Goldilocks and the Search for “Just Right”
If I were to be truthful, we would have to call the main character Graylocks, but I’m going to take poetic license because Goldilocks sounds much more appealing! This is the final chapter in Goldilocks’ quest for the “just right” home in which to age gracefully, or at least reasonably well.
As with any good story, this began with a once upon a time. Once upon a time, Goldilocks and her husband, Graybeard, found themselves rattling around in a house that used to be full of kids, their friends, cats, and a pet ferret. Back then, it felt “just right,” but now the house felt “too big.” If you listened hard enough, you could still hear echoes of slumber parties, family dinners, kids fighting over bathroom space, and hours of homework done at the kitchen table. But as the years passed, those sounds became fainter, and the house yearned for a big family to fill its rooms again.
Goldilocks and her husband decided to begin the quest for a new version of “just right.” Don’t let the storybook fool you; it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Before they could leave the “too big” house, they had to get rid of way too many things, clean, paint, and make endless repairs. Finally, it was time to move on in the story and leave the “too big” house in the past.
Goldilocks, Graybeard, and their cat named Sam moved to an apartment. It was a fine apartment. There was a fabulous pool and friendly neighbors, but they were bursting at the seams. Boxes stood in closets, more boxes were under the bed, and cabinets were packed like a Jenga tower threatening to topple if you removed one piece. When the grandchildren visited, it was like having too many sardines in a small tin can. Very loud, wild sardines that the neighbors probably didn’t love. The apartment was “too small.” It was time for the next chapter, but it wasn’t easy to find. The table of contents in the story seemed to be missing the next chapter. They didn’t give up, though. They searched and searched.
Until one day, as if by magic, a small, but not too small, cottage sprouted a For Sale sign on the front lawn. Goldilocks and Graybeard asked their fairy godmother if they could go inside and look at the cottage. She waved her realtor’s wand and made a key appear. As they walked in the front door, they were sprinkled with stardust and surrounded by an indescribable feeling of being home. They loved the house, and it seemed to love them right back. With a sigh of relief, papers were signed, bank accounts emptied, and keys given. They had found their happily ever after “just right” fairytale home and dubbed it “Bunny Cottage.”
It was a much longer journey to get to “happily ever after” than Goldilocks had anticipated, but sometimes it takes writing and re-writing chapters to find the ending you want. What fits in one chapter of life often doesn’t seem right in another chapter. It wasn’t a perfect house, but it was perfect for them. Similar to Goldilocks and Graybeard, the house had old bones that creaked when it moved. There were wrinkles and flaws, but the house’s imperfections made it feel familiar and invited tender loving care.
As Goldilocks, I learned about myself through the saga of finding our forever home. I am relieved that I can adapt to various living situations even when they are less than ideal. My happiness is not dependent on having a fancy house with granite and marble. Our new home is small, but I see it as cozy. Our new home is simple with no fancy finishes or impressive looks, but I prefer to think of that as low maintenance. Love is what makes a house a home.
Perhaps the best part about writing the final chapter in Goldilocks’ quest for “just right” is the location of Bunny Cottage. There are two baby bears, the best grandchildren in the world, who live just a short walk away. I can already imagine them donning their red coats with hoods and walking through the forest, making sure to avoid the big bad wolf on their way to grandmother’s house. But wait, I’m mixing up my fairy tales. My baby bears will most likely hop on their scooters or bikes and travel the two blocks from their house to mine. Being close to my grandkids in a “just right” house is the best “happily ever after” possible!