Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wherever Home Is

I read Carol Garvin's blog this morning and it gave me the idea for today's post. What really matters in life.


If I could lift our house up and move it 3000 miles to New Brunswick, I would. But sometimes, no matter how much you want something, it's just not feasible.

We raised our 5 sons in the highlands of Prince George, BC. When we decided to sell and move to Cluculz Lake, we put the house on the market and sold it in one day. 

 


Last June, we put our current home (photo above) on the market and haven't had one person even look at it.

I know, the market is slow everywhere.

Our house in Prince was in a crowded neighbourhood. My sons could walk to school, the arcade, and the ski-hill. We heard sirens, traffic, screeching tires, and dogs barking.


Our home at Cluculz Lake is surrounded by quiet (except for July long weekend). We see the stars. We hear eagles and loons cry. Moose walk through our yard. Our front faces a 14 km lake!  







Building our home was an adventure. So many great memories over the 21 years. I made wonderful friends. My husband was the fire chief for our ERT. I was an active member for years. I made pizzas at the local resort. I also served as secretary for the community association, treasurer for the fall fair. Our decision to sell was not taken lightly.



courtesy of Dean Birks
But the time has come to leave, and now I'm obsessing about it. I spend much too much time googling houses for sale in Rusagonia, Oromocto, and Fredericton areas. Time that I should be spending writing and reading.


I think about the stuff I have to do to be able to move. I lay awake at night wondering why the house hasn't sold. I know, I know -- slow market. It doesn't make me feel better. Yes, only a certain type of buyer wants a home on a lake in central BC, an hour from the nearest airport, an hour's flight to Vancouver. An hour drive to Costco on winter roads November to February.

Before I was published I obsessed like this. I made fake covers for each of my novels and wrapped them around other books. I walked, talked, ate, slept "published".

I first published in 2008.

I'm absolutely thrilled to be published.


I've replaced my obsession for being published with selling and moving to New Brunswick. Once we do, I'll probably obsess about something else. I suppose that's what people like me do.

courtesy of Dean Birks, realtor


Friends tell me it will happen, I just need to keep the faith.

I'm trying. But to be honest, my faith is shaky. Part of me believes that it does matter to the universe whether I'm happy. Another part realized it's up to me to be happy wherever home is.




The reason I haven't been blogging much or commenting as I generally do is because I've let myself become too obsessed. I'm consumed by thoughts of moving and all it encumbers. And now I'm low under the weight of it all.



Somebody told me once that we all have our place in the sun. I hope that's true. Because I watch the news and see so much pain, abuse, and sadness, and my little obsession seems silly in comparison.

courtesy of Dean Birks, realtor


Obsessing about moving, neglecting my writing, keeping myself awake at night is silly. Yet, I can't seem to stop myself. Home is where my heart is. And honestly, that means anywhere my husband is.

courtesy of Dean Birks




Tell me to stop obsessing about something I can't control, and I will.

45 comments :

  1. This is a beautiful post, Joylene. As one who obsesses, it's hard for me to tell you to stop. But I will. Stop obsessing, Joylene. The first part of your name is "Joy." There must be some meaning behind that. Come to think of it, the first part of my middle name is Joy (Joyce). I'll try to remember that too. Take care. :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda. As on Joy to another, okay -- I'll stop obsessing. Have a great day!

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  2. Hi Joylene,

    I could understand you obsessing over how fantastic I am. After all, millions of my adoring fans obsess over me and I guess that's out of control. Sorry, delusional moment over with.

    I think of your obsession to write, to be published, is more of a passion than an obsession. And to be all consuming with your desire to move to New Brunswick, just demonstrates how much you want to realise a new adventure in your life. Most importantly, your new adventure will be with your beloved husband.

    You have that passion to move and with that move, it's truly not an obsession, but a realisation of a dream. Much like your being published. Obsession or passion, Joylene?

    Peace be with you and thank you for your kind support.

    Gary

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    1. Thank you, Gary. I'm also really really looking forward to watching our grandson grow and learn and explore. I'll be closer to England too!

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    2. Ah yes, you will be closer to England! Thanks for the warning, eh LOL

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  3. Hi, Joylene! I've been known to obsess about things, so I understand. It's hard when we don't have that control over something we want to happen. Just take a deep breath, look at that beautiful view outside your window and then sit down and do a bit of writing. : )

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    1. Great idea, Susanne. I'm going to spend half the day tomorrow, writing. The other half will be spent washing floors. Haha, yes, all this obsessing had me neglecting the chores. Thanks, eh!

