It’s all a big mistake.
Posted On June 17, 2014
For all the hassle that getting a house "show ready" can be, especially while living in it with little ones, I certainly like the aftermath. Now we're all camped out at my parent's house and we're just relaxing while the fan oscillates and sun streams in the windows.
The for sale sign went up yesterday afternoon, and the listing went up in the evening. I'm doing my best to clear my head of the constant list, and just take this time to be present and calm. Today the kids and I made those gummy treats again, and we've prepped dinner for everyone to eat at my parent's house. I get to sit and write! And afterwards I get to come home to a really clean house. Kind of balances out in that way! Anyway, our house has been "live" for less than 24 hours, and we got two requests for showings today and one again tomorrow. Phew! I don't know how these things normally work, but it's feeling like this might be fast work. I know these things can drag out sometimes, so I'm trying to keep expectations in check.
The other afternoon, just before our beloved realtor came over to take the final pictures of our house and yard to do the official listing, my housemate asked me if we were making a big mistake. Those of you who know her know that she is refreshingly blunt, leaving very little to the imagination when it comes to the inside of her head. I love her forever. Anyway, I gave her a puzzled look and asked her what exactly that would mean. She went on to talk about what a wonderful house this has been and continues to be. How great the location is. How great our neighbors are. How perfect our situation is and how comfortable we all are. Then she went on to explore how things could go wrong out on the land. What if it isolates us? What if we don't take those daily bike rides into town like we imagine? What if it's hard and we don't know what we're doing? I think I just blinked at her, and then said something along the lines of "Well, I don't really like to think like that." And she smiled and said it's just as well that I don't, and cheerfully excused herself to do something else.
(Here she is with Eli in front of their new home. They bought this RV and are going to come with us to the land. I realize now that I haven't actually talked much about this piece, because we were always so much more vocally committed and partnered to our other friends who have since moved on. Lindsay has been with us for over 2 years, I've known her for more like 12, and we are basically family at this point. With her it was a little different because it was more like we just co-house and support each other and just are good friends. But through everything, despite having very different lives and personalities and passions, we've become a really good solid group. When we started talking about the land, it just seemed right for her little family to be with ours if they wanted. So we're moving out there together to just continue with whatever it is that we've got here, which is just simple and good and fun.)
For a brief moment my chest got heavy and my head flooded with what-ifs. I sat with that thought for a little while. We've come to this decision very thoughtfully, so it surprised me that this idea weighed so heavily on me. I have no idea what the end result of our adventure will look like, but we're going about this the same way we have everything else- with flexibility, creativity, and gratitude. I don't know, I just have faith. I feel like this combination hasn't steered me wrong once. It's true, things will likely be complicated and hard for a while. But I guess I never equate complicated and hard with "bad". But still, we haven't ever sold our beloved home before in favor of roughing it in the nearby woods while we build a house (oh, and we've never built our own house either). Not to mention the money issue… but who really needs money to do such things? Oh my. This is all a big mistake.
Cherries on our little tree are coming!
Jeff came home and I was just kind of sitting outside looking stunned. We got to talking and I told him what was going through my mind. As usual, he had the patience and wisdom that I didn't at that moment (we like to swap those qualities when times get tough… it works out!) He reminded me of all the reasons why we want this. We talked about how it's true, we've outgrown this big house in our own crazy way. I mean really, all the things our dear neighbors have put up with! He reminded me that we have always been in this thing for experience and love and all those intangible things- that we WANT adventure and to learn and to conquer all our own unique challenges to be the best version of ourselves in this life. I could feel that tension start to release as I remembered all of it. I want the richness and the risk and the full-fledged living over what is safe and comfortable. But, I figure we'll find safety and comfort within all this anyway. Hell, we've always got each other.
One of the plants in my front yard that I'm sad to leave. It's a sedge that I planted on top of Asa's placenta. Named for a famous botanist named Asa Gray.
Besides, what's a mistake anyway? At least in our lives, we seem to like to make them. A lot. Our perspective, in our better moments, is one of gratitude for the opportunity. Sometimes when I catch myself being self-pitying or wishing some discomfort away, I realize that by wishing it away I'm actually saying "I don't think I need this. I don't want this and I should get what I want. I'm comfortable with my own stagnation." Yuck, right? In all my experience, I've never once felt pain in an area where I didn't need to grow or get stronger. It's a great teacher. So really, what would my mistake be? Not being able to tell the future? Not allowing fear to dictate my decisions?
It's certainly all a mistake if I let it be. I could make it that right now just to get it out of the way. There. It's all a big mistake. Moving on! When Jeff and I were dating I was into this folk singer who had a cute song about breaking up at the beginning of the relationship, just so you don't have to mess with that part anymore. It was funny and I remember a quiet moment between the two of us where we decided that was a good idea. So we broke up. Paused. Got back together. That was 10 years ago.