Monday, April 25, 2011

Cold Feet or I'm Feeling a bit Verklempt

Let me start by saying, I've loved every place I've ever lived. I also love decorating. I get an obscene amount of joy out of creating the perfect blend of colors, fabrics, and accessories that transform a house into a  home. Like they say, "Home is where the heart is." It's the cradle where your family is rocked. 

Have you ever made a big decision involving a huge adjustment in your life and then, shortly before the shift was about to take place, changed your mind? Well, maybe not completely changed your mind, but seriously doubted your decision? On your wedding day this is called, "cold feet." In the arena of buying a home, I'm not sure what it's called but, whatever it is, I've got it. Bad.


As some of you know, I've been in the process of moving forward with my life after the end of a long-term marriage. Part of that process has involved me finding my own place. After much house-hunting, I decided to have a townhome built not far from my current home (the dream house my soon-to-be-ex and I worked our whole lives for). And it's beautiful. Like seriously beautiful. It's got three bedrooms, two full and two half-baths, a finished basement, a brand new state-of-the-art kitchen, and a gas fireplace; you know, the kind where you push a button on a remote and the fire goes on and off? No heavy logs. No messy ashes. No putting the fire out before you go to sleep. Clean and easy. Pretty cool, huh? 

So, what's wrong, you ask? As petty as this may sound, this beautiful townhome has no yard. That is, unless you call a 10' x 20' paver patio a "yard." And, to make matters worse, it's in the middle of a building with five other homeowners. I know this sounds snobby and spoiled, but I currently live in a McMansion with over an acre of land. I haven't shared a building with other people since I was 20 and, to be honest, I like it that way. That said, I've been house-hunting. Again. Yes, you read that right. And did I mention the settlement/closing date on my townhouse is just over three weeks away? 

Why am I looking at houses again? Because a single family home is better than a townhouse, right? Because the smell of wood burning in a fireplace is part of what makes a house a home. Because I'm confused and not sure where to start this next major chapter in my life. 

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. This next home will be the first place I'll live without my children since they were born.

Don't get me wrong: I'm aware my life is ridiculously amazing. I'm healthy and generally happy. I have an incredible boyfriend, precious family and friends, and enough money to get by for a while. So, what the hell's wrong with me? Why am I second-guessing things? Am I going crazy? No. This is simply what divorce does to you. It makes you nuts; makes you doubt yourself; makes you wonder if you can trust yourself; makes you wonder if you're making the right decisions; makes you wonder if you could or should have done things differently. It causes cold feet, not only about home-buying, but about every major part of life.

I'm somewhat nervous putting this out there for the world to see, but I've always meant for this blog to be about more than my writing journey. Thankfully, for me, the fear of people's judgments lessens as I get older, but still...

So, there you have it. I've got cold house-buying feet, plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less, right? This is not at all like buttah. In fact, I'm feeling a bit verklempt. To continue with Linda Richman-speak (played by the uber-talented Mike Myers) on SNL's, Coffee Talk, "House buying, like divorce, is neither a walk in the park nor the end of the world as we know it. Discuss."

33 comments:

Ken P said...

If yard matters to the felines, then yard it should be. Otherwise, you won’t miss the mowing, fertilizing, irrigation system blow out in the fall and start up in the spring, and the neighbor who mows his own yard, very slooowly, every Saturday at the dinner hour!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Ken, Good point. I'll probably end up in the townhouse, but I'm freakishly undecided. Will keep you posted. ;-)

Stacia Kelly said...

You know...we have the house with the yard and I love it and hate it. I'm seriously ready for a condo on the water :)

Suzyhayes said...

A small, cozy house with trees in the yard where your grandkids can eventually play.

Townhouse? Not so much.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Stacia, Good point. Having no yard work is not a bad thing, but I'm going to miss my pool...

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Suzy, I know, right? This whole thing is making my head hurt. How are you doing, btw?

Julie said...

I've been walking my dogs a lot lately, and have found out that on the other side of my subdivision are wonderful townhomes that I wish I'd seen before I bought my house. My yard is a disturbing amount of work... for example, it is so high right now that I'm going to need a machete to whack it down but it won't stop raining long enough for me to mow it. Yards are a pain, but as a dog owner, that was what I was thinking about. Next home might be yardless, dogs or not. You can always go to a park to see lovely green grass.

That said, when I bought my house I knew it was the one for me, I loved it, and still worship it (though it is far from a McMansion... it's more of a McHouse to tell the truth). But the truth is I was meant to be there, so yard or not, townhome or not, go with your instincts.

Love ya!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Julie, I adore you. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Maybe a little house with smarll yard you can renovate and fix exactly like you want it? Hugs. I know whatever happens, it'll turn out great!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Angie, Thanks, I know it will, too. And, I'm aware this is a great "problem" to have. ;-)

Ruthanne Reid said...

I have to say this: the number of times you talked about your quiet and beautiful view and the joy your landscaping brought to you makes me think the cold feet are not entirely without warrant. *hugs* Do you have to buy right away?

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Ruthanne, No, I don't, but I'll lose $ on the townhome. I'm waiting to see how much... (((hugs)))

Sandra Leigh said...

"House buying, like divorce, is neither a walk in the park nor the end of the world as we know it." That's the thing, Debra. The above may be true of house buying, but divorce? Not so much. Divorce is the end of the world as we know it, and you are making decisions in the middle of the maelstrom.

