Sunday, September 13, 2009

Unraveling the fetal position

I started writing this garbled, stressed-out post yesterday about buying and selling houses, but since I wasn't quite coherent, I gave it up. Now I have some clear perspective on that matter, and on its context in life.

Part I
We are selling our house. We are hoping incoming first-time buyers taking advantage of the current tax credit will jump on our house with enthusiasm...or so says our real estate agent, who seems to be right about quite a lot of things. While scrambling to get our house ready to list and show in the next week, we've also just dipped our toes in looking for a new house and -- BAM, The Opportunity comes along. It's a not-quite-complete remodel, way under our price range, nearly 3x the size of our current home, 1925 Tudor, and dead center of our life in West Seattle, geographically speaking. The banker started crunching numbers on something called an FHA(203)k, which gives us a new mortgage plus some cash to complete the remodel. As soon as it was approved (bless him, working this Sunday morning), we learn the seller (bank repo) will not entertain contingent offers. Damn.

Meanwhile, and against my better judgement, I started to get really attached to the idea of this house (the space! the price! beautifully remodelled!) and really unattached to other things in our price range (why up our monthly mortgage payments that much for just a little more space?). Sigh...the house will very likely be gone by the time we have an offer.

Part II
I went to cheer for Team Stomp This today, day 3 of the 3-Day Walk. Incredible, inspirational...more than 2,000 people gave up 3 days to walk 60 miles for breast cancer research. And Ms. Stomp This herself, Sheila, was right there, beautiful big smile, spring in her step, even though this has been the most physically and emotionally harrowing year of her life. We cheered, were teary and huggy and wired on the good juju fueled by the event, not to mention that she only had less than 4 miles to go to the finish line.

Among the walkers were a few firefighters who had committed to walking in full fire paraphernalia. While I read about this in the paper, it wasn't until I was standing in the sun for an hour that I realized how uncomfortable and exhausting this must be for these walkers. But there they were, walking by, one of them carrying an axe. I hope they were drinking a lot of water.

Anyway, what all this reminded me about is what's really, health, family, good friends, fun, challenges, taking risks and care of each other. There will be lots of houses eventually dubbed The Opportunity, but there is only one Sheila, and one son Ollie squirting the walkers with water as they walked by, and one husband Jason keeping everyone up to date on when and where to cheer. And there are just a handful of firefighters crazy enough to walk 60 miles in the heat in their black, fire-retardant suits and heavy sloping helmets for a good cause.

So I will uncurl from the fetal position, wait for the right house to come along, and be grateful...for so many things.


deena said...

thanks becca. great reminder.

Sheila said...

Just saw this post, and LOVE it. You said it: LIVE LIFE! Love you, RAH!

Recorder Joe said...

"there is only one Sheila" So very true.
I'm glad Sheila's experience this year has spread a bit of what 'life' entails...but still, The Opportunity only comes along so often! :-)