Paying It Forward?

I’ve had the most amazing experience this week, and I want to share it with you.

My home has always been my sanctuary from an overly-stimulating world. My goal whenever I’ve looked for a place to live has been to find a quiet place with privacy, but still near enough to all the conveniences of a city. In terms of the physical layout of the house and the yard, the house I live in now has been the most perfect place I’ve ever lived. It was very difficult to make the decision to give it up so I could move back to the city. But I finally did make that decision, and as I wrote last time, I’ve found a house where I think I’ll be very comfortable.

And as soon as I found my new house, I put my current house on the market. My realtor started bringing people in to see the house a week ago Thursday, and my stress level spiked. Last weekend, after only a couple days of showing the house, I was drafting a blog post about the stressful experience of trying to sell the house while I’m still living in it.

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C’mon, raise the window just a little higher…I won’t jump, I promise!

But much to my surprise, the house sold before I could finish writing that one. It wasn’t even on the market a week. I shed tears of relief when I hung up the phone after speaking with my realtor. No more worrying about keeping the house spotless every day! No more worrying that someone would accidentally let my cats out of the house! But the best part, what I want to tell you, has to do with the person who is buying my house.

Let’s call her Miss M.

Miss M. lost her husband a couple years ago and is looking to move from her large house to a smaller place. She’s in a transitional stage of her life, much as I was 18 months ago when I moved here. On her first visit to see my house, Miss M. told my realtor that she felt at home here, that she got a warm feeling when she walked in. I’ve been told the same thing several times recently by other people, and it makes me feel so good to know that people feel comfortable in my home.

So a couple days went by, other people looked at the house, and then Miss M. made an appointment to come back for a second look. That’s always a good sign. And on this visit she saw a couple more things that she took to be signs that this place was meant for her. One of the signs was, literally, a sign:

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Peace Cat

That’s a little wooden “Peace” sign that sits on top of the bookcase in my living room. The second sign was this:

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It’s a huge calendar that hangs in my garage. It was a free calendar that I didn’t need and it was too big to hang in the house (almost two feet across), but since it had such nice bird photos, I hung it up. Occasionally I’ll flip it to a random page just to change the bird picture. It happens to be displaying these Puffins now. And those just happen to be a favorite bird of Miss M. In fact, she has pictures of these birds decorating her current house.

And of course she fell in love with this sunroom, as I did:

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As I’m sure you realize by now, Miss M. made an offer on my house the very next day. And it was a good offer, very close to what I wanted for the house. I accepted the offer, and my realtor said that Miss M. clapped her hands for joy when she got the message that this house would be hers.

That evening I sat in my quiet living room looking around at my peaceful and comfortable home. When I came to this place I was in a lot of pain, still trying to cope with the feeling of failure after my divorce, and being suddenly on my own in middle age, and starting a new job in a place that felt so unfamiliar. I’m not a religious person, but I sat in quiet meditation that night, giving thanks to this house for sheltering me as I healed, and for helping me feel safe. And it was not lost on me that Miss M. might very well be in need of the same sort of sanctuary as she enters this next phase of her life. And with the act of giving up this house, I made it possible for her to have it. So I hope, in a way, my sacrifice will be a gift to her, allowing her to feel at peace too.

And that realization filled me with joy, and made it immeasurably easier for me to move on. I feel like I’ve paid it forward, so to speak. I have about five weeks left in this house, and I’ll treasure every single day. But I’ve made a huge step toward saying goodbye already, and now I can look ahead to my next chapter with no regrets.

This entry was posted in Happiness and Gratitude, Ohio. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Paying It Forward?

  1. such a heart-warming chapter of your life!

  2. Robert Weir says:

    Just another step down life’s pathway for you Kim. Congrats on the sale of your home and best of luck in your new home venture.

  3. Dave Lewis says:

    It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone will appreciate the home you’ve worked so hard on. Looking forward to hearing about the new place!

    • Kim Smith says:

      And I’m looking forward to sharing it, Dave. I just cannot wait to hang bird feeders…and plant some flowers…and then to just sit and be grateful for it all. 🙂

  4. Littlesundog says:

    I’m stoked!! Once again, everything is falling into place… and doesn’t it feel great? You know I am a big believer in “signs” and apparently I’m not the only one out there! I’m glad Miss M. felt at home and comfortable – that’s so important to feel so much where we dwell. There are vibes in everything and everyone.
    Ok, so now you’ll be busy packing and cleaning… and moving!! YAY!! 😀

    • Kim Smith says:

      Yes, Lori, I’m thankful that things are lining up so nicely. The stress is really minimal, at least right now. I’m taking it a day at a time, steadily crossing things off the to do list and taking plenty of time to rest.

  5. Sharee says:

    Your writings are always so heart felt. I sure could feel this story. I am so happy for you and Mrs. M. It was all meant to be. I can’t wait for your next blog!

  6. Patricia says:

    Very nicely written. It is so true that leaving your home means another person can make it the nice place in their lives that it was in yours. So glad this has worked out so well for both of you!

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