We imagine the rush to buy the cars of our dreams, the most expensive watch, the jewellery, the designer furniture, and the cruises that have only seemed a dream, or trips around the world because there is still so much to see and explore. The satisfaction of gifting some charity desperate for funds, or a fancy clubhouse and pitch for the kids who play football on a piece of dirt around the corner.
That then leaves the homes, the houses, the homes in different countries – maybe one for the summer in a hotspot, perhaps one somewhere with snow for skiing, one in the city, one by the sea, maybe one designed by yourself because you want a specific sized room for the grand piano or the indoor-outdoor pool (my favourite!) or an industrial-sized lift between floors, just because you can! Maybe you know of a house you have lusted over every time you drive past, and dream of turning up on the doorstep with a suitcase full of readies to tempt the current owner into walking out, now, today.
But, inevitably, it will change your life, like it or not. How often do you hear people say: “Oh, it won’t change me, I will keep my job” – but 6 months down the line, your old friends will stand back, new ‘friends’ will appear, the bank manager greets you with coffee and finally even knows your name, despite being a customer for donkey‘s years. Your needs will be different, whereas you had been happy to sit on the sofa to watch a movie, now you need a home cinema with plush seating for 20.
But will any of these be a real ‘home’? They will undoubtedly be places you can live, to indulge yourself with styles or possessions or locations. But will any of them be a real home? If we are totally honest with ourselves, we don’t need all the fancy trappings of wealth.
To my mind, I don’t NEED umpteen cars or piles of jewellery. None of that makes a home a ‘home’. A home is comfort, memories, a shambles of shoes under the bed. Yes, nice to have the best food in the fridge (even nicer to have someone cook it for you!), and the comfort of never worrying again about money. But the more you have, the more worries you will start to accumulate too – for example, is that financial advisor giving you good advice or just lining his own pockets?
What I am trying to say is that we should maybe be grateful for what we have got, and to keep our dreams realistic. Your home is where your slippers are, they say, and where your photos line the walls, and you know your stuff is in the house somewhere, not the other side of the world! We have friends who had a beautiful holiday home here for 20-odd years, and it was a lovely house - don’t get me wrong - and they came and stayed for months at a time, but it never felt like a home.
Enjoy what you have, and keep your expectations modest – they are much more likely to become a reality!