They say you should be careful what you wish for in life, and on the face of it that is very good advice. But what happens when you get exactly what you’ve always wanted and it turns out to be exactly what you hoped it would be?

When we moved here it was everything I had ever dreamed of since my childhood. A detached house with a large garden in the heart of the countryside. My little piece of England, perfect, or at least as near perfect as I was going to get without being a millionaire.

For 14 years I have loved this place, nurtured it, worked at it, cared for it, some days hated it, but the truth is there is nowhere in the world I would rather be. That makes me either a very sad person or very lucky one, I like to think the latter.

When we were first married in the early 1970’s we used to talk and dream of our ‘forever house’. When we moved here we both felt this was it. We were living the dream.

But what happens when it begins to dawn on you that it can’t last. Everyone knows that they will get old and die one day, but when you’re in your twenties and thirties, even forties, it seems so far away as not to matter. But now in my late fifties it’s a different matter.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in pretty good health for my age, in fact on a good day I could out-garden someone half my age. But the signs are there and 3/4 acre is a pretty big plot to look after.

A lifelong bad back creaks and groans, my mis-shapen fingers and lack of grip indicate possible joint problems. The frozen shoulder of last year was a stark reminder of how we rely on all our bodily parts to function for even the simplest task.

Then there’s Peter. Cutting the hedges and the ivy each year cripple him for days after. When he’s finished the garden looks tidy again and we both admire the end product with pride. But is it a price too high to pay?  We can’t afford to get the jobs done professionally. The bottom line is we’re not getting any younger and we’re asset rich but cash poor.

I would hate to be in a position where I couldn’t do the garden anymore and it fell into rack and ruin. Looking out of the window everyday to see the neglect would break my heart.

What do you do?

Do you cling on to what you have and what you love with all your heart, with all your strength and all your might and work hard until you can work no more? Do you carry on until will power alone is not enough to get the grass and the hedges cut? Could you bear the consequences of that?

Or do you cut and run whilst you still have the time and energy to move on? Buy a house with a smaller, more manageable garden that you could tend and grow to love using all the experience gained over the last 14 years?

What would YOU do?