Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If We Can Just...


Our house has been for sale for nearly or over a year now. I can't really think about it too much. People keep coming through it, which is great since it means it still generates interest, and there have been several "second" showings, but no bites. One person has even looked at it three times. Three times, lady? You like it already! Buy it! We're selling it for under appraised value, significantly under value, mind you.

I've found myself thinking, "If we can just sell our house, I'll be happy."

How often do we set ourselves up by thinking like that? I'll just be happy if: we sell the house, we find the house, I lose X pounds, I get the job, I get into that school, I obtain that degree, I have a baby...

Let's take that last one for example-- the baby. I know that I thought I'd have everything I wanted if I just had the baby. That I'd be happy. And then after Cricket was born and in the NICU and I spent so much time crying, and even after that when he came home and it was freezing cold and I felt like a prisoner in my home, I didn't have that "happy" I had envisioned. I had to realign my expectations, but the fact of the matter is that we do this to ourselves. Set ourselves up in some fairy land where one thing is the answer to everything. And really, has it ever worked that way? The odds are pretty low.

There's no magic pebble, Sylvester.

I won't be any more or less happy on the whole if we sell this house or not. If we do get an offer (soon), I'll be really happy for a few hours, and then the realization that we'll have to pack up our house will set in. And then as much as I think we'll be happier living in a smaller house in a city neighborhood, I'm pretty damn sure there will be pitfalls associated with that too. In reality, I'm a pretty happy person, but as much as that's true, I still find I need to remind myself of that fact every once in awhile. Like when our house has been on the market for over a year.
I don't mean to suggest that there aren't situations where getting out of them or into them might really change one's general happiness level. After I graduated from college, I went to live in the UK for a boyfriend and it was disastrous. I really was much happier after I left him. But it was so much more immediate then. I didn't find myself saying, "I'll be happier if I can just break up and leave M," instead I just knew I had to get out. When I did, I realized how much improved my life was.

I just think it's dangerous to assume that there will this one thing that will change and make you a happy person. I think the happiness we feel is inside and comes from our general outlook on the world, and so often we all fall inside the "I'll just be happy when..." trap. I'm trying to avoid going there again, but at the same time, I still think I'll just be damn overjoyed when this house finally sells.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Anna said...

That's always a dangerous game to play, the "I'll be happy when..." It's like always living in the future and never enjoying the present, only to find years later that you missed everything. Expectations have a large part to play; try to keep your expectations realistic.

When planning our wedding, my then fiance appealed to me to tame my expectations, not to set my self up for disappointment and I'm glad I listened. Constantly picturing the way things SHOULD be can really leave you dashed among the rocks.

I never imagined I could be so happy, so I'm pretty grateful everyday. I'l also had it a lot easier (no NICU, no funky allergic reaction on my wee one). I have problems, but I try (and try) to let things go. Some day I have better success than others.

Of course this is not to say that you WILL be happier once your house sells. I'm hoping it goes sooner rather than later, so fingers are crossed over here. Hang in there, and I hope I didn't sound so preachy. xxoxoxoxo

4:59 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

I think it's human nature to find the faults in the situation you're in and long for something "better". It's what drives us to find better jobs, to get better educations, to make ourselves better people. As long as you don't let it consume who you are or cause you to forget the wonderful things you are, I think it's helpful.

Goodluck in getting the house to sell. I don't envy the position you're in with that at all.

5:55 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

Catherine Newman wrote somewhere something along the lines of: you must remember, there is no after changing the diaper. There is no after putting on the snowsuit. There is just this moment.

not that i manage this, mind you, but i think it's good advice.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous calliope said...

Thank you, thank you for this post. I have been in the doldrums and just had a realization that I can't pin my happiness on anything. This just hit home for me.
xo

10:23 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

i think we're all so guilty of setting ourselves up that way, but the challenge is just to appreciate each and every thing that DOES happen, and remember how badly you wanted it to begin with.
i hope the house sells soon!!

3:37 PM  

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