Yeah, yeah, insert LOL-tastic joke about how I’ve already got one, F-G cup, haha. Although as I get older it’s less of an upstairs, more mezzanine. Anyway…
But seriously, I am having home-based issues. And Homebase issues. Yep, turning 40 seems to bring out emotions about my living space.
You see, I am nearly 40 but I do not go upstairs to bed. Unless you count the two small steps on the landing (I’m in a first floor flat). And this bothers me. I wish I had an upstairs! I also wish I had a garden. Because garden would mean one step closer to a dog and as you may know if you kindly read this blog, I’ve got into my gardening this year.
Now I was going to get an upstairs, a loft extension, but that requires a re-mortgage, which requires a regular salary, which as a new freelancer I do not have. That’s my choice, BUT still, I stare at the loft hatch every day and wish there were stairs going up there to a bedroom and bathroom.
Hmph. Surely this should be different at 40, I tell myself?! I should have a house! With a garden! Like a grown up!
That loft hatch is also too small for a human to go through which means the stuff that should be in the loft is in the lounge, a great big pile of it. Which reminds me
daily that I have upstairs issues. I'm waiting for a builder to come and quote for getting me a bigger hatch. Oh the lols today, the lols.
I guess this is all better than the euphemism that is ‘downstairs issues’?!
Why do I feel I need more space, and an upstairs at 40? Well I guess when my parents turned 40, I saw them, us, our family, in a house with lots of rooms, an upstairs, a big garden. Perhaps that’s my benchmark.
I also do have friends who have houses, or places with spare rooms and gardens and feel a sense of competition. That’s just life I guess but it’s there all the same. I also got rid of a second bedroom to create a bigger kitchen so that’s my doing, too.
Thinking to friends and their homes and my mild envy of green space and bannisters I did one of my little facebook polls.
And my lovely friends said…
Mel: I think many people fall into the trap of keeping up with the Jones and getting bigger and bigger houses that they possibly don't really need. I'm really trying to not fall into this trap and have a lovely space that is mine and represents me, but not to be always looking for something bigger and better.
Helen: I got a new kitchen as a 40th birthday present to myself. And very nice it is too.
Did she feel like she needed it because she was turning 40? Kind of yes. Needing to sort my life and home out in some sort of way.
Cath lives abroad, so rents as that’s kind of more what they do over on the continent, and said: ‘I still feel that I should be a homeowner!’
Our discussions leaned towards the fact that she does have a walk in wardrobe though, which is pretty darn Carrie Bradshaw cool.
I loved this heartfelt message from my friend Lou:
I am two years away from 40 so feel that I can answer this now. Yes, it was important to me to have the home I'd dreamt about - more so because we have children and I wanted them to have a family home. That was why we upped sticks, left the south east and moved to the East Midlands where we could afford a family home. We have done this whole house up and for about a week it DID look like the dream home. It was immaculate. Since then, the kids have set about to systematically destroy it with biro scribbles, chunks out of paintwork etc. The toddler even pulled the curtains out of the wall the other day - pole and all! So I have now got over myself and figure that we'll have the perfect home in approximately 20 years, when we're pushing 60, once they've moved out! Having said all that, I don't think a perfect home means a big home or immaculately decorated. It is what makes you happy for the stage of life you're at. That's what is important.
Jo would like an upstairs, downstairs, and bathing domain and said: I turned 40 in Jan and still want, no sorry still NEED a kitchen extension, loft conversion and new bathroom...oh a nice porch at the front of our house - never to old to think big that's what I say
But it’s not about age, it’s about family values (awwww)
Jo: I don't feel any pressure because of my age, I don't think I'll ever feel like a "proper grown up". The loft conversion is a bit of a dream but the kitchen extension is because as a family we spend a lot of time in our kitchen diner and so it's about having a good space for us all. The porch is having a place to dump scooters, wellies etc so I don't have to look at them in the hall ha-ha!! I love our home and whatever we do to expend/modernise it'll be about making it a comfortable family home and not to have all the latest mod cons...obviously with a few Le Creuset extras to finish it all off.
Well of course. We may want more rooms but we can always make room for some Le Creuset.
It made me think, reading all these comments. We’d all like to improve our home somehow. We’d all like bigger, perhaps or smarter, or less cluttered, or a different pair of curtains.
That’s what life does to us – we want to change things, we’d like to lose weight, we’d like to extend the kitchen, we’d like to get a better car, go on a bigger holiday, or have new shoes we don’t need.
But not wanting to be too gushy, as I type there’s a massive thunderstorm, and I realise thank goodness I do have a home to hide from the storm in. I have a loft hatch to work with.
I’m always going to want to do more at home, I like nesting and I want space for guests, a garden for a dog, a bathroom that’s not set off the kitchen. But do I need those things before I turn 40? I don’t think I’ll spontaneously combust if I don’t have them. One day I’ll have my upstairs, and then I’ll probably curse every time I’ve left something there when I’m about to go out of the front door.
So perhaps it’s not about upstairs, downstairs, sideways, or how it’s painted. It’s what’s inside your home that counts. Even if it is partly a large pile of junk.