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  4. Ten years from now, I'd retire and move there!
    It's not the place. It's who is with you.
    The right house and the right buyers for yours will appear - at just the right moment.
    Yes, go write tomorrow!

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    1. I will. And big congratulations on your new book, Alex. I'm thrilled for you.

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  5. Best of luck in selling your home. It took my parents two years to finally sell theirs, but they did.

    Have faith, it will happen.

    Just remember, in the grand scheme of things, it's a grain of sand on the beach of your life.

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    1. Thanks, Mark. Loved your scene today. Very visual.

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  6. I'm an obsesser too. It's so hard to step back and turn over control of something that matters so much, but sometimes there's not much else you can do. Let God take control, try to focus on other things and it will happen when you least expect it. Good luck!

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    1. Good advice, Sara. Tomorrow I'll wash floors and write a new chapter. And I'll just keep believing. Thanks.

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  7. I've spent my share of time obsessing, but then...I don't need to tell you that. We obsessed together. It's that durn feeling of being powerless or helpless. I understand.

    My tip (take it or leave it): Face the day and speak directly to it. "I'm sure you're a good day, but I won't enjoy much of you because I can't _fill in the blank__ and I'm powerless to change that. So go on and be a great day, but do it without me. My personal gray cloud will blot you out."

    I don't know if I can't stand being left out or if I hate being so unfair to a perfectly fine gift of a day or if I just hate wasting good things, but I've gotten better at enjoying a day, even if I can't __fill in the blank__.

    Hang in there... Give my best to the day when you speak to her.

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    1. I just lost my reply! Can't believe it! And I said profound and deeply moving stuff! Something about shouting out to DAY how much I appreciate my blogger and critique buddies! You're the best, Keith. Thanks for being there.

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    2. You gone and choked me up. I'm so emotional!

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  8. Ah, now I see what you meant by your comment on my blog. So many of your friends have already given great advice. But I know about that edge of panic that pushes our feelings into real turmoil... a what-if-it-never-happens kind of thing. And then we obsess about it. But is what will make it happen within our control? If not, stressing about it won't change anything and is only harmful to us.

    I know your home is wherever you and your hubby are. But I know from experience that part of your heart is also where the rest of your family are, and it's so hard to accept the distance that lies between. Ever since our three children married, we have never lived in the same city as any of them... sometimes not in the same province. We do Facebook and Skype and phone calls, delight in YouTube videos and DVDs from them, but miss the frequent visits that living closer would allow. As much as I wish things were different, they have their lives to live and so have we. (Happily, a job promotion is resulting in our son moving to the coast this summer! A first!!!)

    Things that are beyond our control shouldn't deprive us of daily pleasures and fulfillment. We need to take charge of the aspects we can control, be thankful for the positive things that surround us, and choose joy every day.

    There!!! You have my words of wisdom, for what they're worth! ;) (But I really do hope your place sells soon. Maybe you need a more aggressive realtor???)

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    1. I feel better already, Carol. Just taking a small step and speaking out about my obsession seems to have quietened my panic a lot. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I shall rejoice at how awesome my blogger buddies are. Tomorrow's March 1st and that in itself is a blessing. Thanks, Carol.

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    2. Eep! I think March 1st will actually raise my level of panic. Why do I do these things to myself?

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    3. Well--now you've got my attention. Are you on a schedule again that involves spring? Deep breathes, Carol. In ... out...

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    4. It's that "March Madness" writing commitment again. I wasn't going to register for it... so how come I did??? Ah, well....

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  9. Joylene,
    I hear you and I get it. Done it myself many times and will probably do it again. But, I have learned, at least for me, how to stop obsessing. It is simply a case of switching gears. Choose to stop and then think about something else. Really, just change directions. I know this is easier said than done but it is a choice you can make.
    You said you would stop if somebody just told you to stop. So I am volunteering...STOP!
    Plus, I will be praying for you.

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    1. I hear you,too, Wendy! And really, your volunteering gives me strength. Thanks for your prayers. Today is March 1st, and what a glorious day it is.

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  10. I can totally relate to what you're saying, Joylene...and I definitely obsess about a variety of things. When I moved to the foothills above the city where I had lived for several years (in 1994), I thought I had found my perfect home. But after I retired and started BEING there all day every day, not so much. I still liked the house and little guesthouse next door: if only I could have picked it up and moved it somewhere else! I did not love the town that had seemed quaint at first, but later seemed bigoted and angry.

