Monday, May 23, 2005

My Mind is an Idiot
The house we live in is 60 years old, and the floors are pretty straight, the walls pretty solid, and it stays dry in the rain. Not all the outlets are grounded, but if you see a three prong plug, either it's grounded, or it's a GFCI outlet clearly labeled "No Equipment Ground." I've never seen any evidence of termites or termite damage. The chimney is solid, the front porch is only four years old (built out of pressure-treated wood), and the furnace and AC coil were both replaced in 2001 by people who know their stuff.

I've seen houses in worse shape sell for more money, but I can't get out of my head the idea that the inspectors (who are in the house right now) will find something horrible that'll derail the whole damn deal, and we'll end up... Okay, I'll admit, that's where the nightmare's stop. It's like my subconscious stops, splutters, and says, "Something really, really bad is going to happen!"

"Like what?"

"It'll be horrible!"

"What? Homelessness? That's not going to happen. Michael and Lorie have offered their basement as temporary shelter if we need it, and this town is brimming with apartments. We're not going to end up homeless. You're being silly."

"Financial ruin!"

"First of all, we could swing two house payments if we had to. There's room in the budget. For a while, at least. And if this deal fell through, we just put it back on the market. There aren't many houses in this price range in decent neighborhoods. It'll be worth it to somebody."

"But that'll take time! Time is not on your side!"

"Yes, it is. By the end of the summer, people that would rather rent than own are getting desperate for places to live; new people are always moving to town, and house prices are going up every day. The worst that'll happen is that we don't make as much money as we hoped to, and we have to dip into our renovation fund, or borrow a bit. Not an issue, really, as we've got plenty of cash flow, and loads of credit we never touch. And that's without tapping family, which really is the last resort. The worst case scenario just isn't that bad. So why are you yelling?"

"It'll be horrible!"

And off we go again.

In the center, I'm calm. On the surface, too. But in the middle, I've got my mind yelling in my ear all day, not to mention all night, and my stomach's down there tying itself in knots like James Dean, screaming "You're tearing me apart!" I swear. It's even wearing a red jacket. Very weird.

As a result, I'm sleeping well only about every third night, when the exhaustion from the previous two kick in. It's no fun. But we'll have the inspection report on our current house tomorrow, and we can see what the buyers want fixed (here's hoping it's nothing!), we get keys to the new house in a week, and as of July 1, we'll be back to just owning the one house. The new house. The cool house with a kickass kitchen, artsy staircase and tons of workshop space in the basement. Not to mention an office for Christie, office space upstairs, and a big freaking tub where I can let all this crap float away.

After weeks of gradually increasing stress, we've reached the point where stressors are starting to drop away. Deal on the roof? Done. Loan stuff? Done. Fridge for the new house? Done (and such a deal!). As the fear loses ground, and the hopes and dreams move in, it's only natural that the fear clings as mercilessly to its pitiful domain as any middle manager on the path to obsolesence. How to handle it?

It is a question of who is to be master, that is all.

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