Thursday, July 10, 2014

Perspective Lost

When my father was a young man he had surgery to remove a large growth from one of his lungs. Because the medical technology of the time was neither all that medical nor all that technical, part of his recovery required him to abstain from water for the better part of several days.

When visitors would come to see him during this period my father recalls being overcome by a single obsessive thought: 

"Why aren't they drinking water???? These people - who are PERMITTED to drink water - why would they just sit there SQUANDERING the gift of water drinking?!? WHY???"

Eventually, when the sight of people abstaining from water became too difficult for him, Dad began refusing visitors altogether.

It's the kind of perspective problem I've been facing this month as I try to move my family cross-country.

We're in the process of leaving Los Angeles, where we've lived since before the kids were born, and relocating to the suburbs of NYC.

Packing and selling one house, finding another home 3,500 miles away, figuring out what to do with the kids in the meantime, hiring movers, saying goodbye to beloved friends, researching school districts, keeping up with the laundry while trying to discourage the kids from adding their Sharpie art to freshly painted walls - - - it's all been pretty overwhelming. 

Then things went from "pretty overwhelming" to "altogether terrifying" when, on the eve of piling the children into an airplane to head Eastward, we learned that our intended house in NY had failed inspection and fallen through. 

I'd planned everything so carefully. We'd chosen the NY house during Spring Break so that we'd be ready to close just as school wrapped up in LA. The Los Angeles house was already on the market and empty of furniture. A moving truck with all our belongings inside was rapidly progressing Eastward on what I could now only think of as "the move to nowhere".  The five of us were already committed in every way to our leap off the West Coast cliff but now it appeared that our East Coast soft landing was crumbling beneath us.

I panicked.

Friends and family urged me not to lose perspective. "This too shall pass!" they offered helpfully. "You don't find the perfect house - it finds you!" they said. But I found it difficult to hear them through the fog of despair I felt now that my children and I were destined for a life on the road as traveling vaudevillians.

I gave into the fear.

Unable to face the realities of my situation I indulged in ill-advised snacking binges. I hid from my troubles by becoming over invested in the basest of reality television offerings (Would Tori forgive Dean? WHY DID I CARE?) I tearfully pined over the house we'd lost. I angrily rejected my husband's suggestions of alternate plans. Then, more sobbing.

I lost my perspective entirely. Because you know what I've discovered? Keeping one's perspective when things are going in the crapper - - -  is next to impossible. 

Just like water is all you think about when you can't have it, finding a house for your family when you've just sold your only other one is a subject one is LIKELY TO OBSESS OVER.

To be fair, at present, things are kind of looking up. We have a lead on a new house. We went ahead and left Los Angeles and are hanging for the summer in my husband's Texan hometown in hopes of making our way East this August. 

The kids are having the time of their lives. They're visiting with family and learning to touch nature from their fearless Texas cousins. The new house we have an offer in on has a bigger yard and you might even say (in a VERY small voice) that things may be working out for the best.

And I mean I'd love to tell you that this has all taught me a valuable lesson about how worrying is a total waste of time and that next time I'm just going to keep on sailing through the hard times with a positive attitude - sure that it will all lead to a greater destiny somewhere down the road!

But I mean, it hasn't. What is has taught me is the simpler lesson of, 

"Don't attempt to buy a house with water easement issues."

In closing PLEASE send good vibes that our new house that we've put the offer on comes through.

If it does not next week's blog will likely feature a "Host SFD and Her Family for a Month!" contest. ALL APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED! 

Stay tuned…..