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.