Monday, March 31, 2014


Over the past month, our primary focus has been to get our home ready for sale. Scratch that: over the past year, our primary focus has been to get our home ready for sale; since the beginning of March, we have been in home-prep staging hyperdrive. Our goal was to make it to market by the end of the month, a.k.a. today.

We had our contract ready to hand over to our agent last night, and pictures were scheduled for today. We had made it. It would have been a very late night of final last minute sorting and cleaning, but it was all possible. I am very proud of our hard work, and feeling ready to sell.

Check out that 1915 woodwork and original glass cabinets with working skeleton key mechanisms.
How about those period-reproduction sconces we installed in place of the original gas lamps?
You know you want to buy this condo.

And yet, mid-afternoon yesterday, we put everything on hold, at least for day or two.

Our condo has never looked or felt better, and we are still very interested in hitting the market as soon as possible. The problem was that, despite my best efforts, I didn't feel great about all the details of the sale. We didn't have enough information, and the information we had wasn't what we needed. Our communication wasn't clear. Add to that, our old-lady dog was very sick all weekend—we were pretty sure Saturday was her last day, but of course, she rallied after a trip to the vet, at which she flirted with all the staff and made us look like heartless chumps for even suggesting a merciful end. Paying attention to her (and our emotions surrounding her) muddled our thinking about everything, understandably. There are priorities, and then there are PRIORITIES.

By Sunday, we realized that we couldn't do it. I can't point to specific facts or moments that made me sure we needed to temporarily put the brakes on, I just know it was the right thing to do. While the deadline had been incredibly useful for our productivity, we felt too rushed, and too rushed is not a good place to start such an important process, especially if 24 to 48 hours could completely change that.

For three days solid, I had felt my heart rising up into my chest, making it hard to breathe. My shoulders were a disaster. I saw my acupuncturist on Friday because I was waking with sharp pain between my shoulder blades. After we postponed on Sunday, my chest seized its grip on my heart, and I felt myself open up again. My shoulders fell, and my neck loosened. Why we continue to separate mental health/stress from physical health/injury in our treatment of our bodies always baffles me, but never more than in moments like on Sunday, when the difference in my physical being was almost instantly changed by a choice, the elimination of a stressor, and a decision that pulled me in the right direction.

Meditative or mindful practices will tell you that listening to your gut will bring you calm. I don't know about that, at least not in the long-term. Sometimes life is just challenging, and no amount of following your inner voice will make difficult things go away. We still have big decisions to make, and we have an aggressive deadline in mind. Even after today's picture deadline was eliminated, we were hard at work on the house. It's going to keep being stressful, there is no doubt about that.

What I do have, though, is the peace of mind that comes with listening to my gut instincts. The voice that says, "Wait, stop, breathe, think, pray, listen" is my wise mind, adding facts + impressions + emotions + "the stuff in the ether that I can't define or even observe but I am taking in nonetheless" = ALERT. That voice doesn't lie, but doesn't always present itself with a logical package of information that may be easier to justify following. When I'm stressed, or wanting to just push through to the other side of a situation (like trying to sell our home), I can tell it to just shut up a million times, and I can almost convince myself that it either a) isn't there or b) isn't correct. This just prolongs my angst, which I learned (AGAIN!) this weekend. Listen, dummy: when you can't turn your neck without wincing, LISTEN.

Peace of mind within the chaos is what I hope for in the most stressful situations. It doesn't fix everything, but it fixes me, and that is enough.

Breathe. Listen. Breathe. Think. Breathe. Pray. Breathe.

Here we go. Sale updates to follow shortly. Prayers and best wishes appreciated.

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