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