Categories
Greece (Skopelos) Life lessons

What dream are you trading for new hardwood flooring?

When it comes right down to it, I would rather marvel at a Greek monastery than my kitchen.

anthony tran
Photo: Anthony Tran on Unsplash

The linoleum flooring in my kitchen is really old. In fact, it’s no longer white. It’s now off-white with an uneven pattern of nicks and dings that has, over the past twenty-four years, resulted in a floor that looks ugly, dirty, and tired. The linoleum, with its four-inch gray grid, was patterned to resemble white ceramic tile. And it did resemble that for the first five years, which was as long as we had originally planned for the flooring to last.

But, if you’re a homeowner, you know how that goes. Often, those initial fixtures outlast their welcome. And for us, that has especially been the case because we’ve never been in a financial position to update our flooring AND pay our bills.

Owning a ceramic studio, freelance writing, college adjunct positions, public school teaching, and an array of part-time retail stints have always managed to pay our basic expenses, but rarely anything additional. Hence, the ugly and outdated off-white linoleum.

So what does one do when one has a dream but also needs new kitchen flooring? My answer: go for the dream.

Yes, in our case, the practical solution would be to update the floor… to build value in the largest investment my husband and I have ever made. But we also know that paying for a new floor will only defer our creative goals. In other words, practicality has its limits and we have quite a dream: one month in Greece next summer.

My husband and I are travelling to Skopelos, a Greek island in the Sporades archipelago east of the mainland. Here, my husband will work a three-week residency at The Skopelos Foundation for the Arts. I, on the other hand, plan to develop a new direction in my writing while lingering on the island for an extended time.

greece-2766305_1920
Photo: Dimitris Vetsikas on Pixabay

Staying anywhere for an extended time requires money, and no, we don’t have the funds right now to go, but we are saving. We have ceased eating out on Friday evenings, for example. We are putting away what we can, and plan to have the majority of our trip paid for before our departure date.

Of course, that departure will lead to a return date. Once home, when I step into our kitchen, flip the light switch, and see the same old linoleum, what thoughts will cross my mind? Will I be glad I still have that flooring because keeping it allowed me to write in a new environment and experience new cultures and people? Or will I scowl at the floor, its ugliness reminding me of what I will still have in my life: uncertainty, bills to pay, the meager income that results when both spouses teach?

Will I be grateful for the dream that we chose to chase? Yes, I think so.

In the end, I believe that one can afford what one wants to afford. And when it comes right down to it, I would rather marvel at a Greek monastery than new hardwood flooring. If I can’t have both, I’ll take the dream.


Many things have happened since I originally published this post last fall on Medium.com. My husband was offered a full-time position at a nearby university, and we are moving from our home (with its aging linoleum) later this summer after our stay in Greece. Since we’re moving into a new home, we’ll pass on upgrading to new hardwood flooring. 

By marilynyung

Writes | Teaches | Not sure where one ends and the other begins.

10 replies on “What dream are you trading for new hardwood flooring?”

I love this post because I’ve been there done that. We still have the Formica that was on our kitchen counters when we bought the house 26 years ago. As you can imagine it is chipped and discolored, and not very attractive. Do I buy new marble counter tops or go on an amazing travel adventure? Hmmm . . . travel always wins!

Like

Well, I hadn’t even thought about our Formica countertops. They look terrible, too, especially over by the toaster. Not sure what happened there! Regardless, I’m with you. Greece is a go!

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s