I found an apartment on Craigslist. Cashed in part of my retirement to pay the security deposit and three months rent upfront, for moving, buying furniture, getting renter’s insurance, retaining a lawyer.
I left a five-bedroom, four-bathroom house with gorgeous property, a deck with big BBQ grill, central air, gym, finished basement, three-car garage, fireplace, and a kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, granite countertops, and stunning cabinets. Throw in a Mercedes.
My apartment sits along a major turnpike and the railroad tracks, but I like the noise because it keeps me company. The kitchen has Formica countertops and cabinets, low-end appliances, a single window air conditioner, and a fire escape. I use the communal laundry room and have to make sure my card has cash on it and I get there on time to take my clothes out of the washers and dryers. My car, now a Ford, is parked in a lot where I need a permit. I take Metro North to work, walk mostly everywhere I go. After not working for years, I’ve also managed to land a great job, and recently got a promotion and health benefits.
I’ve never lived alone. I went from my childhood home to an apartment, and then a home, with my husband. My marriage lasted 37 years. The thought of leaving was originally paralyzing, but I now understand there is no failure if you know you must make a life change and are committed to moving forward. Being cozy and comfortable is what we all want, but walking on eggshells, living with anxiety and fear, and being oppressed by a husband is not worth a single luxury. Admittedly, I’m lonely at times, but I was lonely living with my husband.
I believe this with all my heart because I’m still the same great cook without all the bells and whistles. When I ran out of fabric softener I stopped using it altogether, and my laundry is just as soft without it. Shopping for one, instead of six, is liberating. Eating when and what I want is so indulgent. TV? What a joke! I never could watch it or listen to music with my husband. He always decided what we’d see and what we’d hear!
Bottom line, I work hard and get paid for it; living with less feels great, and being able to make myself happy is such a reward.
Like the weather, life is unpredictable and tomorrow is promised to no one. So seize the day!