Changing perspective

How magic it is to simply change how you look at a situation or circumstance (are those two things really different?).

I wrote, just a few days ago, about feeling deliciously in harmony with the universe, and part of that harmony is coming to an agreement with the to-be-ex (hereafter referred to as TBE) about our divorce settlement, and our child custody arrangements. One big hurdle in that latter discussion was the difficulty of me living in Baltimore, but the kids living mostly in Rockville. Over the past 18+ months since I left the Rockville home, and have lived in Baltimore, I can’t tell you how many people have asked me “Why don’t you move back to Rockville?” Maybe you, dear reader, was one of them!

And my response to that was always “No way!! I hate Rockville! I love living in Baltimore! I don’t want to go back, and going back would mean that my life continues to be defined by what’s convenient for [TBE], rather than what works for me. No way!”

Well, guess what?  I’m buying a house in Rockville.

What happened?

Well, in the process of trying to come to a workable arrangement to spend enough time with the boys during the school year, when they attend school in Rockville, I had tested out an option that is workable, but not ideal.  TBE suggested a while ago that I look into staying at a hotel/executive suite option on the weeknights that I have with the boys, but the only ones available are a fair distance away, and are also a bit pricey.  So, I checked out Airbnb, which resulted in me finding a really nice basement studio apartment, not far from the boys’ schools, and I stayed there with them two weeks ago, just before the penultimate meeting I had with TBE and our mediator.  It worked fine – we had a large room, with three beds, and a kitchen which the host stocks with breakfast supplies, and had a full-sized fridge, so having supplies to make the boys’ lunches was easy.  The bathroom was also quite nice, with a good shower (always a critical piece of staying anywhere), and I could do laundry!!  It really did work out well.

But, then we met with the mediator, and TBE objected to the arrangement (even though it was essentially his idea!?!?!).  His concern was that the boys need their own rooms, and especially our older son, who is very, very pre-adolescent (or maybe just adolescent), and craves privacy.  Although, S (the older one) hadn’t expressed any objection to me, he apparently had to TBE, and that was the result of this discussion.

And TBE offered a suggestion: how about renting or buying a house in Rockville, and on the nights when I am not with the boys, I can do Airbnb in Baltimore?  Basically switching the arrangement that I had come up with, so that my home base would be in Rockville, and the Airbnb would be in Baltimore.  During the school year, I would be staying at the Airbnb more than in the Rockville home, but better for me to be the one in temporary digs, by myself, rather than making the boys feel like nomads.

And, I left that meeting pondering this suggestion.  And, I realized, with the help of some Airbnb searches, that it really did make a lot of sense (and cents!).  Airbnb options for one person in the vicinity of where I am currently living are a third of the cost of the space for three of us in Rockville.  And, I actually can afford to buy a small house in Rockville, within 3-5 miles of the boys, making it easy for them to stay with me, and also to be in their neighborhood, and close to friends.

So, I’m buying a house in Rockville, and looking for a room to rent in Baltimore.  Although the Airbnb option is workable, I’d rather just rent a room, and be able to have my stuff stable and in one place.  So, if you are in Baltimore, and know of a room available, in the vicinity of Beth Am Congregation in Reservoir Hill, so that I can continue walking to services on shabbat and holidays when I’m in Baltimore, please let me know!

And, lesson learned – keep an open mind, because sometimes the solution to a problem is simply a change in perspective.