Sunday, March 09, 2008

Wheeee! Gulp.


We just bought a house. Yes, it's the one from the last post. Want to see the front hall? I have frosted-glass French doors to my living room. Here it is:

I am very happy. Here are some of the deets:

1) The location is fantastic: The house is about 200 feet away from where we live now, on a street filled with young families, a quiet street with toddlers and young couples in old houses with compact fuel-efficient foreign cars parked in the driveway. We met a mom with a young toddler out for a stroll and she named babies and parents all up and down the street, university people and computer-industry people. They have mommy clubs. Urban pretenders, just like us, I guess. But I won't be afraid for Munchkin to veer off the sidewalk on the trike we're thinking of maybe getting her for her 2nd birthday. I will put out decorations for Halloween in anticipation of a load of kids at the door. I will sit on my covered front porch with a beer on summer evenings, listening to wind rustle in my trees rather than traffic whooshing past at 70km/h. Imagine this, but with less snow:

2) And it's like we won the lottery: When I first saw the house three weeks ago, it was listed for $359,900. We bought it today for $335,000. This leaves us, after our settlement with the Condo Jerks, signing up for a mortgage of $255,000, with $30,000 in hand for all the moving / closing costs, and the immediate needs of updated (ie, insurable) wiring, probable new furnace, and air-conditioner. Whatever is left we save for next year's kitchen reno. No matter what, we're in a better position financially than we were before, and have an $80,000 chunk of real equity in the home the minute we move in, as well as actual cash money for the inevitable surprise expenses. When I get sticker shock, I try to think of it as a $255K house, rather than a $335K house, because it's the lower number we're actually on the hook for.

3) We've got breathing room for the move: We close on the new house house one month before we have to be out of our current house: easy move, time for electrical work to be done, no need for 24 hours of sheer panic of in and out. Compare to my contingency plan of moving us out of our current house and into rental accomodations if we couldn't find a house in the next month, and you will find extra cause for relief.

4) Convenience: I think I'm about 200 feet closer to Starbucks in the new house; and 200 feet closer to work, also.

And yet? I can't sleep. Because I'm freaking out.

Here's the actual point of my post: how do you stop yourself from worrying about everything? I am finding, to my great dismay, that the older I get, the more anxious I become. Yesterday I worried our offer wouldn't be accepted: today, I worry that the 1950s-era kitchen cabinets of my new home won't be deep enough to accomodate our dishes. Or that our mortgage won't be extended. I run the gamut from the most detailed of minutiae to the largest or setbacks. Can't stop that hamster wheel of anxiety from revving up my heart rate, robbing me of sleep, even though, god help us, I have the FLU and have been barely able to carry myself upright since Friday morning. So now I'm worried additionally about what tomorrow morning is going to look like, if I'm setting this whole family up for a lousy Monday and ensuring that once more I accomplish nothing at the office. How very helpful of me.

Seriously. How do you stop worrying?

I've got to put a stop to this. This should be a post about my family doing the happy dance. And I am doing the happy dance, I am. But I am, simultaneously, worried about ... um, everything.

I want to know if you have any tricks, preferably not involving alcohol (that, I already know about, thank-you-very-much). I really want to enjoy this moment of triumph and success for the Family Breach. We are truly fortunate and this outcome is the best of all possible cases (barring the home inspector discovering cracks in the foundation this week ... fingers crossed ...)


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new Casa del Breach! Based on the the photos: it looks like the house I would picture for you and Mr Breach!

alejna said...

Congratulations! The front hall looks just gorgeous. I love the wood. And those French doors are wonderful.

As for the worrying, I don't have a lot of great advice. I am a worrier. It's part of who I am, as far as I can tell. I go through phases with lots of worrying, but happily also phases where I have things in better perspective. If I figure out how I reach the more mellow, less worried times, I'll be happy to share.

Actually one thing that comes to mind is to really focus on getting enough sleep. I know I worry more when I am sleep-deprived. The trouble is, worrying can keep me from falling asleep. I've found that reading something that takes my attention (or is supposed to take my attention) can help me sleep. A page or two of academic reading can knock me right out. Listening to music has helped at times, too.

nomotherearth said...


I make list of everything that concerns me or that needs to be done, and cross it off while I do it. Somehow it's less worrisome on paper than swirling around in the maelstrom of my brain.

cinnamon gurl said...

Congratulations!! It's gorgeous! And now you won't have to listen to buses go by (not sure if the city implemented its plan yet but I remember you blogging that it was coming).

As for worrying, I'm quite the worrywart myself and I HAVE developed a number of strategies. 1) I think about what I will do if the worse happens -- what will you do if your dishes don't fit? Buy new ones with your contingency money? Take the cupboard doors off? (I've seen lots of people do that and paint the insides cute colours...) 2) I am very careful to only worry about the things I have some control over. I do as much as I can to prepare and manage the things I can control. And the things I can't control, I surrender to (although I can't help worrying a bit). At this stage, you have no control over whether your dishes will fit or not, so just accept that you will cope whatever way it goes.

That said, I think it's pretty natural to have LOTS of Oh-shit-what-have-I-done thoughts after you sign up to buy a house.

Bea said...

For me, so far, the second-guessing hasn't ended - though I do at least take breaks from it occasionally now that we're really beyond the point of no return. If only there was some kind of firewall that prevented you from checking MLS after you've already made up your mind...

