There comes a time when you may have a subject or project or life stress/change that seems to take over your whole existence. For some, it may be a medical diagnosis. For others, it could be a major lifestyle change. For Rachel and Chris, their world revolves around Charlotte's sleep habits. For us, of course, it's selling this house.
I am well aware that people are sick and tired of hearing us whine about our house. In all frankness, I'm tired of it, too. A co-worker who doesn't work in my office begins each phone conversation with the "Have you sold your house yet?" question. I finally told her that she would know exactly when we sold our house, because we would hire balloons to fly all over Ellsworth, and we would be in one, yelling and screaming the news with delirious abandon. So now, she starts her phone conversations with the statement, "Well, I haven't seen any balloons lately..." Of course, her house has been for sale for over a year, too, so she can relate.
Here is how insidious the house stress is. The situation consumes my every waking moment. I run the gamut of emotions: Fear (What if we don't sell?); Worry (What if we have a major repair to deal with?); Indecision (What have we left undone? What have we overlooked?); Disbelief (We initially thought the house would sell itself, and had no idea it would have been this long).
But most of my day on the emotional roller coaster consists of two major reactions: Hope and Despair. It's as if there is in my head a list divided into these two columns. Every single experience I have during the day and night gets placed into one of those columns.
I usually begin the day with Hope. After all, it's a brand new day and maybe this is the day we will get finally get something done. If I look outside and see that the weather is chilly and rainy, I write that in the Despair column. No one wants to come look at a house in the rain. The phone rings - Hope! This could be our Realtor with good news! No, it's just Rachel and her Charlotte angst. An e-mail from Venise, our agent! Hope! No, sorry, Despair. It's just ambivalent information.
Oooh, I see a car slowly driving by! Are they looking at the house? HOPE! Oh, I see they are slowing down for someone walking her dog. Despair.
Every showing brings Hope. Every slow-moving car stopping to look at the house brings Hope. Every time the phone rings, there is Hope.
But alas, for every Hope entry, there is usually a Despair entry in the other column. So from our waking moment to the closure of our eyelids in sleep, we are obsessed with fears, worries, hope and despair. The process consumes and drains us. It affects our moods, our plans, our schedules, our conversations, and all our thoughts.
So, friends and family, if it seems to you that we are always preoccupied, have pity. Let us weep on your shoulder and sigh over the phone. Let us rant and rave about injustice, expectations, and disappointments. Help us forget about our worries, and keep us laughing, as only you can do. Something funny Caroline or Amelia says is worth several minutes of relief. Getting together with the kids and grandkids gives us hours of pleasant diversion.
Seeing a picture of my mom in an umbrella hat - the epitome of hilarious distraction!