Lately, I have been discontent.  While we are making great strides financially from where we were a year ago at this time, I still feel discontented.

I am now firmly in midlife, and I do not have a house. 

I used to think I would buy a house in my twenties.

Instead, I have three kids who are growing and still share a room.  Yes, our apartment is large and one of the kids could sleep downstairs and have his own room, but we aren’t really comfortable with that and neither is he.

I wish that they had a big yard and a place to just run around.  Our rental yard is nice, but tiny.

I wish that I had a yard of my own to plant a big vegetable garden and fruit trees to supply us with quite a bit of our fruit needs.

Simply put, my wishing is making me unhappy.

And then, my aunt posted this quote on Facebook, “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how it is supposed to be.”  Yes, so true.

When I step back, I see so many things to be happy, blessed and grateful for.

  • We are all healthy and thriving.
  • In 8 months, we have paid off approximately $11,000 in debt.
  • My husband has a post-doc position that pays him a third more than he was making last year.  In addition, he is being trained under an esteemed researcher and he is gaining valuable experience.  He is also working on preparing several articles for publication which will help him obtain a full-time job in the future.
  • Though my freelance work has taken a hit, I am still making much more than I was last year at this time.
  • We left our apartment that was in disrepair and moved into a nicer, more spacious apartment that feels like a home.

There is so much to be happy for.  Yes, we don’t own a house as I would like.  But I can take comfort in the fact that we didn’t jump into the housing market 7 years ago when we knew we couldn’t afford it but everyone was encouraging us to buy.  We would have really had a financial disaster on our hands if we had done that.

We recently spoke with a financial advisor about whether we should pay off all of our debt, including student loans, before getting into the housing market.  His answer was a resounding yes.  He also said we would want a healthy emergency fund so the house “will be a true blessing, and not a financial nightmare.”  I agree.

And, I agree with the quote.  I have been too consumed with thinking what I should have at this point in my life to appreciate what I do have.

Have you ever found yourself focusing on what you should be doing or where you should be in life instead of appreciating where you are?

I shared this post at Gratituesday.