We’ve just had a new family bathroom put in. It’s only taken us seven years of mild irritation with our old one to get round to replacing it, but now that we have finally taken the plunge (a) we love it and (b) there’s a degree of symbolism about it, at least for me.
A bit of background about me. I like change. Variety is the spice of life and all that. At work, I struggle to concentrate on one task for any length of time and am constantly jumping from one task to another or wandering away from my desk for the flimsiest of reasons. Outside of work, I’ll get obsessive about a new interest for a few weeks at a time before discarding it for the next thing that comes along.
I’m definitely slowing down now, though. Getting older and having three kids does that to you.
Post-university, I worked for five different organisations before I turned 35 but, nearly nine years after joining, I’m still at that fifth company. This is my sixth home since graduating, but we’ve now been in our current house for seven years. Each of the seven cars I’ve owned has been from a different manufacturer.
Pre-kids, all our spare money went on travelling. Visiting family in Australia and Malaysia. Motel-hopping in a hire car as we drove around New Zealand and California. Standing at the top of the Grand Canyon, the Great Wall of China and an active volcano (that’s New Zealand again). Gawking at the White House, the Sagrada Familia and the Sydney Opera House. The Uffizi, the Louvre, the Museo del Prado. The Nou Camp, the San Siro, the Bernabeu. You get the idea.
Nowadays, the money goes on the house. It took us 15 years of being saddled with a mortgage before we finally embarked on any major home improvements, but last year we converted our double garage into a playroom, now we’ve had the bathroom done and I’m already wondering which of the garden, the kitchen and our en-suite to do next.
So I look at our new bathroom and I don’t just see a new room. I see the metaphorical roots we have put down. We’ve been here long enough to want to change the house and upgrade fixtures and fittings, secure in the knowledge that we’re not planning on going anywhere for a while. We were in our previous two houses for a combined nine years – half of which time they were on the market as we sought a move. Seven years on, I can see us in this house for at least another four years.
I’m not a nomadic wanderer any more. (I’m not sure I ever was, to be honest, but let me run with that romanticised notion, okay?) I’m a happy, settled family man.
We’re not moving anywhere for the foreseeable future. I do need a new car, though. As I said, I like change.