As much as under normal circumstances, my little writing voice always seems to be talking to me, the little writing voice just seemed muffled by the sudden spurt of activity recently.
While I like to think of my writing as a way to feel grounded and a way to feel a sense of balance when things get crazy, there was simply no time nor headspace to work on a blog post, even if just to edit one that was close to finished.
The big event that ended up being the centre of my universe for a few weeks was the process of buying a home, and then selling the one I currently live in.
Regular readers might recall that there have been a number of posts in the last year about my (mis)adventures in home renovations: “Fixing the Eyesore Door”, “Don’t Touch the Walls!”, “Why Watching Paint Dry Can Be Fun”, among others. Those posts were no accident. For the last year, I have hit the fast forward button on home renovations in preparation for this very moment.
Even though I knew it was coming eventually, the moment my partner sent me the link to a house for sale out in the country in an email saying simply “OH!”, something started to percolate in the pit of my stomach. Something told me that this was the one and it was time to pull the trigger on the process.
The housing market is pretty tight these days. To see a charming Hallmark-movie style home out in the country that checked most of the boxes on the list of what we were looking for meant jumping into action.
But I felt pulled in the opposite direction not because of the house, and not because of the idea of transplanting this city boy out in the country. It was simply a case of whether or not my home was ready for sale, and whether or not I was psychologically ready for the process (despite additional sessions with the therapist… specifically on the theme of home buying/selling).
When it comes to personal stress, the process of buying the home that I currently live in ranks near the top of my list in terms of activities that have had me on the brink of a meltdown. It certainly was not the fault of my “crew” (my real estate agent, my lawyer, my banker and my home inspector). Each was absolutely outstanding in helping me through it. But at the time, it was all very new to me and I was so afraid of making a costly mistake.
But I needed to keep remembering… I survived!
The memory of that stress combined with the thought that my home to-do list was not fully completed yet had me starting another meltdown that closely resembled the one I felt 20 years earlier, complete with racing thoughts, sleepless nights of worry, and sweating so much I couldn’t drink water fast enough to stay hydrated.
The solution for me was a half-hour chat with our real estate agent on the theme of “can we make this happen?”
In that conversation, she walked us through a verbal project plan, breaking down into small steps the tasks that will be needed on the buying and selling side of the equation to get us to the finish line on time.
This was the reassurance I needed to help me see the possibility rationally, in manageable steps and timelines, rather than the impossibility of a huge mountain of work and off-the-charts stress.
Then, it took a bit of talking to myself to remember what I bring to the table. It is 20 years later; I am an experienced home owner; I have been through this process before; and I have strong problem-solving skills should something come up.
Plus, this was not a sudden decision. Over the last six months we had already done some preparatory homework in consulting with lawyers, real estate agents and banks, getting our duckies lined up for this very moment. I honestly don’t think we could have done more to prepare.
The most reassuring part of it all was knowing that I have a fantastic partner (with more experience in home buying) with whom to share this journey. We have proven over the years that we make a great team. In many ways, we are on the same wave length, while in other ways, our perspectives complement each other, and those factors seem to kick in at the right times, as situations arise.
“We’ve got this!” I thought to myself.
It was a big project, there was no doubt about it. But also, it was the pivotal step that put the wheels in motion for us to merge households, to embark on our future life together, while the clock counts down on the final months in our current careers with retirement on the horizon.
For me, it was also the prologue to my dream career in retirement as a full-time writer.
That was when I turned to my partner and said, “Let’s go see the house!”
To read episode 2 of “The Housing Market Roller Coaster”, click here.
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Have a great day,