I went for a long walk by myself today—no dogs, no phone—through one of the nicest historic residential neighborhoods in my town. I sipped a breve mocha and admired the lovely old homes, from mansions to cottages, along the tree-lined streets. I remembered when I was looking to buy a house a few years ago, how I’d walk those same streets with craven yearnings in my covetous heart to own any one of those lovely dwellings. How I’d redo the yard in this one, entertain lavishly in that one, impress everybody when I moved into that other one. It was all so distracting, that anxious desire to have things I really could never hope to afford.
When I finally did find my little house, I knew the moment I laid eyes on it that it was the only one for me. I couldn’t move fast enough to make it my own.
So I noticed today that although I still admire those beautiful historic homes just as much as I ever did, I don’t covet them like I used to because I love the home I have, in all its affordable, single-level, easy-maintenance glory.
When the right thing comes along, at least in my life, the rightness of it is so overwhelmingly evident that all other options simply cease to exist and all barriers to my having it easily fall away. When a friend called me about four years ago and asked me to pet sit at her house for a week to look after a mama cat with a litter of brand-new kittens and a recently rehomed Schnauzer, the wheels were set in motion for Rudy to come into my life. I brought him back to my house to stay with me the first night and we bonded immediately. When my friend returned from her trip, she could see immediately that this was the right dog for me, and she graciously allowed me to take him home for keeps. About a year later, a co-worker brought a 6-week-old Schnauzer puppy in to the office for the day. She said the puppy was already sold to a couple who lived out of state and would be flying in to get her in a couple of weeks. She asked me to “hold her for me just for a minute while I run out to my car,” and when she returned half an hour later, I knew that puppy was meant to be mine. The sale fell through the following week with no explanation, so all that remained to be decided was what I would name her. It had to be Reggie (Regina Isabel).
I’m grateful for these moments of grace in my life when the right choice—the perfect choice—was so clear and so easy to make. Everything that has come into my life that way, I cherish all the more for the absolute certainty that there could be no better choice for me. I love the seductive lure of wanting to have certain things, of course, but even more, I love the simple, sustained comfort of wanting what I have.