There is a fine line between the joy of owning a thing or partaking in an activity and the pain in the ass that comes with doing the maintenance for it. There’s a tipping point at which you’ll be more frustrated with the maintenance than getting whatever joy you hoped to get from your house, boat, yard, car, friendship, hobby, or additional child.
- A big backyard can be fun, but you’ll do a lot of lawn mowing and yard work.
- Owning classic cars seems cool until you have to figure out how to maintain their engines and store the darn things safely.
- Boats are great in the summer. Good luck keeping them from rotting away in the winter.
- Rental properties are a way to get rich and save on taxes. But those 11 pm plumbing calls from your tenants while on vacation are not fun.
- I love plants, both inside and outside. Though it does annoy me, I have to find people to water them when we leave town for an extended period.
- Our cabin in the mountains is a fantastic place to escape to on the weekends. But yeah, I spent at least half the time I am up there working on the damn thing rather than just enjoying it. (I do enjoy that work)
- Children are great. But the unbundled joy that comes with adding a little one to your family also comes with an unimaginable list of predictable and unpredictable tasks and challenges.
- Cats. Ditto.
- Dogs. Ditto.
- Horses. Double Ditto.
And to an extent, that’s all ok. We love our daughter, cabin, dog (9/10), and cat (except every day at 4 am). But they all come with a lot of work, and we made that bargain with ourselves.
- Adding a rental property to this would be too much.
- If I tried to work on my car, that would be too much.
- Take our daughter out of daycare. Too much.
- Buy a sailboat, too much.
- Add running water to the cabin. Too much as it would add a whole list of winterization tasks to my to-do list.
Most of everything in life comes with maintenance. It’s almost impossible to eliminate it entirely. But if you’re aware and conscious, you can begin to limit it.
And if you limit the maintenance that comes with your life, you can enjoy the people, dogs, cats, and activities that truly matter to you.
Life’s short. Love what you have. Limit maintenance with what you don't need.
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