Up until today, Dennis and I had been doing a lot of researching of various things online like schools, houses, and moving companies. In the last 3 weeks I have spent a great deal of time making calls, getting estimates for repairs, and getting a couple huge issues dealt with with our house. But today is what I considered to be my first day of dealing with our belongings. Today was to be the start of the sweating, the sifting, the boxing, the throwing away, the selling, but so far what I have done is think and research online some more.
The thing I researched was boxes; their cost, what kind and size I should get, where to find them for free or cheaply, and how to pack my things in them. All important things to know but the truth is I’m fucking stalling because I’m fucking overwhelmed. My brain started slowly exploding on Friday and this morning the mushroom cloud fully formed over my skull. I can feel it over my head. It has distrupted space/time and has sucked the oxygen out from air around me.
That’s the amount of time I said it would take me to do the brunt of the work ahead of me: two weeks. Oh. My. God.
Truth is, I was looking forward to having a full month to get repairs done, sift thru all our possessions, decide what’s coming with us and what’s not, box things up a bit at a time, and so forth. Then once that’s done, BOOM, the house gets listed and I’m ready to move myself, the kids, the pets, and our stuff whenever a buyer gives us a good offer and we close. But now that we have met with our real estate agent the plan has gone from sprucing up the house and decluttering to just decluttering so we can sell it as-is. But, can I really decide item per item what is coming with us and what is not in just 2 weeks? …AND play the role of single parent for the duration? I guess I’ll try, but it’s a tall order.
To make things more sucky, there are things I really want to try and sell because they certainly aren’t coming with us. Like all those freakin clothes. I don’t want to just dump it all in a donation box and they will take a little more than just 2 weeks to post on ebay and sell.
It took a bit for me to get used to this new direction today. I’m still feeling a little dissappointed that beautifying this house would make no difference in our take-home dollar amount. The way it was explained makes sense, but I’m almost dissappointed that there isn’t more I can do to the house before leaving it. This is a classic example of how not getting to do (last minute) what I should have already done makes me feel like a failure. Putting things in the perspective of money alone, however, we would not be in a better position if we factored in all the thousands of dollars we would have spent versus what we’d get back. Whether we had put it in years ago or put it in now, spending money would make little difference our amount of take-home money, but it does make a difference in the level of warm prideful feelings I take away with to Austin. Right now it’s at zero.
I struggled all week to write something new about this new adventure of ours to move to Texas but, frankly, I have been tired. I’ve been so exhausted after calling and talking to what feels like dozens of plumbers and roofers and electricians, scheduling their visits to my house, making sure the visits don’t overlap, and keeping track of each estimate, their contact information, and what I thought of them each day. It’s exhausting even when you encounter nice people who are truly interested in providing their best service without price gouging fucking you in the ass.
Today, I met a plumber who I think really wasn’t a happy man. He tried to put on a smile a couple of times, but this just wasn’t a happy man. He wanted to charge me $750 to replace a shower faucet, $200 to replace a valve outside, $800 to install a tankless water heater, and $130 to snake my toilets, so I just had him snake the toilets. Fuck everything else. Ethan put something down the toilet but he said that if snaking didn’t work, we just needed a new toilet. He wouldn’t even try removing the toilet to get the object out because “we don’t do that” and “your toilet is too old”. So if the snaking didn’t work, I’d be out $130 anyway and still have a clogged toilet. Also, his was the second estimate I got for installing that water heater that has been 3 to 4 times the price I was expecting. So I decided to just sell the tankless water heater. I realize this house doesn’t need a tankless water heater to help it sell. It certainly doesn’t need me to pay for its installation.
Today’s highlight, however, came when I openned the shipping box of the tankless water heater. It turned out that the water heater wasn’t the only thing in that box. Along with a shirt, a box of baby wipes, and tire pressure guage, there was a Samsung 27″ curved computer monitor. I didn’t order it. It was just sent by accident. I was shocked and happy but also pissed that i didn’t know that was in there. That huge unopenned box that sat like a monument to my inaction and procrastination actually had a hidden treasure inside that I nearly missed out on because I wouldn’t open it. I didn’t open it because I thought the water heater inside would spill out everywhere and I wanted to keep it all contained. I didn’t want to unleash that can of worms when it would be easier to ignore it if it remained in the box. A habit that will be a challenge to end.
These three R’s each have the capacity to spread like a disease. The rats spread filth, the wood rot begets more rot, and a rut just gets harder to break out of. The longer they go unchecked, the more damage they do and I’m not just talking figuratively. This has been my reality and I would have to say that each one has contributed to the persistence of the others. I always thought that if I had a chance to get a situational and geographical transplant, I would, while also keeping in mind how difficult it would be to get that chance while the rut was in full swing. And no, the rut isn’t another word for depression. I know the difference.
Everyone who was employed at my last job for as long as I was would attest they probably stayed too long. I know I did. I feel the same way about my house. 15 years in this place has just been way too long especially for a house I never loved and a house we outgrew years ago. So it has some wood rot now which made it easy for the rats to get in and now we are paying thousands to deal with it, rut or no rut. As for the rut itself, I desperately need new surroundings. A new city may be in order as well. Hell, why not move to a whole new state?!
Yes, it would be nice to win the lottery, buy a new place, get all new furniture and clothes, and just step into the new situation. Throw in a new, fulfilling job and I’d be golden. But I think that would be too easy. I want and need to work my own way out of the rats, the rot, and the rut …so I am. The rats were tackled last week and this, and the rot will be dealt with this week and next. The rut, I expect, will be a longer process that I won’t be sure is cured until some months in the future when I can finally look back and can say “Yup, things have come a long way.” Perhaps the rut just goes away the moment I decide to ignore it and just move forward with tackling everything else.