I've returned those previously mentioned rolls of wallpaper to Lowe's, and I'm moving forward with a plan which will better suit my empty nest syndrome. Just days ago, I accepted an invitation from a professional colleague & good friend to explore a small studio loft he will have available for rent at the end of January. It suits my needs perfectly. Sure, those weekends that my kids will spend with me will be somewhat cramped, but the remaining 28 days of the month I will be able to function in that space with supreme efficiency.
Some weeks ago, I had written a post here which alluded to the fact I had resolved an internal conflict with my present living space. Had this new opportunity not come around with such perfect timing (my current lease expires at the end of February) I would likely have stayed-put, despite the impending 13% hike in rent upon signing a new lease. Upon asking my friend what he charged for rent on this little studio loft, I'm sure my face expressed a somewhat otherworldly repose. Finally, I will have the financial break that I've been looking for since the days of being newly divorced. Sure I've been able to get by, and I've become increasingly proficient with each passing year, but not have I ever come across a situation which will enable me to live at such a modest level. This will be 'the opportunity' for me to reestablish myself. Imagine, if you will, a situation which would enable you to fulfill all of your personal obligations on only half your monthly income. That is the opportunity I will now embrace for myself, and I will also come much closer to living the ideals that are important for me. Having once lived the lifestyle many consider 'the American Dream', I am not so willing to embrace those same fundamentals for myself anymore. Being leveraged up to my eyeballs offered only the reward of immediate gratification and a false sense of security. To also put it bluntly, if I only attract friends with what material possessions I put up for show, then they are not the type of friend I would like to attract.
It seems that the older I get, the more I wish to live a life of simplicity. Rather than reaching for the latest newest things, I'd rather know I have resources carefully tucked away, growing for what I will decide in the future to be truly life changing. Whether it be a decision to return to school or simply to invest myself further into a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, it will be a decision I will be able to make on my own terms and in my own time.
I've come to a point in life where I now can admire the examples of my parents and grand-parents: Living well is the reward of careful planning and knowing what you truly need to get by.