My husband and I like to take family walks with the kids after dinner when the weather is nice enough. A lot of days I also take the kids for a walk while my husband is at work. Almost every day we pass this one house in our community that recently had an inground pool put in. From the start it was a beautiful pool! Now pretty much everytime we pass this house, there is an addition to the backyard around the pool. First they installed an open gazebo by one end of the pool. Then they added a huge sectional outdoor sofa and some nice deck chairs. Then suddenly there was a sleek mini-fridge followed by a huge flatscreen tv hanging from the gazebo ceiling, Recently they added a stonewall structure to one side of the pool. Last night we discovered that the structure had twin waterfalls running down the side of it and into the pool.
Obviously I would love to have all of that (except maybe the flatscreen) in my own backyard to enjoy, but what is really the kicker for me is that we never see anyone in this backyard! We pass at different times almost every evening, and I go by with the girls during the day - but no one is ever out there! We have actually gone for walks on two nice summer evenings where it was apparent that the people who live there were having a lot of company, and STILL there was no one outside! I complain about this often to my husband who doesn't care in the slightest and is getting pretty tired of me bringing it up every walk.
However, the more I think about it, the more it makes me wonder what gems I am missing about my own house that are blantantly obvious to other people who don't live here. It's so easy to walk around someone else's house and think things like: "Oh that must be a great chair to read in!" or, "They must practically live in this yard!", but it surprises us when people say the same about our home sometimes.
Instead of looking at what others have and thinking about how you would make better use of it, try to see what you have in a new light. Take a walk around the house and see all the potential in each space. We can get so in a rut with the routines of what we do in each room (THIS is where the children play, THIS is where we eat, and THIS is where we dump all our stuff on the way in the door) that we miss ways to make them so much more.
So for now I can drag a lawn chair or blanket out to my own backyard and think about all I have. The yard is fenced in, so the dogs can run around and the children can play to their hearts' content when they are older. The grass is growing nicely (and is quite green) and my husband has planted a little garden in one corner. We have big plans on what we can eventually do with the yard, but as it is right now there is already plenty to enjoy about it and probably a lot more that I have to discover.