How many of us have ever had to put a house up for sale? It is seriously one of the most stressful times ever. I never envy anyone who is in the middle of that. I think I would rather pack and unpack the same boxes for a week.
I believe the most stress lies on the seller and yet, some of us try to live our lives as the seller every day. Are you confused yet?
Let me make it simple for you…
What does a seller do? They clean the heck out of their house. Pictures get taken down from the mantle and hidden somewhere…anywhere. The dishes are never left overnight and EVERYONE makes their bed. The way hotels make the beds, with the comforter tucked under the pillows. Any pet bowls or toys are tucked away in a drawer. Febreeze bottles are purchased in bulk. Eating out becomes a routine because that is when prospective buyers can come after work. Every piece of mulch is neatly put back in its place and the family is always on high alert. Ready to go at a moment’s notice — just in case the Realtor wants to show your house in 15 minutes. 15 minutes? Did you say 15 minutes? OMG. Yep. We are on our way.
Did your heartbeat just get really fast? Mine did!
Here is what selling a house has to do with living…
Are there any of you out there that must have your life in perfect order? And if it isn’t, are you still pretending that everything is just hunky dory? Life teaches us to want to constantly create and keep up that image. It is how we are sold (pun intended) on anything. Sure…we can imagine our kids sleeping in those beds with pretty pink paint on the walls and standing over the kitchen sink, looking out at the trees planted in the backyard. Builders maintain model homes to show you what? What a model home looks like. Not reality. But it should show our reality. If it was our reality, then the model homes would not have the plastic runners throughout the main walkways in the house to keep the carpet clean, and there might be a towel left on the bathroom floor.
Pretty sure my current house did not come with those plastic floor protectors. In fact, in what was slated as the “formal dining room”, we ended up wearing out the carpet in our “office, that we had wood floors put in there to match the rest of the house. That is reality.
Are you a perfectionist? Is life anything like the “show” you put on in front of others? Is there a missing knife from the knife block? Does your refrigerator have a little spill from the jelly jar? Are you able to match EVERY one of your plastic containers with their right lids?
If your washing machine has ever stopped working the night before the recital and you had to go find a late night laundry mat to use the dryer, raise your hand. If your garage door would not open the morning you have a meeting with your boss and you got a flat tire once you got out of the garage, raise your hand. If your sons played baseball in the family room and broke a picture frame and then tried to hide it by picking up all the glass and just putting the frame back up, hoping mom wouldn’t find out, raise your hand. Yeah…you got me on the third one.
In case you have not figured it out yet…LIFE IS NOT PERFECT!!!
We have to let life happen, even when it is not what we want. If we continue to live life in that fashion, what are we teaching our kids? They will be full of disappointment and seeking something that will never occur. Life does not come with a warranty or a 1-800- number to call when something breaks down. There are no helpful manuals or “experts.” Life cannot be planned…even with a 15 minute notice. Sometimes, you just have to wing it. We all know people who always send the perfect Christmas card, who freak out if people just stop by without a phone call, or put on a smile when they just want to scream instead.
Forget it when an entry way bench is littered with a lunch box, a baseball hat, or a set of keys. Let it go. Know any relatives who tell visitors that nothing is to be touched. Have any rooms in your house that no one ever is in? Make your house your home…live in it. But do not be confined by the walls of the residence where you receive mail and park your cars at night.
Live out in the world. Everyone has a bad day and everyone says things they wish they could take back. Everyone wants to feel connected to someone and everyone can change. We all want a place to call home and what better place to do that than in your own life? I am giving you the keys with no promises. Perfection is an illusion and is subjective to opinion. Live your best life…stop modeling others. Do not compare your life with others. It will take some work getting it exactly the way you want it…just like when you turn a house into a home.
CALL TO ACTION: Vow to let go of perfection and promise to live instead. Be excited about the adventure and stop living to be so predictable. No one cares if you have papers on your table. People are not going to recall what we think they will. Don’t sell yourself short. You will get more out of life when you aren’t only showing people the best sides of you. I want the house…not just the room you clean up for me or the one I can see.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©