At the beginning of my divorce I moved into an apartment until I was able to purchase a townhouse, which was the first time I’d ever had a mortgage in my own name. It was very exciting, and also a little scary!

This summer I noticed the front screen door is no longer correctly hanging in its frame.

The refrigerator has been making strange sounds for quite a while and every time I hear it shudder, I send out a prayer that it keeps working. The same with my garbage disposal. Now I need to use the flashlight on my cell phone to go up the steps to my bedroom at night, because the hallway light burned out, and I can’t reach the ceiling fixture to change the bulb and don’t have a ladder I trust.

Frustrated with my fix-up to-do list, I thought, “If I was renting, I wouldn’t have to deal with all these things and life would be so much easier.”

Then I wondered if could I do that with my life—just rent instead of own. Someone else could fix everything that was broken and take care of all the messy stuff: financial issues, stress issues, emotional issues. Wow, now that would make things easy.

But then it wouldn’t be my life. I would no longer have a sense of who I was and would rely on advertisers to tell me how I should look and how spring fresh my house should smell. I might forget to look into my heart when deciding moral and ethical issues, instead depending on the loudest, most bullying voices to tell me what to think.

Owning our lives can be messy and uncertain at times, but it is a privilege, a gift. With the guidance, support and love of others, it can also be exhilarating, joyful and thrilling. The tapestry of every life is woven with colors that are both brilliant and dark, with experiences that either lift us or cause us to stumble. This is how we learn to be resilient, compassionate and courageous.  This is how we learn who we truly are. I do not want to become a stranger to myself. Renting is not an option.

As for my townhouse, I decided to call a handy man.