Closing on a Major Life Goal

Closing Time
via woodlywonderworks on Flickr

I’ve long joked about the completion of Minor Life Goals. What’s a Minor Life Goal, you ask? Simple. It’s an accomplishment or feat that is usually ridiculous, somewhat unplanned and often only recognized as a Minor Life Goal after the fact of its completion. Meeting Tom Hanks…appearing on the Bozo Show…traveling to Qatar…eating at every Portillo’s. I’ve completed three of those four, but my Minor Life Goal list is seemingly endless and grows every time I identify a personal “accomplishment” that satisfies a wacky requirement or mission of my own invention.

What, then, of the Major Life Goals? You know the ones. These are the big-yet-realistic-sounding goals that you develop when you’re a kid and agonize about realizing when you’re becoming a so-called adult. Getting your driver’s license…buying a car…graduating from high school…graduating from college…getting married…buying a house…having kids. Basically, all of the things that made it so much fun to play that Game of LIFE board game when you were young. (Except for the part near the end of the game where your life’s total cash value determines whether you wind up in a nursing home for rich people or poor people. How depressing.)

Well, my 29th year is starting off with a milestone move in my own Game of LIFE that also happens to be the completion of a Major Life Goal: home ownership. On Tuesday I finally closed on a condominium after a nearly two-year search for a place that pleased both my pocketbook and my property preferences. I’m happy to announce that the two-bedroom/two-bath condo I now own (it’s still surreal to type those words) was well worth the wait.

There’s not much to see yet. I’m in the process of cleaning the previous owner’s dirt off of everything (in his defense, it was already very clean when I got the keys), then I need to choose colors and paint the walls, then I need to install new carpet, then I need to buy/somehow obtain furniture (my current needs include a comfortable bed, a comfortable couch and an enormous TV). Can this all be completed by the new year? Here’s hoping. Let’s just say it’s going to be an epic Black Friday and I will be stimulating the economy to no end over the next couple months. You’re welcome, America.

As for the completion of the Major Life Goal, it still doesn’t feel real. When I shook Tom Hanks’ hand and engaged him in conversation, there was a definite moment after which the Minor Life Goal had been completed. But, in this case, it’s not so cut-and-dried. I guess I won’t really feel like a homeowner until I’m spending the night in a fully furnished condo, knowing that I am the proud owner of everything from the wall studs inward, not to mention the small percentage of ownership I can claim on things such as the “Close Door” button inside the elevator. And that the elevator will take me down to my car in the heated garage parking space that I also own. I can’t imagine a cold winter morning without starting the car-thawing process 20 minutes before I leave for work. This will be a brave new world indeed.

I’m sure that homeowner feeling will strike with a vengeance when the association fee and mortgage payments start next month and I figure out exactly how much Living the American Dream really costs. But right now, I have more pressing affairs to tend to than my financial stability. What color should I paint my walls?!

One thing’s for sure: I’m painting a big, satisfied black check mark next to a Major Life Goal.

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