The Grass is Always Greener

The Grass is Always Greener –but Don’t Forget the Weeds.

My wanderlust search for my next home is really a simple proposition which goes something like this:
I sell my house and for about the same price and then I add:
a swimming pool, a wet-bar, wine room,  heavenly views of  tropical waters, snowy peaks, colorful fall foliage, beaming city skylines, vast expanses of ocean — to name a few things I don’t have now.
But whenever I create my pros and cons list, the “grass” on one side unearths  the “weeds” on the other. So, the wet-bar, wine room, pool with a view house also comes with isolation, too far from a city, loads of maintenance, and distance from all that I know.
Time for a geo-shift as I consider trading the suburban home to see what you can get in Boston proper.

This includes going to see apartments in high-rises and brownstones with parking for at least one car (I guess we could share just one car for some unknown reason).  The “cons ” hit hard and fast in the city scenario with limited sunlight, small amounts of private outdoor space, shared walls with unknown mortals, boxy site lines (no feeling of expansive living) and noise all day long  (if you were allowed to open your window). Oh, and all this for the price of two of my homes. To be fair, for a price, you could find what you want in the city as long as you want the city life. I saw very little “grass is greener” in the city set-up, barring one advantage: eating out every night and stumbling home drunk, neither of which appeal to me any more. The slogan, “there’s no place like home” sings loudly in my ear whenever I return to my heated 3-car attached garage, hot tub and large-decked suburban oasis. Sweet boredom awaits.

So what to do?  Why not “stay where you are”, says my physical therapist. “You love what you’ve done to your home, why not stay there?” She clearly does not know me at all. Logic is not part of this equation. Moving on, for me, includes ditching the house where we raised our sons.  They move on, so isn’t it our turn now?  And besides 25 years is long enough in one home. My take on people who live in one house for 50 years is this: “They lack imagination”.
Truth be told, I have long figured out that my elusive search for the perfect home and setting is really all about avoiding something within, the unknown that makes most of us antsy: aging, loss. Buddha would say, you already have the perfect home and setting, just look inside. Meditate and you will see you are already there.

My latest instinct is to travel more and only come back to our suburban home when necessary. In this way, attachments will loosen, the grip on the past will give way to something new, and something surprising might await me.


beth 10I grew up in the ’60s when women were told they could do anything, BE anything. For some that was good news. For me, it was mostly a burden.

Basically we were trained early to be superwomen, as in royal blue cape, big S insignia, shiny black patten leather boots, you get the picture. Think Lynda Carter with a law degree.

Whether you chose to become a lawyer, doctor or business tycoon, your options could be no less than that. Women had already achieved the titles of nurses, teachers and artists. This was a time to break the glass ceilings and go towards careers that were typically filled by men.

I chose the business path, going to NYC to work in Publishing and then Advertising. My goal was the corner office, no matter how long it took and no matter what I had to do to get there.

Fifteen years later, career mission accomplished as not only did I get the corner office, but it had a window  and came with a parking spot. The husband and kids goal would have to take a back seat. It was impossible to achieve everything all at once, and besides I was a late bloomer in the “ready to marry” department.

My sister-in-law asked me the other day what part of my life I’d like to return to, even just for a few days.  I quickly said, “not college.” But it wouldn’t be anytime in my 20’s either. Those were mostly difficult years, full of competition with myself, and worry over whether I’d achieve the full package, as in a fabulous husband and several kids too.

Eventually, to quote Cosmo Girl Helen Gurley Brown, I did “have it all”.

And I’d  happily  return to any day forward of meeting my wonderful husband, save for one month of hell when our young child became gravely sick, to fully recover a month later.

Today, I’m no longer trying to be Superwoman. I’ve done all that. I’m just trying to be a super happy woman. I reach for joy apart from the pressure of being a Superwoman, for the things that bring me happiness are capeless. They are quite simply  family and friends and the things that nourish my mind, body and soul.


published in Better After 50