Riding the Waves

So, here’s what’s happening. About a month ago I wrote about my new job, and the fact that it would involve my moving to Massachusetts by the end of the year. Well, since that time, things have been moving right along, with some hiccups just to keep it “interesting,” and a million details to be worked through. The very day I started my new job, I put my house on the market. I listed it at what I, and my realtor, thought was a very competitive price. There were two reasons for this, first the fact that I wanted it to sell fairly quickly. And while my sweet little house is very charming, it hasn’t been updated with all of the latest bells and whistles, and it needs a little love. I have the granite countertops, but not the stainless steel appliances that now seemed to be considered a necessity. The house could use a paint job on the exterior. And of course there’s that bell ringing poltergeist! But to me, it’s a lovely comfortable home, and I’ve been happy here. I felt sure someone else would see it and love it as much as I do.
This is the second home I’ve sold, but my first house sale was a unique experience. This was in 2004, at the height of the real estate boom. The house received multiple offers the day it was listed, and I sold it considerably above the asking price. I knew we were in a very different market this time around, and didn’t expect to sell it immediately, but I hadn’t given too much thought to what it would mean to live in a house that was on the market. I quickly realized it meant keeping the house, which is always pretty tidy, in impeccable condition at all times, with most of my personal daily clutter tucked away. Additionally, because I work from home, I didn’t have my agent put a lockbox on the house, and so I took on the task of showing the house to all prospective buyers. That became a bit of a drag! Basically I would let the people in (by appointment only), and then try to make myself as scarce as I could, to give them freedom to walk around and form their own impressions. But given that my house is small, and I didn’t want to totally leave strangers alone in my house, this inevitably meant that I was close enough to hear their comments. Many of the people that came through were investors looking to buy the house as a rental property, so they were inclined to be fairly critical. It was hard for my sensitive soul to remain unaffected as I would hear things like “this house has a ridiculous layout” (really?), and “where’s the other bathroom” (no, seriously!). Even with that, in the first week, I received two offers, and was excited to think this was going to be a quick process. But just as quickly, both offers fell through.
For a few weeks, nothing happened. There were buyers coming through every few days, but no offers. An open house one Sunday that had me exiled from home for the day, unfortunately it was about 105 degrees that day and everyone else stayed away too. I was stressed about it. My contract requires me to move by Dec. 31, but I really want to make it happen sooner, to try to beat the winter that I know is coming. Finally, I decided to go out of town to visit my sister for a weekend, and to leave the house to my realtor to deal with. That weekend, as I was having fun in San Diego, an offer came in, and stuck. It’s always a precarious thing when a house is in escrow, and anything can happen. But we’re about halfway through now, and I feel fairly confident it’s safe to talk about it. The great thing is that the house is going to a nice family who seems to love it as much as I do. And they own a dachshund!
With that hurdle done, the next thing is to find a place to live. Next week, I’ll be going to Massachusetts. I’ll have 3 full days to rent something, probably effective Nov. 1. I’ve been looking online for weeks, and have a good sense of what I want, and where, and a decent, if not robust, budget for achieving that. I finally decided this week to work with a rental agent who can help show me places. While there will be a fee associated with that, I need the help. Doing this all on my own is hard. I feel emotionally exhausted and I haven’t even moved yet, but really, coming hard on the heels of two years of employment uncertainty and anxiety, with nary a day in between to just take a breath and relax, this has been an extremely stressful time. I’m so grateful to my friends and family who have had to put up with me through all of this, and let me tell you, I have had some bad moments. All I can do at this point is just keep checking off boxes on the to do list, keep moving forward, keep making plans and organizing, and look forward to the day when I am finally settled in my new home. And, let’s face it, knowing me, at that point I will find something else to fret about, but maybe I can at least enjoy a honeymoon period of serenity first.
I’m excited about all of the new adventures that await me, but I’m definitely scared and anxious. It doesn’t take too much at this point to throw me off my game. This week I had a trifecta of getting some unexpected news, and then having both my credit card and my home computer hacked. For a couple of days, I wasn’t sure I could keep it together, it seemed too hard. I wanted to retreat, stay in one place, reject all idea of change. I wanted every single thing to stay the same as it has been, in the way I was safe and comfortable with. And it took a little while to come to terms and realize that it was just fear. Fear of the unknown. I had to remember that it was all okay, that it will all be okay. New things are coming, but new things can be wonderful. There’s a whole life out there waiting to be lived, and while there are going to be times that are rocky and uncomfortable, there are also going to be so many days, months, years ahead, filled with adventures, new friends to be met, new places to go, a new life to be lived. All that and I get to keep all of my old friends and loves too. It’s a blessing, and I need to remember that, and just stay strong and as brave as I can be. You may wonder why I titled this post “Riding the Waves” when it has absolutely nothing to do with surfing, but that’s sort of how my life feels right now, trying to stay afloat, not drown, and every now and then, catch that beautiful, perfect wave. And I don’t even know how to surf! Let’s all see what happens next, shall we.
The end, for now

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