Patti said...

Very happy for you. Your place looks lovely.

I think flu-recovery, a little extra sleep, and a successful house inspection will greatly relieve your worries. At least it will slow down the hamster wheel.

slouching mom said...

congratulations! it's gorgeous!

every time you start to worry about something that's in the future, try to turn to something that needs your attention at that moment.

hard, i know, especially at night, but it will help if you can do it.

at night, if you're worrying, get up. read a book. cook something.

take walks.

Cloud said...

Conngrats on the house! It sounds lovely.

I don't have much advice on the worrying front, since my method of freaking out, telling laid back Hubby, having him laugh at me and tell me to stop worrying, and then getting mad at Hubby is not very productive.

I do use the list-making method, which helps a bit. When he's in a helpful mood, Hubby uses Sin's "what's the worst that could happen" method on me, and in my more sane moods, it help.

Kyla said...

If I'm worrying at night and can't sleep, I get up, write it down (so I won't forget to worry about it when I wake up) and then I put it out of my mind.

Otherwise, I walk myself through the worst case scenario and make peace with it and then I've freed myself from the fear of it.

And when those don't work, I blog it. ;)


Lisa b said...

I am so in love with your house. Do the happy dance, have a drink, then use Kyla's suggestions, because I don't have any other than drinking.
Or maybe a nice long walk.

Anonymous said...

Well firstly congratulations on the new house because it looks great :)

And secondly the only way I stop myself worrying about things is to write lists of what I NEED to do and then having long hot baths. A lot.

kittenpie said...

Mimi, this is FANTASTIC! I am so happy for you! It looks gorgeous, the location sounds perfect, you got a sweet deal on it, it is all good good good. I am totally happy dancing in my chair on the ref desk right now.

And yet the worry? Well, the more perfect we are used to things being, the more we worry about losing some of that, I think. But you're a smart lady, you'll figure out solutions to smallish problems like cupboards not quite deep enough. You'll find some alternate storage like a sideboard or lower cabinet, or turf some things not truly necessary or put large and little-used items aside in basment storage for now. I know you can't quite stop the worry until you are settled, and the next couple of months will be nail-biters, but once you do find yourself making it your home, it will all work out. I just know it.

Debbie said...

Congratulations. Yay! It looks lovely and I'm so happy for you.

As for the worrying, I probably can't help much. I'm more of a I'll-deal-with-it-when-it-happens kind of gal. Usually whatever I do end up worrying about doesn't turn out to be an issue at all.

I'm glad you found a lovely home in what sounds to be a wonderful, family-friendly neighborhood.

Omaha Mama said...

I snuck over here again! I can't help myself, what with all of your home demolition/home buying/moving news. Congrats on the home. The entry looks inviting, that street looks like a fantastic place to call home!!!

Worrying. My thoughts on what works for me:
*gratitude journal
*denial (not entirely healthy, but works in times of desperation)
* deep breaths
*sometimes...talking to myself...outloud.
Don't tell anyone that last one! Oh wait, I just did.

That's it.
Now I really should be off until April. Now that you won't be homeless.

I'm so happy for you.

Dawn said...

Congratulations on the house! It sounds wonderful. I'm so happy you get to stay in your neighborhood!

As far as worrying goes, you have to accept that at some point things are out of your control and worry is wasted energy.

Focus on the things for which you are grateful; pray for guidance; trust the Universe to meet your needs.

I'm a chronic worrier and those are some things that work for me.

Hang in there and feel better. Don't do what I did and end up with walking pneumonia!

Jenifer said...

When I think back to your earlier posts and Christmas almost being ruined and all that this makes me what to say WAY TO GO!

This is awesome, the street looks fantastic and closer to coffee -yippee!

As for worrying, if I had the answer I would surely not have these black circles under my eyes. I find my anxiousness comes in waves and when it is high it is best to ride it out or tire myself out - they both work.

Mindless TV helps a lot too.

Beck said...

That house is gorgeous! Hooray for you!
As far as worrying - I think that it's the overwhelming problem for most 30-something women. Buying a house IS very stressful and I don't think there's a magical cure for that, but you've made the best decision you can and that should be a comfort. I find - personally - that praying helps a lot, because I don't think that we were ever intended to bear any of life's trials alone.

Karen said...

happiness! congratulations!
Worrying? I can't really stop so I take more the antidote approach:
problem solve what I can
chocolate, good sleep, prayer and yoga for the rest - combined with venting about it on the internet or to friends over alcohol.

Oh, The Joys said...

It seems the Gods have smiled on you -- as you SO deserved!!

Christine said...

this is an amazing place!

and i have no good advice because i am CHRONIC worrier.
Running on empty

Bon777 said...

Beautiful home. Congrats!

Her Bad Mother said...

CONGRATS. Our purchase and move (which was, um, a bit further that 200 feet) yielded pretty much all the same joys, so I know of your happy.

How not to worry? I worry too much about that, so am of no help here.

gingajoy said...

alcohol's all i gots, lady. and lots of it.

am completely and utterly with you on this one, Mimi. Having just put an offer in on a house we've been yenning for for about a month now as The One, now it looks like a done deal I am gripped with buyuer's remorse and retreading the floors of the house in my mind, seeing every dark corner and nasty crevice I missed before. Gah!