Posted by: Kate | December 31, 2008


There’s a line in an Alien Ant Farm song, of which there are only two songs I especially like to begin with, but this one, Attitude, just stays with me for some reason.  The beat and the message and, whatever.  Anyway, it has a line that says, “It seems like we need our own space.”

Every time I hear that line, I nod to myself.  And continue to not have any of my own space, because apparently that is what moms do in middle-class college-educated United States culture.  The kids each have their own rooms, and Willem has his own office (which has recently been moved into our bedroom to save on heating costs, thereby reducing another space I had that was at least shared only with one other person).  But all of my spaces are shared: the bedroom, the kitchen, the living room.  I don’t have a space that is my own, except the great cavernous one inside my own head, some days.

But, as 2008 rolls to a close – and good riddance – I have high hopes for 2009.  We’re moving to Massachusetts in June; I can say this without qualifiers because all of the obstacles and uncertainties to this have slowly ticked away: Willem has passed his minor and by then will only have a dissertation to complete, the money will be tight but we believe we have figured out a way to finance it, I certainly don’t have any job concerns.  The only things standing between our current, soulless, ’70s prefab-on-a-slab tract house and my hundred-year-old house on the ocean are actions: calling the Realtor, getting a contractor in, starting to pack and minimize and clean for potential buyers.  Actions that are within my sphere, particularly without that nasty complication of a job pulling down my spare time.

I don’t know that I’ll have my own space in the new house.  I’m hoping for a craft room, such that I can have my yarn out and visible, pick up quilting, perhaps return to beadwork and mosaic, consider spinning and dyeing my own yarn.  That would be lovely, particularly if it overlooks the ocean and has a door that closes all the way.  But we’re also planning – planning, not just hoping – to open a B&B, and if I have to choose between another guest room and a craft room, well, closets hold yarn, too.

The difference will be, though, that this next house, all of it, will be my own space.  I’m not going to compromise on location and age, on certain structural details (covered porch, fireplace, attic or basement for reasonably accessible storage, outside storage for the snowblower Willem won’t let me have in our current storage-strapped house), on vibe.  I will stand in the empty house, tune out the Realtor’s natterings, pretend I’m all-the-way deaf, and just soak in the house until I find one that feels right.

I don’t blame all of 2008’s problems – inability to conceive, major illnesses, job loss, stress – on the house we’re in.  But my negativity has imprinted upon the house, at least in my own perspective.  I hate this house.  I hate that it is on a slab, so the floors are always cold and the pipes from the new bathroom run up over the kitchen ceiling to reach the main outflow.  I hate that it is just exactly the same as a dozen other houses in the neighborhood.  I hate that the bathroom door creaks and scrapes no matter how many times we mess with it, and the attic pull-down steps are a debilitating eye injury waiting to happen.

So, for 2009, I’m pinning big hopes on finding and moving into a house that I can love.  Love, not just like or tolerate.  I want to love my home, and I want to be proud of it when I invite people into it.  It’s the closest I will come to a New Year’s Resolution.


  1. Here’s wishing you and your lovely family a New Year full of prosperous opportunities and the kind of lush life you’ve dreamed of and so richly deserve. Cheers!

  2. I wish for you everything that you desire in 2009! Happy New Year!

  3. I’m so with you on needing/wanting space. Our house is 900 square feet of living space (excluding an unfinished basement). I’ve always needed my own space. In our next house, I’ve already stated that I get my own room. I’m willing to have it also be a guest room/office, but it’s going to be mine.

    I look forward to seeing the B&B get started!

  4. Happy New Year!

    I agree with you about not buying a house unless it feels right to you. There are things I wish were differnet about ours, but there’s nothing, short of winning the lottery, that we can do about it.

  5. Happy New Year Kate .. I hope all you want comes to fruition. I still don’t have my own ‘space’ but that doesn’t bother me. I like sharing. I have enough solitude for ‘me’ time but prefer a house full of people. All the best to you and yours

  6. May all your dreams and wishes be fulfilled in 2009!

    Love ya girl.

  7. Hope you get everything you hope for – Happy New Year!

  8. I so, so hear you. I drive my husband crazy looking at houses that we can’t afford yet. When I was little I didn’t dream about big weddings and clothes and boys and dating. I dreamed about being a mom, and having the house that I would love. Like you, I LOVE the older houses, I love the feeling of the history, even the mundane, the lives that have been lived within their walls. I’m gonna keep dreaming (and have also considered the B&B thing as a way to finance said dream) no matter who it drives crazy. If I weren’t a dreamer I wouldn’t have this beautiful family that no one thought was possible! I can’t wait to see what 2009 has in store for you and your family, and I can’t wait to see the house you choose!!

  9. I can’t wait to come and visit in your new house!!

  10. Wow! We hope to find a new house this year, too. It is important to have your own space. Sometimes, I find mine in places outside my house, like the park. I can’t exactly “furnish” the park as I choose, but the moments I spend there are truly mine. I’m looking forward to this year as a period of personal growth. I think challenging times can offer that opportunity.
    For you, I wish the house and space you desire. In fact, may all your deferred hope transform into deepest satisfaction. Happy NEW Year!

  11. Happy New Year! Your post made me think of A Room of One’s Own… yes, it’s important to have a place to withdraw to, a place to call your own. I hope you get that in the new year.

  12. Happy New Year.

    I totally believe a house can absorb negative energy. My step-mom has steps for a Sage-cleaning if you are interested. It worked when they bought a home owned by a particularly nasty person.

    And I would love to have a craft room, instead of hauling my stuff out of the closet and onto the kitchen table.

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