It got to me today. Don’t ask why. Maybe the weather. Maybe the cold. Maybe the waiting. Maybe the … well, who the heck knows…. Maybe I’m just crackin’ up.
I keep saying that this is my diary, and today’s entry (more than some) is primarily for me: Moi!, μου, mnie, мене, minua.
Today I’m feeling paralyzed. Kind of “deer in headlights” paralyzed. That’s it in a nutshell. I am sitting here without tools, without normal household furniture and possessions laying around with no idea how long we’ll be here and no idea whether anything we might do around the house would be of any help in selling it. If I had the slightest idea that some particular action would move something forward, anything forward, even imperceptible distances I’d jump on it right now. That’s what I do — I move forward. I tackle the problem and get it fixed. But I don’t KNOW the PROBLEM. I have no idea WHAT to FIX. Which, to those of you who are eavesdropping on me today you know is to get this house sold. It’s a great property. It’s a huge property. The possibilities are virtually limitless — but we need to find someone with 1.) vision and 2.) money who wants to buy it.
I’ve been putting off doing our taxes just because I AM feeling paralyzed — Oh, I have time yet; and I have completed my taxes well after this date several times but I’m usually finished by now and halfway to getting my refund by the middle of March.
I have been dawdling around on my insurance decision — that medical insurance change because our COBRA expires at the end of this month. I had a conversation with an Independent Agent on Friday — (so I am doing things) just not quickly the way I usually would do them. I think I know what will ultimately happen but I’m awaiting a certificate of credible insurance in the mail.
Every time I start thinking insurance or tax, or whether to remodel anything, or not, or whether to plan future movement — pretty much anything — I just feel like the walls are closing in. It is so unlike me; but the problem is that movement in almost any direction seems completely wasteful. The things I could do are all in areas I’ve never been skilled and frankly don’t want to be skilled. It’s transient. It will pass. Others have much worse situations to deal with. They, however, are not me. And I can’t walk their mile. I have my own to walk. I’m doing the best I can but I’ll admit to feeling weaker about this circumstance than anything I’ve ever faced in life. There seems nothing I can do to change anything. Even if we were to decide to abort our mobility plans — which we have no intent on doing — we still need to get the house sold so that the money can go to other commitments — commitments other people are now depending upon.
I have even been wondering whether some of my frustration relates to the way I have avoided waste. I have always wanted to be efficient; and I have always avoided doing things that had to be redone. I put off deadlines so that when I was done I could not decide there was a better way of doing the job, or that someone else would say they changed their mind. I avoid repetitious tasks; I love learning, but don’t ask me to do something I learned over and over and over and over — I’d rather learn new things than just keep repeating what I’ve done 1,000 times. When I drive I usually go the shortest, or the most efficient way. But I don’t like returning the same way I went out.
Yesterday Peg said something about touching up the woodwork around the bathroom window. There are two windows up here in the residence that could use some work. Well, actually they all could but that’s another story for someone who intends to put new windows into the place in the future. So, I went to look at the kitchen and bathroom sills. They need scraping, and heavy sanding. Then I could paint or stain the lovely old wood — and they would look freshly painted.
But that’s the rub. I know that when I look at real estate my eye is always drawn to those things that are freshly done — and I always ask myself — for a house this old, why is that freshly refinished? What was wrong?
Do other people do that? I have no idea. I rarely seem to think the same thoughts that others do. I just seem to have a different approach to life. Therefore I never know whether my take on how to appeal to other people’s interests is valid or invalid.
So, I could just about scream — but even that wouldn’t accomplish anything. I’m not even sure it would release all that much energy. I remember mom telling me the story about one time that dad was really upset about some argument between the two of them. He left the kitchen and went out side. He picked up a fallen apple from a tree and threw it against the garage. The apple splattered to smithereens. Mom decided that if dad could do that to an apple, she’d hate to think what he could do to her if he got angry at HER (he never did), and ever after behaved in such a way as to be a peacemaker, not an agitator.
Kathryn offered us tickets to a local chili cook off. — sounds nice but the only way to go and enjoy it is to go back to meat eating. We’ve been working at staying OFF the animal products. I could have accepted, and we could have gone and noshed all afternoon long — but that’s not where I want to be.
I have a couple image projects to work on but right now I don’t even have the heart to tackle them. I thought about picking up some more furniture when we were at IKEA but what’s the sense of buying “stuff” that we’ll just have to sell or store when the house finally sells.
Peg suggested that we hire a rental car for a couple weeks allowing her to stay home and me to make a photo trip somewhere — I usually seem to do phototrips in mid-winter. But, now that we are retired I don’t want to travel without her. I have gone so many places alone and I’d really prefer going with her. And it’s not warm enough yet to take off in Journey, not that there’s anything wrong with traveling in Journey at this time of year, but because we’d have to pack everything in the school into Journey and then unpack it when we return — and it’s too early in the year to leave the house unattended.
We clearly will never put ourselves in this kind of limbo again. Accepting an offer to purchase with a home sale contingency did not work out for us. That deal dragged on for 6 months, each extension allowed because we hoped the buyer could get their home sold. Having bought Journey when we did we also limited our subsequent options. That one choice further dictated how we could get from here to mobility. Downsizing was something with which we desperately needed help. The only person we knew with experience in estate sales was leaving the area permanently. We made the best decisions we could make at the time, and within the time frame we could foresee. I’m not regretting anything we did; but I would not put myself in the situation to do the same all over again.
I’m recounting these things as my way of reminding myself that I am not a victim. I made conscious choices at each step of the way and some of the choices did not work out the way we “planned.” I guess at the moment the subject of planning is not my favorite subject in the world.
Talk to you tomorrow.