Dudes, I’m tired.
My house here in San Diego has been on the market less than two weeks, and I’ve already gone through sales offers and counter offers, meetings, paperwork, escrow and a barrage of inspections. I scrubbed and polished and straightened every single day. I weeded and watered and hacked the landscaping. I arranged and edited and discarded decor. I sneezed my way through stacks of old tax records in search of home repair receipts. I raced home to sweep the floor and remove the dogs when the Realtor called from 10 minutes away with clients.
When a counter to an offer was accepted, escrow initially came as a relief. But no sooner had I breathed that sigh, did the appointments for inspections and repair quotes come rolling in, and it was back to schedule shuffling and dog moving and picking up where I left off work at 10pm at night. And then I survey the junk accumulated after 10 years of ownership (not to mention the four years of marriage and then the sudden inheritance all his worldly possessions) and wondered “what do I do with this?”
So I cleaned out this place with a ruthlessness I never knew I possessed: 7 bags went off to Am-Vets yesterday; they have another pickup scheduled next week. Couples and families hauled free items out of the backyard, including ladders, benches, plants, bricks, wheelbarrows…I loaded my van with piles of wood and tires and car batteries and broken patio furniture. I recycled and donated and packaged and transported. And then…
The buyers backed out after a week.
The only remaining disappointment (after the initial 20 minutes of “awww, man…”) was that the house being back on the market meant it was going to be shown constantly to potential buyers. Because they want to, you know, maybe check out a house before they buy it. So I am back to the straightening and cleaning and gardening, racing home to sweep and move dogs, and then running out the door, multiple times a day.
On the other hand, the polishing and junk purging has been cathartic. Though the weight of the mortgage and property tax has not yet been lifted, my house at least feels daintier and brighter, with more of it’s delicate bone structure in view.
I remember now, why I loved living here. The afternoon sun reflecting off the wooden floors. The neighborhood people walking and bicycling past the windows, the faint zipping of the spinning wheels floating by. Hummingbird nests in the backyard tree. My dogs lounging around the floors, the fat dog following me from room to room. I am enjoying this again, in the moments I can snatch between work and cleaning and appointments.
I missed this, though it’s not a life I want full time. In fact it never was. Too comfortable, too convenient. Too easy to isolate yourself as you move from home to car to office to gym to car to back home. Too easy to get sucked into manufactured adventure and a substitute social life on the TV. It’s nice for a respite, but I don’t believe comfort should be a full time state of existence.
So rebuilding my life the way I want it begins with downsizing my California home and losing half of the things in it. (I sold all but three all of my motorcycles last year. OK four, if you count the 1974 Z50.) I’ll be able to more easily move between countries, which is the lifestyle I’m setting myself up for myself.
But you’ll need to excuse me before we continue this little chat. I have to rush home to wipe dog barf off the floor before the Realtor arrives with more prospects. And that’s only the beginning – there are more tonight and tomorrow is the open house.
I’m ready to relax any day now.