Life in the Land of Plenty

By on 10 October, 2018 in Sandra Nickel with 0 Comments

Yesterday, I spent a good part of the afternoon at our gorgeous new listing, 1827 Ridge Ave Unit 7.

For those of you who don’t know Old Cloverdale like the back of your hand, that address boasts 6 lovely condominiums in the main building plus a detached unit across the courtyard.

As I gazed out from the sumptuous living room to the beauty beyond, I wished fervently that there were only some way my aging husband Jim and I might simplify our lives (and upgrade our surroundings) with a move here.  “But,” I muttered to myself, “what about everything in the attic and the garage? What about Jim’s ‘man cave’ and its furnishings? What about…”

Once again, I had become a victim of life in the land of plenty! My desire for less responsibility and more beauty was thwarted by attachment to our belongings. And I am certainly not alone in this very human condition. One woman who spent a good part of the afternoon with me felt the same but was stopped by the ownership of 3 cats and her need for them to have “a room of their own.”

Through my nearly 40 years of real estate brokerage, I’ve heard thousands of stories like that. The 13-foot German shrunks owned by many military families put severe limits on their housing choices. The automobile(s) that disqualify thousands of otherwise acceptable Montgomery area homes because they were constructed without covered parking. And the poor empty nesters who are trapped in large homes not because there are children still present but because they have inherited furniture, antique and otherwise, from one or more relatives.

Author Barry Schwartz has written extensively on The Tyranny of Choice, his theory that having more options just increases the likelihood of picking something you won’t be satisfied with. His work is credited with birthing today’s popular “simplicity movement.”

Since many of us ultimately reach the point of feeling oppressed by possessions, maybe I need to “put on a new hat” and write about “The Agony of Abundance.” After all, it’s been my long-time contention that we really own nothing…all our stuff owns us!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 30 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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