I firmly believe in Choice. Life is, after all, a series of Choices. We always have a choice, even when we think we don't. Sometimes the choice is between what we perceive as good or bad, sometimes between good and good, sometimes between bad and bad. Frequently the choices life offers us don't feel like "choices" at all, depending on the beliefs we currently hold. There is, however, Always an "out" in some direction other than straight ahead. Lately, I've been faced with the process of making choices concerning whether to continue attempting to save the house vs allowing it to be sold by the state at auction and moving into an apartment or rental property somewhere.
On the surface, the choice to fight for what my parents worked hard to pay off and own free and clear is pretty set in stone. It was supposed to be my inheritance. I don't have to pay rent living here. I don't have seriously close neighbors on the other side of a wall, potentially being a problem. No security deposits for my various pets, and plenty of room in the back yard for the dogs to run in. There's lots of room, which meant I could spread out, and no individual room was To terribly overloaded with accumulated "stuff" that I've collected over the past several years.
The opposite side of the coin isn't as clear cut, but it has as many "pro" areas as retaining the house seems (on the surface) to possess. An apartment is Much more limited in space, and therefore a natural inducement not to waste money I can't afford on accumulating junk I'll never use or will only use once. Limited space also limits the number of pets that I am willing to obligate myself to take care of - no dogs, because they have no room to run (and I simply won't tolerate cat sized yappy little ankle biter breeds) and only 2 cats because more than that would overrun things in a hurry even spayed and neutered. Limited number of pets = strictly limited amounts of pet food I have to pay for each month, limited number of potential vet bills, and limited opportunities for things like flea infestations. Lack of space also means I go through and prioritize what I already Have, get rid of a bunch of stuff I don't use and don't necessarily Want, and toss out everything that's broken/waiting to be fixed or simply a space taker that serves no purpose other than to collect dust and eat up space. Another thing that I personally consider high on the 'pros' list for an apartment - no maintenance issues to deal with out of pocket. Along the same lines, there will Never be a lawn maintenance issue in an apartment complex - because there is no Lawn. Other things I've been looking at include completely getting rid of 2 utility bills - gas and water - along with the yearly property tax bill and any issues pertaining to same. Granted, those will be replaced by suddenly having to pay Rent each month, which I haven't had to do in Years, but that could be a good thing in the long run. Having to be responsible for the rent on a place on the first of each month will force me to actually pay attention to my spending habits, and to get back into the practice of accounting (at least to myself) for everything that comes in and subsequently goes out, financially.
There are other choices involved in this that aren't as clear to outsiders looking in as the ones involved in fighting to stay vs letting the place go/moving.
I have to face a choice of continuing to fight for the house - and it's attendant stress - or step back from the fight, conserve my emotional strength for a battle I can potentially win, and get rid of all the stress that's currently playing a huge roll in things. After all is said and done, if I kept the house, I would still have significant amounts of stress over it - there would still be maintenance issues, lawn issues, clutter issues, to many pets issues, past and current property tax issues. And ultimately, there would be the fight with my brother when dad DOES finally die, over his contention that the house "should" be his simply because he's 16 months older and male. (I still fail to see where his logic comes from. I will probably Always fail to see the logic behind his argument.)
We make our own destinies. Each choice we make closes the doors on the choices we might have made previously, and opens doors to choices further down the road. Each decision has consequences, each consequence leads to further choices. We never truly leave the cycle of choice/consequence/choice - even in how we deal with the fact that we have to make choices and deal with the consequences of those choices.
Pick your fights carefully . . .
18 minutes ago