We bought “the perfect house” five months ago. We had pre-qualified for our loan, mapped out “the perfect plan” to sort, pack, make some changes in our new house, have a moving sale, and then move in. There was plenty of time, we thought!
However, the Universe had a different plan for us and the challenges increased weekly—dozens of “additional requests” from the lender required lots of extra time, then technical breakdowns delayed the funding and the loan closing over and over again. (The lender just reimbursed us for extra costs incurred due to their last series of delays.) We finally closed 5 days before our lease expired, and ended up moving and starting our remodel on the same day (Sept. 25)!
Perhaps you have lived in a house during remodeling. It’s quite an adventure! We lived with “bare essentials” for six weeks, midst kitchen counter replacements, electrical installations, construction of extra shelving and a “bookcase wall” (to create my new office space—love it!), and a lot of patching and painting. We continued our regular work schedules as best we could, and one dear client, who was amazed at our cheerful spirits, suggested I keep a journal to keep track of how we were coping.
Well, I can say we had many “moments” of frustration and irritation, especially after so many delays in the lending process and then both expected and unexpected delays in our remodeling…AND, we actually did pretty well most of the time. Here are some things we did to keep our sanity. Perhaps some of them will help you through some of your stressful times.
No matter what was going on, several times a day we were able to express our appreciation—for each other, for our clear intentions to “let go and lighten up” some more, for the joy we experienced in making choices for our new place, for all the ways movers/contractors/electricians/painters rearranged their schedules again and again to accommodate us, for the house that was becoming our beautiful, nurturing home, and for the beauty all around us. And every day I gave thanks for my strong, healthy body, my energy and stamina, and my positive attitude. What we are grateful for increases and this kept us going and going and going!
Take Lots of Deep Breaths
Throughout each day, we remembered to take deep breaths to release the tension, worry, stress and concern about how everything was going to come together.
Stop and Smell the Roses
We had beautiful roses blooming on our patio throughout this “adventure,” and we made sure to have at least one rose on our dining table so we could inhale its delicious scent whenever we sat down to eat…a simple way to fill ourselves up with good stuff!
This was especially helpful when we felt like we had so little control over what was happening. Responding (after a few deep breaths) by saying, “Oh Well!” shifted us out of anger and frustration and got us back into present moment.
Be in the Present Moment
This was sometimes a challenge, but we knew we felt better if we stopped thinking about the “if-only’s” of the past, and the “what-if’s” of the future. We both are very aware of the Power of Now and know it’s only in the present moment that we can think a different thought or take a different action. We did our best to stay in present moment most of the time.
We did a very good job of eating regularly and well, and drinking lots of fluids—mostly water (and an occasional margarita!). We took breaks often and worked at our own pace. We did our best to get a good night’s sleep, and also took some wonderful walks. (3 weeks before our move, Gary had bought us “Fitbits” which we wear on our wrists. Among other things, it counts our steps, with the goal of 10,000 steps per day. During the initial 10 packing/moving days, I averaged over 13,000 steps a day and walked almost 60 miles! It was fun to track it!)
Listen to Music, Sing/Dance Along
I love listening to music…country radio in the car, “moldy oldies” at home. We also played some favorite CD’s that kept our spirits up. When we first hooked up the CD player in our new home, a wonderful medley of New Orleans Jazz songs started playing (we bought the CD there last spring), and we found ourselves dancing around the living room! A perfect interlude!
Say What’s So When It’s So
This was a big one for me, and I’m getting better at this. There were times when we would really get irritated. We found that saying something about it right away worked wonders. Rather than letting things fester and build up (an old habit of mine), we would express our thoughts/feelings immediately, and then they would be gone. Yay!
Keep Your Sense of Humor
There were many moments when our humor really saved the day! We found ways to see the funny side of a variety of things. Even watching the antics of the dueling hummingbirds outside our window made us laugh—most of the time!
Ask for Support
This was a big one too, being as “self-sufficient” as I’ve been since my divorce in 1988. As things got more and more challenging, we asked for support from close friends, family and colleagues, and had them “holding the high watch” for us via email updates and requests. This really sustained us (especially when the last delays put our house purchase in jeopardy), and it felt really good to know people were “there” for us. We also sent many affirmative prayers and good thoughts out to the Universe, knowing everything was unfolding in Perfect Divine Right Order (PDRO), even when it didn’t look like it sometimes!
Accept and Trust the Process
Accepting what “is” is a lesson I’ve been working on for a long time. And, I have learned that it is only after accepting some thing as it is that we can move forward into taking action and make changes–we’re no longer resisting something or battling it. Acceptance ends the struggle. This goes along with trusting that everything will turn out for the best. In the beginning of our house-hunting, when we did not get a house we really liked, Gary said, “If not this, then something better!” And guess what? The house we’re in is even better—it is absolutely perfect for us!
It is my hope that sharing some of our stress-relievers is helpful. May each of us find our own ways to deal with stressful challenges.
Peace, Blessings and Joy (PB&J) always,