Yesterday I called a friend, Cathy. I needed to hear her voice and get her reassurance. I've needed it for a while, she always makes me feel better and, right now, I'm stressed! But at the same time I know she's got a full plate too. In fact her plate might be overflowing at times. But yesterday the stars were aligned and her kids were taking extra long naps. Now she may have been taking that time to get something done in peace and quiet, but I don't really know because I didn't ask what I was interrupting, I just interrupted.
I didn't realize that I haven't even talked to her since we put the house on the market by owner. It's only been a month, but it feels like it's been so much longer. And when I told her how stressed it was making me she said, "Now, you're going to have to educate me, but I thought by owner meant you put a sign in the yard? Is there more to it?"
For a few seconds my dear friend rendered my speechless. I immediately wondered why I was so exhausted from putting a sign in the yard. There really wasn't much more to it. We'd posted in online too, but that doesn't take any spectacular show of energy.
I sighed, which I do a lot these days, and told her my mother-in-law had asked if there was a chance that I might be pregnant. Don't be too shocked. She's not the first to ask it or to think it. I, myself, wondered until I was sure I wasn't. Scott's gotten a vasectomy, but never gotten tested to see if all his swimmers are, in deed, running into a wall head first. We're not as nervous about that as some people think we should be, maybe because we have other things to worry about. But this is a whole other story. I'm not pregnant.
I told Cathy that I didn't know why I was so tired, but I did feel as tired as if I were pregnant, but I really just felt like it was stress related even though I didn't know why I was stressed, having only put a sign up to sell the house!
But then, as I kept telling her the story of our life lately, I realized there is more to selling by owner. I've been fielding all the calls and emails from interested buyers and renters. Thankfully, we've been getting lots of interest. However, half the calls are from people who flat out can't afford what we're asking them to pay, rent or purchase. (My little sister boldly pointed out that that's the circle of life...the people who can afford our place are off looking at places they can't afford!) The other half of those interested can almost afford it. Those people I've spent a great deal of time with and on.
I've worked out probably a dozen different rent to buy options for people who have decided, in the end, they aren't ready or can't do it right now. I've showed the house to four perspective families. I'm making follow up calls. I'm trying to sound friendly and not pushy, eager but not stalker-esque. My hopes have been raised and dashed time and time again over the past month. I am a strong woman, but this is beating me down. Hopefully one of these days someone will just say, "Yup, I'll take it!"
After figuring out that it was reasonable to feel tired out, even when not pregnant, Cathy did help me feel better. She's good like that. She even pointed out that not only is the house thing there to stress me out, but I'm still a wife and mom and I'm probably trying to make sure those things don't suffer too. She's right, but I don't think I'm doing the best I can in those areas. Cathy laughed at me and said, "What? You think there's something you could do better?"
I have to laugh now. But yesterday I answered confidently. "Yes. For example. I asked the kids what they wanted to have with leftover goulash for dinner tonight, green beans or baked beans. They, of course, said baked beans, but I half hoped they'd say green beans and surprise me with wanting a vegetable that's actually a vegetable. But they didn't. They picked the baked beans, which was actually what I wanted too because I don't like green beans either. But the better way to handle that would have been not to ask and just serve green beans even though only Scott and I would have eaten them."
Cathy laughed. "Really? That's what you could do better?"
After getting off the phone with her, and feeling like I'm not a complete failure, I served peas and baked beans. I know, a lot of starch, but I like peas and they're green. That's good, right?
So, long story short (trust me, I could have made it longer) I called a friend, cried on her shoulder, heaped her plate higher with my life, and feel better because of her. I'm still hoping I'll pick up the phone and someone will say, "Sold!" In the meantime, I'll lean on those around me, with strong shoulders, and keep doing the best I can. Tonight we eat salad!