Change is hard for me. I remember saying good bye in 1993 to every piece of my first childhood home, windows and all. Then when my parents decided to sell my second childhood home right after I graduated high school, I cried and pleaded for them to stay. I did not fully realize then just how hard it was for them too to sell the house we had built together.
And now, I sit in my beloved living room of the house we have called home for the last five years. I remember seeing footprints in the newly vacuumed downstairs carpet after our first showing, and realized the home was no longer ours. More footprints. More realtor cards left on the counter. More lights left on when they normally would have been turned off at our absence.
My first (public) breakdown came at the Rockies game on Tuesday evening. We were meeting Ben’s family for a birthday party. A surprise showing left us scrambling to get out of our home dressed for the party and prepared to show off our digs to strangers. As soon as we walked up to the group, I was hammered with questions, all of which I was not yet prepared to answer. The last being, “So, how are you doing with the emotional attachment to the house; are you doing ok?” As the tears flooded down my cheeks, I politely excused myself and prayed I had brought sunglasses. I came back with a self-deprecating joke and a commitment to no more tears. I mostly succeeded.
Apparently, I needed the tears. Now, I feel more composed, more accepting of the inevitable. An offer came the following evening. Two more the next morning (while I was visiting with a dear friend at the children’s museum). Ben and I looked at each other in amazement. The decision making came fairly easily as to which offer we should accept. (Although one love letter from potential buyers had me reconsidering our choice.) We went with the first offer. I admittedly googled their names and found their wedding announcement, which made me pleased we were passing on our first home to another newly married couple with midwestern roots. Their realtor said they LOVED our home, all caps. What they requested in the contract assured me they would not be making drastic changes on the house we had so carefully renovated, tended to, adored.
The inspection is on Monday and radon testing on Tuesday, another sign this home is no longer ours. The buyers will be here and we will not.
Change is still hard for me. I remember my Uncle Dave and friend Tom telling me their take on life just prior to my college graduation. They explained with hearty laughs that life is really just a river and we all need to learn to float along with it. I am keeping that in mind when the case for the familiar seems stronger than the unknown, when I begin to second guess. It was clear that life, God, the universe were guiding us to make these changes. The goal for the path of least resistance and the confidence that this is best for our family keeps me forging along, eye on the prize. All the while knowing the memories of our first home, the relationships nurtured in and around it, and the love will go along with us.
A wise friend recently told me that if she can stay with any discomfort, allow herself to really feel it, breathe into it, it actually starts to go away. So, I am trying that too. Accepting the change in the moment, one breath at a time.