Remembering Our Blessings

When we moved to the Twin Cities seven years ago, we bought a house in the southwest suburbs, a choice motivated solely by its location in a school district with a strong high school. (Elena was about to begin high school at the time we moved.) Now that we no longer need to be concerned with what school district we live in, we decided it was time to downsize to a house better located to the various things Dave and I are involved with.

Yesterday we closed on the purchase of a home in St. Paul. It was a very stressful day. We now own two homes, as we do not yet have an offer on our current one, meaning double expenses for however long it takes to sell it. Although I had hoped we could close, do a bit of cleaning and immediately move into the new house, seeing it empty reveals the need for substantial interior painting as well as how ugly and beat up the carpeting on the upper level is. Based on a couple of phone conversations yesterday, it is not clear how quickly we will be able to get the painting done. Oh, and given the configuration of the master bedroom, our bureau and bed (a Shaker canopy bed) will not fit into is, requiring that we get new bedroom furniture. We went into a couple of stores to see that what would entail. It is true I have not shopped for bedroom furniture for almost 25 years (except for a few random pieces, we largely still use the furniture we bought when we got married). In short, lots of unexpected delay and expenditures. None of this put me in a very good frame of mind, thinking of the impact of the continued unsettled state on all of the work I need to get done this summer. “This is horrible,” I said to Dave yesterday.

Whoa! Hold on there, Susan! As I sat this morning with the feelings of frustration and anxiety that arose yesterday, I was able to get a little perspective on this issue.

I have a house; I go to sleep every night in a bed with a roof over my head.

I was able to afford to close on the purchase of my new house before selling the old, not having to cleverly jockey closing dates to sell before or simultaneously with buying.

I have the ability to buy a new bed and bureau (and there are places where they are not so crazily priced) and to donate the old one to someone who can’t afford to buy a bed.

I still have a house to live in while the necessary work is being done on the old one.

When I remember how fortunate I am compared to so many people who have so much less than I do, my complaints seem pretty minor.

And I bow down in gratitude. (And continue to pray for patience.)