I was out with some of West Michigan’s rising leaders tonight and I made what I now consider a silly comment. I was referring to the home we live in and said, “To Kristin and I, ‘It’s just a house…'” As I sit here and reflect on my comment there are so many reasons why my own words bug me so much.
Reason 1 – Our professional work is to help people Love Where They Live so to be congruent with my own values I have to be able to love where I live. I absolutely do. Houses that actually fit our lives support our lives. Our built environment should reflect our values. I value comfortable, stylish, energy & resource efficient, safe homes. Creating this for others is what I have committed to as a central focus of my professional life and for my own happiness I need this myself too. They have to be more than just houses to me.
Reason 2 – More of what I mean is that I know so much about houses and love so many different types of houses I’m not committed to loving just one house. Our last house was very different from our present house, and it’s very different from the house we’re envisioning ourselves living in five years from now. Our last one was a 1925 traditional 2-story with a lot of charm, a warm color palette, and filled with classic architectural details. It was in a traditional neighborhood filled with the sounds of children playing, and walking distance to amenities. Our present home is a 1964 modern style home with a beach color palette inside. The exterior architecture and landscaping is very organic. We have no neighbors and a 1acre lawn that I “knock down” every 10 days or so. It has a totally different feel. Our next home…you’ll just have to wait for the details like we are.
Reason 3-I have already fallen in love with a home – I do not fear commitment that much! The Thompson Family has a home on 100 acres North of Grand Rapids and our whole family is absolutely in love with “The Cottage.” The home itself only has 1100 s.f. but my relationship is one of love for the efficient design, beauty, the river, the rest & quietness it brings me when we are there. Even though it is a home that I visit and do not personally own I Love Living There.
The Point: If I can revise my own statement, “I love a variety of homes vs. just loving one home for 20 years and never updating it. I love where I am, where I have been, and the homes my family will live in down the road. There is something unique in every home and my professional mission is to help “You Love Where You Live.”
This may not have been a necessary confession, but at least I helped myself digest and reframe my comments to reallign them with my beliefs.