the walls - because you know, it's MINE."
"I think I'm going to rip this hideous bush out of the flowerbed and plant something else, just because I can."
"I'm going to put my garden over there. No, I want my clothesline there. The garden can go over THERE."
It's an odd feeling, this MINE thing.
(And before any of my local friends get offended, this isn't aimed at anyone in particular. Got it?)
I still have a ton of work to do yet. I have to finish the basement, which involves a few more steps to getting the floor done, then moving the massive pile of craft stuff out of the living room and sorting it out down there, to actually getting my craft stuff set up so that I can catch up on projects whose due dates passed MONTHS ago - literally. I am desperate to get my basement done just so that I can catch up on everything and get stuff out to the people who are waiting for it.
But honestly, looking around this place makes me realize again how lucky I am. I talked the other night about how I can afford to own a house and even though I know that for at least right now, I don't have to worry about having the money to make the payment every month, I feel a responsibility to make improvements on the house to make it acceptable (in my eyes) for the kids. I have a fear that something big is going to break and I'm not going to have the money to fix it. For example, the central air is acting a little wonky right now - and I'm terrified that it's going to cost me a lot of money when realistically it's probably something stupid. But I'm doing something amazing here - I bought a house. Me. Just me. Alone. It's mine.
And that, to me, is so amazing that I can't even begin to explain. I just can't. There are no words.
At the same time though, while it's mine on paper - realistically The Dude and I bought it together. We looked at every house together and we discussed everything and made every decision as a couple. He doesn't live here - yet - but ultimately, this is going to be the home that we share. He has had a bunch of health issues over the past few months that have put some kinks in some of our plans - but the plans are still there. For now, I am doing the physical stuff - and he is my biggest and loudest cheerleader. We are working toward combining households, but there are so many things that have to happen in order to get there.
Finally for the million dollar question about whether or not we'll ever get married.....I still say never.
(If you want some background on that, you can check out this post and then this post to get the basic understanding.)
Marriage still terrifies me to no end. The Dude and I have now been together for almost 2 1/2 years, and life is good. We don't get to spend nearly enough time together for a myriad of reasons, and I'll be totally honest and admit that I've been picking fights with him - but I'm going to blame it on stress and not seeing enough of each other and stress. I get pissed, I get unreasonable and obnoxious and hateful and yell at him, and he calls me out on it and then we kiss and make up. And then I sit here and wonder "what just happened?" and "why is he still here?" Bottom line is that he IS still here - and that in and of itself is terrifying to me because it's making me think that maybe he really IS planning on sticking around for the long haul.
Even after 2 1/2 years, I'm still getting used to the idea that he's not going to walk away any time soon - but that's still not enough to convince my overly dense head that he might just stay around forever.
One day at a time. It applies to so many things right now.