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6 Closing Dates & Counting: Peace in a Time of Flux

12:13 PM


In the mornings, the upstairs of our house is bathed in a bluish winter light the color of snow and shadow and wool and whispers. Rupert lays on the bed, head on his crossed paws, staring sleepily at the train as it inches into the unknown along the tracks in our backyard. He is soft and he smells like puppy and sleep.

It has been a long week. A long month. What should have been a relatively swift process—hunt, find, agree, obtain, purchase—has been dragging out since November and it's been taking a toll. What should have been an exciting life stage (we're buying a house!) has turned into points of dreary conversation (no, today is not the day; yes, it's still the same house; yes, we're waiting on things I don't understand, perhaps tomorrow will bring better news). 

We're buying a house. We're trying very hard to buy a house. 

Three years ago we started saving. We moved into our rental house with beautiful blue windows and train tracks in the backyard and squirrels in the roof. We scrimped and sacrificed and our bank account grew. Four months ago we decided to look. Just to look. And, if we found something, to pull the trigger. 

It's beautiful, the new house. It's so tiny, a little 1920s bungalow with original hardwood and a big backyard and a bright, open basement that is begging to become a workshop. Up the street, just a few blocks, is a yoga studio and a record store and a vegan eatery and a quaint little dive. Every time I go back—and I've been back many times, by now—I fall a little more in love.

To us, the new house is not just a new house. The new house is dreams: our dreams, realized. It's the great, optimistic unknown—a big step towards realizing who we are and becoming who we crave to be. It's a fresh start, a new chapter, a place where greatness awaits. If only we can get there.

To us, the new house is stability. It's permanence. It's "home" in the way that the rental house has never been. The past three years in the rental house has been a waiting game—and a working game, of course, as we inch closer towards our goal. 

Yet, four months and six closing dates later, we are hit with problem after problem. My poor choice of bank is mostly at fault—a non-communicative loan officer, a broken system that lets details slip through the cracks. As a strictly Type A planner, it's such a struggle to watch detail-inept people handle the largest financial decision of our lives. 

We might buy a house today, or we might reschedule the movers. Again. This morning, as puffs of snow like cotton balls blanket the world outside Rupert's window, I simply don't know. It's painful—the fundamental question of where will we be living next week? sits low in Maslow's Hierarchy, while I'm fortunate enough to exist primarily at the top—but it's also out of my hands.

So today, I will stop thinking about all of this in the context of time. I will stop thinking about this moment as a chain, as one in a sequence that becomes an hour and a week and a month. Instead, I will think of this moment as an isolated present, and I will enjoy it. I will be grateful for what we have. I will throw myself into work, and tonight I will have a glass of wine. For now, that's the best I can do. 

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