    I "transplanted" the little A-frame cottage and guesthouse into a couple of my novels, but set them in Northern California where I once lived.

    It took several months to sell, and this was at the beginning of the downslide in the market, so now it probably wouldn't sell. Not everyone loves that town!

    Good luck...and I hope that you realize your dreams! Obsess away...sometimes that focus helps fuel other passions.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to move to a better home, Laurel. I'm lucky. Cluculz Lake is a beautiful spot. The people are wonderful. But the thought of one more winter having to drive those highways gives me a panic attack. You're right though, it's helping me to focus on fixing the house up. Thanks, eh!

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  11. Ah yes, obsession. It's horrible. I try to live in the moment as much as I can, but I must admit, it's extremely challenging to do that at times. The thing that works best for me is distraction. I take on projects so I don't have to think about whatever it is that I'm currently obsessing about. I've become a master at compartmentalization that way. :) I hope the house sells soon, Joylene. But more than that, I hope you find peace in your own way. ((Hugs))

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    1. Thanks for the hugs, Adriana. It helps a lot. I looked at the calendar this morning, saw March, and instantly felt better. I'm also back writing! Have a great day.

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  12. “Never worry alone. When anxiety grabs my mind, it is self-perpetuating. Worrisome thoughts reproduce faster than rabbits, so one of the most powerful ways to stop the spiral of worry is simply to disclose my worry to a friend... The simple act of reassurance from another human being [becomes] a tool to cast out fear -- because peace and fear are both contagious.”
    ― John Ortberg Jr.,

    So, Joylene Nowell Butler, stop obsessing!

    I know it's not that easy. You obsess. I obsess. We all obsess. We are human after all.

    Thinking of you. Take care xxx

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    1. I know that, yet I keep forgetting. It took a month for me to blog about this. And why? Because once I shared, I instantly felt better. Then the comments came in, and I felt even better than better. Could have saved myself a lot of obsessive panic if I'd only said something earlier.

      Wendy, you are a dear soul. Thank you.

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  13. Joylene, for most of my life, I've been a worry-wart. Now I don't obsess over things like I used to...
    This came to mind after I read your post.
    Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.
    When the time is correct and the right buyer comes along, then the house will probably be sold. Timing is everything.
    Keep well!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. Spring has sprang, so that's a good thing. I love your analogy. You know, I've always loved rocking. LOL!

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  14. Joylene, I'm going to join the little band of odd-people-out and not fuss at you for obsessing. Yes, home is where the heart it, a very intangible thing. The very real tangible thing is, you've got to get on with your life in a different part of the country. Your drop-dead gorgeous home has been on the market long enough for at least one person to look at it. You're right to obsess that something's wrong. I'm not convinced it's entirely the economy. A river runs through the quaint village where we live. At the height of our recession, an ambitious builder stopped building on a tract of land overlooking the river. But, now, what hadn't sold has sold and he's building more, some of which have pre-sold. So, okay, the economy's a factor, but I'd also look at the agency listing your home. What exactly have they done/not done for you? It just seems like one person would have looked at your house. You're right: something's wrong. Good luck with this, cher!

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    1. Kittie, your email is confirmation of what I've always believed. We're off the market now, but are choosing a different realtor this month. Thanks for the support!

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  15. Hang in there, I am sure it will sell at just the right time. Easy for me to say, I know. :) For the record, I'd probably be feeling a lot like you if I were in the same situation. God's in control of every detail of our lives, and I'm thinking He's not concerned about this, but has all the details in hand. Will be praying, my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. Your prayers are most appreciated.

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  16. Hi Joylene,
    I'm new to Insecure Writer's. See you tomorrow!
    Anna (number 304)
    AnnasAdornments for Insecure Writers March 6th

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  17. P.S.
    Lovely post about your homes.
    Moving is soooo hard.
    You have my sympathy.
    Best wishes,
    Anna

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  18. Oh, Joylene. I'm afraid I'm not much help here. I tend to obsess, too. Fortunately, there are methods that work.

    Whenever I get too wrapped up in something, I try to force my focus on greater things, i.e. helping a friend, volunteering, etc. :) Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for your ideas, Carrie. I'm helping Alex today, and that's helping me. Have a great day.

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  20. Hang in there, Joylene! Our townhouse was on the market almost a year before it sold. And we didn't get a bit of traffic through it until we lowered the price.

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