As our regular readers are aware, this site is, or purports to be at least, a travel blog. This post, however, doesn’t quite qualify unless you consider a trip of approximately three miles “traveling”. As a little change of pace, this post is going to subject you to the dubious pleasure of hearing me whine like a spoiled toddler about my past week from hell.
I assume there are others out there in cyberville who find themselves in similar circumstances (see description below) and if nothing else this post may serve as a cautionary tale. These words should resonate with you if you see yourself reflected in this profile:
1) You no longer are quite as young and spry as you once were (note the euphemistic way of saying you are older than dirt).
2) You live in a large, rambling house whose size, through some combination of death, departure or divorce across the years, has outgrown its usefulness.
3) You have been bitten by the easily transmitted and highly infectious downsizing bug which leaves you yearning for a smaller, cozier abode.
Now don’t let the innocuous sounding term “downsizing” fool you. We are not yet at the end of our personal journey as I write these words and to date the main areas of downsizing have been to my wallet, my patience and my sanity (none of which began this process in a robust state of health, I might add).
First you have to sell the money pit in which you currently abide. You start with a price which, if only it were realistic, would leave you with enough money to pay off some or your onerous debt. But reality (always an ugly word in the best of circumstances) sets in and you soon find two forces lurching in opposite directions. The asking price spirals downward while the cost of “expected updates” (new carpet, granite counter tops, burnished antique brass fixtures and whatever else is in vogue this week) spirals upwards. When you finally sell your house, those two factors have sped past each other like runaway Japanese bullet trains on parallel tracks careening in opposite directions. At your closing, you stare at the check they hand you and ponder where it all went so horribly wrong.
Since you are downsizing (there is that odious word again) from, in my case, a 3000 square foot home to a 1700 square foot home, you suddenly realize that you have twenty years of accretions and accumulations to shed. You will find this to be a shame inducing experience. The phrase “What the ____ was I thinking when I bought that?” often comes to mind.
We had a two-day garage sale, gave away a rental truck full of items to our kids, gave furniture to a co-worker and at the end of two days had someone with an online auction come and haul off everything that was left. Whether I will ever hear from “Auction Vicky” again is as yet undetermined. In spite of all that, I loaded belongings into a 16′ pod, completely filled a 16′ truck and carried at least 10 pickup and SUV loads to my workplace and a daughter’s garage. I ended up with more bruises than a WWF wrestler.
The next logical step would seem to be collecting all these items from all over kingdom come and moving them into the new house. But sadly, as I write these words, we have not yet closed on the new house. I am officially homeless! Meanwhile, the meter is running on the truck, the pod and a couple of dozen blankets. I should be hearing the final word today regarding the loan on the new house. While I certainly have high hopes of being in the new house in a couple of days, you will have no difficulty determining if things went awry by the primal scream emanating from Fort Worth.
I am not saying you shouldn’t give in to the urge to downsize. I am just suggesting you buy industrial strength BenGay, discard your naive expectations at the curb along with the deer antlers your wife never let you mount in the living room and book a couple of emergency sessions with your therapist.