Monday, September 26, 2016

It's just stuff.

The way people think is very complex, but I usually think of it in this way for myself. I have my logical mind where I can logically think things through, understand situations and their implications, and make good decisions. Then there's my emotional mind where I react instead of act, I'm upset but not sure why (look out when I'm in one of those moods), and I ruminate over things. And unfortunately, my emotional mind is usually playing catch up with my logical mind. My logical mind keeps talking, but it takes a while for my emotional mind to listen.

And that's what's been going on during the last month or so. As you know, after years of idle talk about what Ward and I wanted to do in the future, the future jumped out and tripped us. All at once we were in the midst of buying and selling a house. And I mean, it was only four days from our first talk with a real estate agent until we had a contract. And our heads haven't stopped spinning since then.

Well, a week ago an important piece of the puzzle fell into place--meaning that we actually closed on the new house. After signing the papers, we went to claim our newly purchased house. But instead of being excited, I felt scared and sad when we went inside. I definitely wasn't happy. All I could think of was, "What had we done?"

I cried. I lost sleep. I yelled at Ward. It was not a pretty picture. I tried to convince myself that it was only a house and Ward and I would be happy wherever we were. I tried to remember how much I liked the house when we first saw it. But once again, my logical mind was way ahead of my emotional mind.

And then one day, my muddled thoughts became clearer. It was not the house that was the problem, it was the emotions that it triggered involving my own parents. You see, we bought the house from a 94 year-old woman who had reached the point where she could no longer live alone in a big house and had to move. Just like my mother did 8 months ago. This woman's husband died three years ago, just when my father died. For me, the emotions that came with aging parents were represented in that house. After I figured this out, I started to feel a little better. Because the house was really just a thing, it was not the people in it. Like most everything else, it was just stuff. In fact, I walked around saying, "It's just stuff," all the time.

And then a couple of days ago, an interesting thing happened. Aunt Martha and I were at the new house cleaning floors and I found something in the back corner of one of the closets. It was a little fishing sinker--just like the ones my father used to make. And it made me smile. I'm not sure if I believe in signs, but I took it as one. I thought it was my father's way of telling me that we had done the right thing. That this was the house for us and we were going to be happy there. And we will. :)

18 comments:

  1. I'm glad you took it as a sign from your father telling you did the right thing and it was going to be OK. I wish you all the best in your new home.

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes. I was already starting to feel a little better, but the "sign" from my father was just what I needed.

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  2. Funny, I have the dual brain thing, too. I had a similar experience when we moved into our home, but for different reasons. Glad to know you were able to work through what was truly bothering you. I'm sure you'll grow to love your new home--you've just had a lot to process lately.

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    1. There is a lot to love in the new place. It's just going to take a little while to adjust. Moving in will help, but there is miles to go before I can sleep in that department.

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  3. Transitions are tough and I can totally relate to the dual brain thing too. What a wonderful post. So much honesty and a such a sweet happening at the end-I don't mind if I always think of you when I see fishing sinkers now! :o)

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    1. I know you can totally relate to your emotions saying one thing while you mind is saying another. I'm a very logical person, so it's not always a comfortable place for me to be.

      I'm sure people remember me in a lot of different ways and I'd be happy if fishing sinkers were one of them. :)

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  4. You've had a lot to deal with this past year and especially this past month! No wonder a bunch of emotions started bubbling up.

    That being said, I'm glad you figured out what was bugging you and stopped yelling at Ward :)

    You're right, it's just stuff and sometimes we just become too emotionally invested in it as a way to mask other issues. I know they say that it's better to visit a house when furniture is still in place, but I wish I had seen ours without the previous owners' furniture. We've lived here 14 years and I can still picture the way the house was appointed when we visited it and it's annoying because then it doesn't feel like "my" house at all anymore but theirs, even though they only lived in it for 2 years, lol.

    I wish you lots of happy moments in your new house.

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    1. Ward is happy that I'm in a better mood. He said to tell you that he's glad you're watching out for him.

      When you imagine the other people's furniture in your house and think about it as theirs, is that because you think it looked better than it does now?The house I'm moving into had much better furniture than what we're going to put in it. However, I try to remember that there were no pets or kids in that house and it was fixed up to look nice to sell.

      Even though it's all just stuff, our emotions and thoughts can get all twisted up in it, can't they?

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    2. It's odd, at the time I felt the furniture was nice but it really wasn't great furniture so it wasn't furniture envy (although I coveted the armoire they had their TV in). It just felt cozy. You're right, it was fixed up to sell. Our house feels cozy to is but it's definitely "lived in" (which is my code word for "messy"). They did have a couple of kids and a cat and a dog. The little boy's room became my older boys' room, and is now my bedroom and I can still picture where they had an aquarium, where his desk was, etc. Probably because they varnished the floors after their furniture was in and just varnished around the furniture (and floor rugs!) so once they moved out and we moved in... the floors still show their furniture's emplacement! We were in a rush to move in with a 6 month-old who had just started crawling that same day and my older 3 kids (including a toddler) so we never did refinish the floors! Perhaps if we did that, I'd forget that they ever lived here :)

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    3. Well, seeing their furniture pattern on your floor certainly is a constant reminder of the former owners. You should move refinishing the floors up your list of things to get done. After 14 years, you deserve for it to feel like your house. Of course, I know that it easier said than done.

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  5. Closing one door and opening another is never easy. I am glad you have arrived at the "it's just stuff" phase. TheHub and I are looking at relocating before too long and it is a big decision. We are planning on a major downsize as well as geographic change. It will be difficult I imagine, but it will be exciting also. Oh and I definately believe in signs!

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    1. Are you still thinking about moving into your lake house?

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  6. I know this must be difficult, at times, letting go of the old, combined with excitement for the new adventure, and tiring from all of the work. It's a lot to process, I imagine.

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    1. Yes, there's a lot to process and I try to not think about it all at once. In a year from now, it's all going to be really good.

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  7. Fred Rutherford (aka Mike H.)September 28, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Well, I just want to say congratulations. No doubt you and Ward will be happy "once the dust settles" (I realize that is probably not the best metaphor, but I'm not feeling too creative). It will be a good thing, because you two will make it a good thing. I hope Mrs. Rutherford and I can finally make it out your way and see it one of these days.

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    1. So good to hear from you, Fred. Hope you and the Mrs. and Lumpy and his little sister can make it for a visit sometime.

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  8. I can totally relate to this post. When my logical end emotional selves are at odds with each other, my first reaction is always to tell my emotional self to shut up and stop whining. I think I learned that one from my mother!

    Anyhow, over the years I'm learning that this is not a very effective strategy, and that it's much more useful to sort through the feelings and deal with them where they belong. Feelings are never "wrong" or "inappropriate" - they're usually just misplaced.

    And I totally love the symbolism with the fishing sinker. Hope the move goes smoothly from here on. Hugs...

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    1. We all have feelings we have to sort through. It's hard work and not very fun sometimes, but a normal part of life.

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