Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Owning it

image from
Part of being an adult, or even a mature teenager, is taking on life's responsibilities and managing them in a reliable fashion.   Often it seems as if obligations become absorbed by us with little or no conscious awareness.  You know, like when you no longer had a babysitter when your parents went out or you were permitted to walk independently to Stewart's or somewhere else previously not allowed  Other rites of passage come with more obvious recognition; receiving your driver's license, a credit card or checking account, and/or ownership of property like a car or home.  Each of these milestones involves approval from someone not a member of your family, as well as a bevy of paperwork in which you personally commit to abide by a series of conditions.  The seriousness of the contract you're entering into is frequently indicated by the number of times you must sign your name on official documents, a condition which probably isn't a bad idea. Maybe there could be a rubric which clearly denotes that the cumulative number of signatures is equal to the seriousness of the responsibility or commitment. Which do you think should require more signatures:
  • buying a house
  • getting married
  • conceiving a child
  • getting divorced
I think the answer to the above question is a personal one which probably evolves and changes as we move through life and all  of its chapters.  I'll let you know my answer after I've experienced each of the options.

I have an appointment coming up to close on a mortgage which will make me the sole owner of the home I have lived in for the past 15 years.  In all honesty, I'm a little scared.  Being a property owner with negligible maintenance skills is a bit overwhelming - what if (or rather when) something goes wrong?  There are so many potential disasters that if I let my mind take over, as I did in yoga class recently, I almost have a panic attack.  Or something like I imagine a panic attack to be. 

I know I've made some mistakes and choices which have impacted people negatively.  I apologize for hurting people who have done their best to care for me over the years, but I can't say I'm unhappy to be in the place I now find myself to be.  Yeah, I'll own it.  All of it.


  1. Well, if you ever need a work mule, give me a ringy ding. ;)

  2. Eleven years ago I closed on my first house owned solely by was pretty scary. I remember walking into the house and bursting into tears!

    Like Albany Jane, I can mule with the best of them...give me a call if you need some extra muscle.

  3. Heading that way too, which saddens me as it's less than two years since we closed on the home in question as our first together. Alas, life changes, and while it's scary, it's exciting too.

  4. Thanks, AJ and Melinda. I can certainly use some back-up!

    Anonymous - Let's try to keep the excitement > scariness. Another chapter...

  5. Wow. Congratulations. Although that sounds weird seeing as you've lived there for 15 years, some sort of congragulations still seems to be in order.

    Some of it might be scary but the most exciting chapters always begin with some fear of the unknown.

  6. I sat on the curb outside the attorney's office and cried after I closed on my house - a 200+ year old beauty in so-so condition, and me with no maintenance skills to speak of. The owner handed me the keys and announced: "Oh, the toilet's clogged." I had never unclogged a toilet. I was walked through it by a good friend who loaned me a plunger and gave me a bracing shot of scotch. Five years later, the house is still standing. I have lived through leaks - many - dead furnances and broken windows. That's what plastic is for. And experts you call in the middle of the night. You'll be fine, Sylvia. I love you. xoxoxoxo.

  7. Anonymous (4/15) - Shoot me an email, would you? Let's talk.