Let's face it. There are times in our lives when we aren't sure we even like the place we live, let alone love it! I have lived in so many different spots in my lifetime that there have been times I really struggled with where I was living. A lot of times I didn't have a choice. I did a lot of moving when I was a child and had no say where we were and other times a job, whatever was available at the time, parental illness or stage in my life has determined where I needed to live next. I learned how to get through those times by looking for the good in whatever place it was. For the most part, that helped. Here are some of the tips that may help you if you find yourself in a similar situation:
Pay Attention - As a child one place I lived in particular was really one of the hardest. During the time we lived there, I looked at all the different things in that area and decided some things were really cool. I was around 10 years old so I had a limited sense of my environment, however I experienced some things I never had before that point. First, we were in the northeast and I had never seen so many lilac bushes in so many places before! The smell was so amazing! I loved going outside around our fence and just played because it was so nice. Other places as an adult I paid attention to who my neighbors were so I felt more comfortable seeing faces that became more familiar, even if I was afraid to actually meet any sometimes. I would find out what it was like around my neighborhood and find out the best places to shop or eat out. Just in noticing the area can make you more comfortable and help you find things you like.
Look for the Positives - When you live somewhere you aren't fond of, you don't need anyone to show you the negative qualities. They are all obvious to you all the time. What you need to do is push yourself to find the positive things. Maybe there are some specific things you like in your house. There is probably at least 1 thing that is just right. You may even find out there is more than that! Find something in the area you really like, or think about that nice neighbor that always waves when they are outside. Push yourself to see all the positive things you can and don't live in the negative.
Get to Know People - If you struggle with just walking up and meeting your neighbors, become involved in something in your community. When you meet people and make friendships it affects how you see where you live. Find a church you like, go to yoga class, join a book club or even a country club. Even just getting a library card and getting out and seeing some of the same people all the time makes a difference in what you feel about yourself and your life. One place I lived was in graduate campus housing. My spouse was an undergrad, but since we had a family, we lived in the apartments with all the graduate students. I wasn't a student at all and I felt so out of place, until I got to know some of the women in my apartment complex. I decided to go to a healthy food co-op that was at the complex and in doing so I met a lot of other mothers and wives that came from all over the place. Most of them were older than me, so I learned a lot of things from them that came with me when we moved from there to another place that was all new again.
Make the Most of What You Have - I have found that most places that I have lived that have been hard have only been for a season. Sometimes I spent so much time complaining or seeing the negative that when I moved I actually missed some of the really good things about the previous house or neighborhood and wished I hadn't spent my time being so upset. I think in so many places in our lives we need to make the most of what we have to work with. Enjoy the good stuff, don't dwell on the bad stuff and you will find that you love so much more about your surroundings than you thought you could.
In today's housing market or in any market, finding the absolutely perfect place just doesn't exist. There will always be something that can be improved upon. However, just like with our friends, when you learn more about a home or neighborhood and concentrate on all the good in them, you begin to see them with different eyes. Before you know it, you love your home just as it is and find that your time spent there was great--even if it was only for a season.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Personal Cheerleader