For now, you have to live somewhere, right? My instinct, if I were living alone for the first time, would be to downsize, to have a home that I could wrap around my shoulders and snuggle into -- not one in which my footsteps would echo. But that's just me. Whatever home you choose, you will make it your own -- and if it doesn't suit you after all, you can always set about finding another home -- it wouldn't be the end of the world, right?

Treasurer said...

What you are experiencing is known as "cognitive dissonance". Seeing that the psych/business world has given a name to it, must mean its pretty common. So, if it helps, you're not alone!

I must say, I am a fan of gas fireplaces with a switch! So no matter whether you get a single family home or townhouse, I vote for the gas fireplace.

Yard? As long as I have a view, it's better if it is someone else's yard or an open space that we don't have to maintain. Give me a place to entertain, and we are good!

Ruthanne Reid said...

Well, here's the other side: a change might actually be just right. And there are places around you with beauty and peace, too, yes?

I don't think you have a bad decision in front of you. Take this to heart until you believe it: in this case, you * can't* make a mistake. If you remove that worry - that there is no wrong choice - what does your heart say in that still, small moment?

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Sandra, You're right - divorce is the end of the world as we CURRENTLY know it. Great point. I'm at a crossroads; a place where I can create a new and better world. Tx for always making me think - I love that about you.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Carolyn, Tx for coming to my financial rescue. I value your opinion in this area so much. And, no matter what, gas fireplace it is!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Ruthanne, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

"Take this to heart until you believe it: in this case, you *can't* make a mistake. If you remove that worry - that there is no wrong choice - what does your heart say in that still, small moment?"

Brilliant.

Val said...

Mike Meyers went to my highschool, Stephen Leacock Collegiate in Toronto. He was very short, was in the A/V club and he was a GEEK.
Cold feet are there to make certain you listen to you heart Debbie. ;) You are doing just fine girl and it looks good on you to see you feeling your way to your bliss. hugs

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Val, Interesting info about Mike Meyers!

Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm doing my best and am trying to trust my instincts, even if it means losing some money...

Indigo said...

There is a saying, "Home is wherever the heart is". Whatever choice you make, as long as you continue to listen to your heart, your home. (Hugs)Indigo

Indigo said...

That should read "you're home". I fumble that one all the time. Indy

heather said...

Debbie you know me...I love the serenity of the outdoors but it can be a lot of work. I think the perfect happy medium would be a cute cape cod with a little private yard. Something like that is cozy and private and you could do whatever it is you want back there....you know....sunbathe nude plant flowers...whatever you want. You can even get a hot tub and have romantic evenings with a bottle of fine wine!! It may not be a pool but definitely is a close runner up:-) Whatever you do just think it through into your future and make sure that you can see yourself there. Cold feet is just well thought out planning:-) Call me if you need to talk, I would be more than happy to listen!!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Indigo, "...as long as you continue to listen to your heart, you're home." Love that. I'm trying my best to listen within.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Heather, I've tried hard to find the small, cozy house, but haven't had much luck. I'll email you the link to the house we're considering.

Andre Zollars said...

Peace will come Debra. Find your center and that still, quiet place will guide you. Believe in yourself and your strength. You always have more than you realize. My thoughts and well wishes are with you!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Andre, You're such a doll. You have no idea how much your words of encouragement mean. ;-)

Anita said...

Where have I been? You have a boyfriend?!

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Anita, ;-)

Pen Pen said...

You'll probably look back and feel that the situation and thinking time that comes with cold feet forced you to evaluate yourself on a level you didn't know possible...tho the journey to such things are only appreciated once they're finished. In the meantime, ur paranoia, fear, and sadness with beat the shit out of u like a Nazi on a brunette.
Example-I was never positive about what my "career" should be...besides being an author. When I got out of college, I got a high salary office job that I was terrible at. I was basically told that I was SO bad at the job, and if I didn't resign, I'd be fired. I left there with no idea of where to go, and was the emotional equivalent of Edward Norton being dragged bloody and bruised out of his office in 'Fight Club'. I freaked out about calling jobs since I thought I would be turned down-or if I did get the job, I'd suck at it and they'd get rid of me. I pulled my will to take chances out of the world, and tried to find a profession I was sure I would not look like a fool in...that gave me limited choices and made me test any steps I took before leaping. I tested waters in psychology and baking among other things, and found that I was natural and motivated in both fields. I had made myself a safety jacket that-tho restrictive and extreme-gave me tunnel vision so I only saw my best bets.
...it was a shitty journey to here tho-I think God sometimes teaches lessons in a bad way. It's like discovering that you shouldn't let ur baby run in the street by having one of ur kids hit.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Pen-Pen, We are soul sisters. You always know when I need you. (((hugs)))

Meghan Ward said...

Debra, I don't have an answer about the yard. We have a small yard and I love having it, but I also feel constant anxiety that it's such a mess. Fixing it up has been on my To Do list for seven years now, and I only just this week hired someone to get it started. But since my kids are young and have a swing set and sandbox, for us it's important. Whatever you decide, I think you made the right decision in sharing this here with your readers. It's these personal posts that make people feel a connection to bloggers, and that's so important with so many bloggers out there.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Meghan, Thanks for your input - I've made my decision & will discuss it in my next blog post. ;-)

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