Have you ever watched HGTV’s House Hunters?
The premise is simple: People are looking for a home. The show opens with us meeting this family (or retired couple or single person or sisters or newlyweds–turns out all different kinds of people need to find a new home for all different kinds of reasons) and hearing about the home they currently live in and the home they hope to find. We hear their Wish List for their next home: 2 bathrooms, a walk-in master closet, close to work, 4 bedrooms, easy to maintain, etc. And we meet their Realtor, who is "going to find Sally and Bob that perfect home!"
For the rest of the show, we watch the family tour three homes. As they walk through the houses, we see what they like (It has a pool!) and what they don’t (Those bedrooms are kind of small). We quickly discover if they have an affinity for crown molding, a love of wood floors, a desire for a fireplace. At the end of the three tours and before the show goes to its last commercial break, the host (the ever-positive Suzanne Whang) reviews the choices and asks us, the viewing audience, "Which one did they choose?"
I have to admit, it’s kind of fun to try to guess during the commercial break which house they bought. On House # 1, she loved the kitchen but he thought the street the house was on was too busy. On House # 2, they both fell in love with the view but it stretched their budget to the max. On House # 3, the upgrades were beautiful but it fell one bedroom short of what they were hoping for.
I also have to admit I’m often surprised by the choice. "What?!" I’ll think upon the revelation. "They hated those closets in that house! And he said he didn’t want a large yard to maintain! And she swore she’d never live in another 2-story home again!"
At the close of the show, we get a chance to visit with the family after they’ve lived in their home for several weeks. And they’re ecstatic. They talk about how much they’re enjoying their new house, how they’re putting their personal touches on the place, how they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
"What?!" I’ll think again. "They hated those closets in that house! And he said he didn’t want a large yard to maintain! And she swore she’d never live in another 2-story home again!"
And then it hits me: You don’t have to get everything you want to be happy.
You really, really don’t.
These families never find the perfect home--there is no perfect home. But that doesn't stop them from smiling when they talk about their place because they look at what they do have. And that makes them happy.
I’m old enough now to understand that there are going to be some things in life I want that I will get. There are going to be some things in life I want that I will never, ever get. But I can most definitely choose to look at what I do have...and talk about that with a smile.
And that makes me happy.