Lately, my husband and I have been indulging in dreams of our future. Of course, said dreams necessarily mean that all the kids have moved out of the house, which feels far away right now.
We’ve both agreed that we’d like to buy (not rent) a condo in a cool neighborhood in Dallas called Oak Lawn, also known as Dallas’ “gayborhood.” My husband was pretty impressed by a recent trip there, in which he saw Black Lives Matter murals and rainbow-painted sidewalks.
It’s an expensive neighborhood, to be sure, but we could buy a two-bedroom condo for about the same price that we could buy a four-bedroom house like the one we currently rent in the burbs. Sure, it’s about half the square footage and we’d have to pare back a lot of our crap, but neither of us would mind that. It would be worthwhile to both of us to be in a cooler, more walkable neighborhood with lots of public transit nearby.
My husband is also thinking ahead about me, believing that I’d benefit in the future from not having to manage lawn maintenance by myself if and when he’s gone. (Of course, he’d also benefit from not doing yard work, which he hates far more than I do.)
I truly don’t believe that my MS will ever get so bad that I wouldn’t be able to mow my own lawn. I just don’t and I’m making medical decisions accordingly now. I fully believe that a positive mindset counts for a lot.
But I also suspect that he’s again thinking about me (as well as himself) in terms of where I’d like to be if he’s gone. He’s absolutely right that I’d rather be in a more vibrant neighborhood. What he may or may not know is that given my inertia, I might otherwise try to stay in exactly the neighborhood where I am now. I love the house that I’m in and I love the neighborhood, but it’s very suburban. And with the kids (allegedly, hopefully) gone, there’s no point in having a four-bedroom house to maintain.
I’ve set a very lofty goal, though: I want to pay for the condo in cash outright. We’re nowhere near that point now, but I believe we can get there and that’s half the battle.
So I’m starting a couple of new business ventures to try to achieve that. One is a space I’m very familiar and comfortable with; the other less so. But both of them have very high income potential. I’ve known or known of people in these industries whose earnings have far exceeded the amount of money we’d need to buy a house with cash.
This also means that I’m doing well enough MS-wise, even in the summer (which is historically my worst season for my health.) I can devote attention to both these new ventures as well as my current writing work. That also gives me some hope that I can support myself when the time comes that I have to.
But the unspoken truth is that we have no idea how long my husband will be here, which is scary and sobering. I just hope he’s around for long enough to see this dream come true and to get to enjoy it for a while.