We've all heard, "the grass is always greener on the other side" and while there have been many clever rebuttals in reference to this quote (the grass is always greener where you water it", etc.) sometimes the grass actually IS greener on the other side. Case in point: my house. I literally have no grass. So for all intents and purposes, all grass is greener...than our cement. Now, to be clear, grass in yards is a rarity here in Okinawa. In fact, apartments are the norm so we got lucky even finding a house. And the minute I saw our home and saw how close it was to the water, I asked where to sign and we were SO stoked.
But then...they ripped down the tiny house next door and built a MUCH larger, modern American-style house. And today, next to the new tiled patio they planted...grass. And a row of trees for privacy, probably so they won't have to look at our cement and feel sad. And then...I saw them install an oven. Not a 5x12 fish broiler. A real, full-sized oven.
Guys, no one has moved in but I hate them already. I hate them and their green grass and fresh baked cookies and stupid beautiful mid-century furniture that I just KNOW they'll have.
*Settles heart rate*
I got real bummed for a minute today. All I could think about were all the things I don't like about our house. No oven, no dishwasher, no bathtub in our master bath, no outdoor storage (hella rusty bikes), blah blah blah.
But then I snooped over to the house next door to peer creepily into their windows and I saw it. A black wooden bar in the kitchen. Whaaaaaat? Oh I hated it. Why would they put that there? Horrible. Horrible choice.
And I suddenly felt better. I never in a million years thought that we would be living 20 yards from a beautiful, idyllic sea in another country, but we do. When we got here I thought we would never find a place to live that wasn't an apartment in a cement high-rise that felt more like hotel than home, but we did. It's charming and big enough for us and I love it despite the things about it that I don't love.
My point is, I didn't really think about the things I didn't love until I saw the grass next door. Until I started comparing mine to theirs. And realistically, we could move if we wanted to, but with only two more years here the thought exhausts me. At some point you have to stop thinking about what you could have, what you don't have. Just stop.
I need to start thinking about this house for what it is. A vacation home. We're only here for two more years. I can paint the walls but I'll just have to paint over them. I can make my garden amazing and beautiful, but I can't take any of that with me. Better to focus on what I can. Experiences, memories, bike rides down the sea wall and beach towels hanging on the patio railing to dry.
As my kid told me once, "Everything doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect".