No Place Like Home
A visitor asked why my apartment looks like I just moved into it. My snappy answer was that I'm a busy fellow with more stuff than places to put it. The answer was good enough for the moment, but it didn't sit well with me.
Over the course of the day, the problem danced on the edge of cognition. It bugged me that I my apartment did seem so cluttered and that I spend so little time thinking about it. Then the answer came: the apartment isn't home.
With the exception of a month spent in a temporary apartment in my mid-teens, I have always lived in a single-family dwelling; that is to say, a house. Before moving into this apartment I lived in the same house for twelve years. That is a fairly long time to stay in one place.
I did not willingly move from my house. Illness reduced my ability to care for myself and home. The doctor told me not to mow my lawn or shovel snow anymore. That's not really an option for an Iowan. So, I moved to an apartment.
At first, it was no big deal. I had better things to worry about at the time. I worked on my health. I went back to school to train for a job that was not affected by my condition. Settling into a place to sleep and keep my stuff wasn't a priority.
Over the years, my health improved. I also finished my education and started working. Work really does take up a great deal of time, but I should have time for my home. The apartment isn't home, though.
When I think of my current domicile it seems temporary, as though I will move out at any time. It has seemed like that for most of the six years I've lived here. At some point in the future I probably will move out, just like always.
Despite being just shy of forty years old, I am freshly out of college. The balance between being a middle-aged guy and a new graduate fights me daily. The new career will pay off in the long run. It won't be too long before I get myself an old farm house and have to do the mowing and shoveling again.
Maybe it is good that the smaller apartment is not home. It motivates me and reminds me why I should be striving to do more. The apartment is less of a home and more of a base camp. Now, I just have to keep myself moving forward toward moving out.