Thursday, November 7, 2013

ah, well.

{lettering by Torrie T. Asai}

Jordan's on the couch sleeping, exhausted, I'm sure, from pulling our family's weight this past week. 

As it turns out, there are a few occasions when being married to an attorney is extremely helpful. One? When putting down an offer on a home. Also? When buying a business. We happen to be doing both of those things. At the same time. 

Two weekends ago, after mutually agreeing to wait until January to buy a home in Thomasville, I found a home there I loved. It was small, but it had a front porch and a backyard meant for a hammock. The appliances were new, but the character was old (1898!) and the walls were almost the exact same color I've painted the walls of every rental home we've ever lived in. It was surrounded with other well-cared-for homes, just a short walk away from a school and a park. It was well within our budget, and it just felt meant to be. 

Often in my life, I plan for something, and inevitably, the rug gets pulled out from under me. The plan changes, and I'm left with my head spinning. We had decided to wait until January, so it made perfect sense that we'd find a home we loved now, with October barely out the door. 

So we put in an offer on Monday. We put in an offer, and this town -- this tiny town where most of the homes we've looked at are still on the market, months later -- surprised us. The house we loved, a house that had only been on the market for a few days, had caught the eyes of a potential renter. We assumed there wouldn't be much competition there. Buyer > renter, right? (And I say that, obviously, as a renter.) What we didn't really count on was the potential renter hearing about our offer, and putting up an offer of their own. 

This week, then, we entered into a bidding war on our first home. Everything happened so fast, and I admit: Monday night, when we prayed together over our first offer (ever!), I prayed for easy. Gosh, I just wanted easy. So much in our lives right now is hard, and I just thought, you know? I'm going to pray for easy. I'm going to pray for smooth sailing, for peace and calm and a process we could both smile our way through. I've heard the horror stories, the home-buying nightmares, and I specifically prayed for none of that, thank you

But then the bidding war happened, and today, while training a new employee at work, I got the call that our second offer had been rejected. The owner of the home chose the renter-turned-buyer's offer. 

We lost. 

(And I guess, in a way, it was easy.)

It's okay. I really did love that house. I really had imagined a hammock in the backyard and my dishes in the cabinets and our couch in the living room and a bright blue front door. I had pictured parties and house guests and finally, finally getting to sit on my own front porch swing. 

But it wasn't meant to be. And I told myself, as we waited by our phones and tweaked offer after offer, that it would be okay. If we didn't get this house, another, better-for-us house would come along. And I want you to know: I know that's true. I firmly believe it. 

That doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. Not yet. 

I think it's okay, realistic even, for me to be a little heartbroken. And yes, even a little bitter. The whole process seems horribly unfair; two comparable offers, and the first offer presented ought to win, don't you think? Plus, we've watched friends and family members buy houses without breaking a sweat; why, oh why, couldn't that have been us? 

So tonight I'm a little sad. But curled up in my little gray chair, in my rental cottage I have poured a lot of time and effort into, I'm okay. We'll get one last Christmas here now, I think. We'll host my family's annual Christmas Eve brunch. I might get brave and host a Friends-giving for some people I love. I'll hang up some bunting, light candles, read a few more books. I will enjoy where I am, because where I am is lovely and above all... it's where I am. To not love it, to not enjoy it, would be a tragic waste. 

We're okay. It's been a long week, and we're tired. Jordan still has our business contract to look over, and I've got a difficult decision looming, and I know it's been a lot for us. We've tried pretty hard to be grown-ups this week, and I think we've done a darn fine job. 

I was thinking on my commute home today how nice it would be to win one. What I forgot, I think, is that we learn so much more from the losses. And yes, 2013 has been, in my estimation, hard. But gosh. I can't think of another time in my life when I've done this much growing, this much stretching. And I'd wager that's a good thing, even if it's a little bit painful. 

So here's to the losses. We've had a few lately, but I think it's making us better. 


Annie said...

My heart is breaking for you that you lost this house. But this is such a poignant tribute to what we learn when life doesn't go our way. 2012-2013 has been what I call the Nineveh stage; I've gotten approximately none of what I want, but I wouldn't change the journey, not at all. And I'm looking excitedly, and hope you are too, at what 2014 hints at bringing to us.

Erin said...

We've been going through some stuff lately and I said out loud the other day "why does everything have to be a journey? can't some things just be easy?"

Laura said...

I'm so sorry about the house, that is definitely frustrating with everything else going crazy in your life. You are right - you WILL find a great house, one that will fit you guys even better than that one. I like what you said about growing through losses. It's not fun, but to look back and see that growth? That sure is something.

Sabrina said...

You have grown Annie, I can read it in each post. I can't wait until the right house is ready for ya'll at the right time:)

Betsy said...

Oh I'm sorry! House hunting can be so hard. I know you'll find something great that will be right for you at this time!