We live in an apartment in the city. It’s big enough and not as run down as some apartments. The cupboards are a bit shabby. They’re coming apart in places and they don’t close the way they should. The carpet is frayed in places on the stairs from tenants before us who had cats. Apparently, even with our exuberant five year old, we are quieter than previous tenants. Our neighbours tell us that they don’t hear us. Since that’s what every apartment dweller wants in a neighbour, I guess they’re thankful for us!
When I first moved in I was not grateful for our apartment. I hated the location. It wasn’t in the city, but it wasn’t out of it either. We couldn’t afford city rent or a commute. My daughter had to go back and forth to the only children’s hospital on this coast and my husband worked in the city. So, we were stuck. If we could live in the city I would go back to all my favourite shops and parks and I would be a happy stay-at-home Mom, I told myself. So, even though we were incredibly fortunate to pay a low rent on a large, mostly intact apartment, I didn’t appreciate our luck. I whined and complained and continually looked for an opportunity to move.
There is nowhere to go from here on foot. That is, except for the post office and a Catholic church. So, I took up postcard collecting.
I had not considered myself Catholic in sixteen years. Every time we went anywhere we would pass the church and I would think about why I didn’t go back. I would go over all my reasons and wish that things were different, but I was sure that returning to church was not part of my path. I was wrong! Despite all the disappointments that led us to an apartment within walking distance of nothing but a church (and a post office), I know now that it was meant to be. Now we can’t leave! We can’t live any closer to what is important than we do already.
Since we aren’t leaving, I’ve been trying to grow in gratitude for the apartment’s good points. I rearranged the furniture. We’ve been trying to make better use of all the space. We’ll get there.