I visited a house recently that my husband is working on. It's more of a mansion than a "mcmansion", a style I became all too familiar with having previously been in real estate. I'm impressed by the sheer size of the place, but wonder about the cost of utilities and upkeep.
My daughter and I walked into the backyard which adjoins a golf course and stood by the pool.
"Mom, is that a fountain?"
"No, baby, that's a hot tub." I told her.
"Rich people are confusing."
"I know, sweetie, I know."
Walking back in, roaming from room to cavernous room, we stepped into an area with a ballet bar. I hiked up my maxi dress throwing my right leg up on the bar which I think is spelled "barre" now that I've Googled it. At forty-two, I was pretty proud of the fact that I could manage that and then wondered if there were hidden cameras behind the mirrored walls.
Next, we made our way to the media room which wasn't really a room at all, but a full theater. My husband, son, and daughter, and I sat three rows up, in the soft leather chairs with cup holders, staring at the blank screen.
I pictured us not in that house, but in our own, with all of the memories we have made, the hard work we have put into it and the fact that we are very close to owning it, not it owning us. I worry about my kids wanting more and hope that spending more time instead of money on them is paying off.
As I reflect on where we are, I'm proud of my husband's hard work, the way he can create such beautiful surroundings with his own hands, how we started out with nothing, and have made a very good life.
Would I trade it all for a life of luxury in a house of that size? Not a chance. As I've gotten older, and as cliche' as it may sound, quality really is better than quantity. My life became much richer when I realized that it's not about the things we have, or that have us, but the experiences we create.