Two weeks ago, I moved into my new house in Victoria, B.C. I thought that because I had been living in Victoria for almost three months already, the transition would be easy- not in the slightest. According to a UK Poll, buying a house is more stressful than bankruptcy, divorce and even the death of a loved-one.
Reading this provided some temporary comfort because I not only bought a house- I also sold four other properties all within the span of one month! We sold our house in the Comox Valley, as well as both of our commercial offices there, and our getaway condo here in Victoria. We also had to sell a lot of furniture and give away a lot of household items to consolidate all four properties into one. On top of that, we had to pack up all of them and oversee movers for the whole shift to take place.
As with most things in my life, I greatly underestimated the toll all of this would have on me, my husband, and my two 10-year-old pussycats. It’s almost like we’re all shell-shocked; roaming around this house with blank looks in our eyes, not remembering why we’re in the room we find ourselves in nor how we got there in the first place. Don’t get me wrong- we absolutely LOVE living in the heart of Victoria where we can walk everywhere and can both work from home. It’s just that the reality of creating the dream was much harder than we had expected. Clients tell me this all the time about going for their lifelong dreams- that it’s often a very arderous journey to get there and that it takes a lot out of them. Although I’ve never had children, I’m guessing that what we’ve been through could be analogous to being in labour and finally giving birth. Of course, all of the pain is worth it when you hold that little baby in your arms, but what a tough road to get to that point!
Here’s a little overview of some of our trials and tribulations upon moving into our house that we’ve had to deal with:
- Not one single shower in entire house- only a cast-iron unusable clawfoot tub from 1910. We had to find people to lift this 350-pound monster and escort it out of our house- it now sits on our front lawn for all to see until someone does us a favour and takes it. Good luck lifting it!
- We decided to find another 1910 cast-iron clawfoot tub in working condition to replace the other one- finally found one about 45 minutes away from house and again, had to hire two big guys to lift it and transport it back to our house. We went a full week without the use of a bath and had to carefully ‘bathe’ ourselves in an original 1912 sink with separate hot and cold taps. I’ll leave the sordid details of what this entails to your imagination…
- As I was setting up my office in the basement which had supposedly been recently renovated, contractors found that the office toilet was completely backed up and flooded the entire basement every time someone went to do a load of laundry- as I sit writing this, I look out my office windows onto my front yard and walkway which has been completely dug up and jackhammered (all day while I was trying to do sessions) where an entirely new drain system will be installed and at a very hefty price. Bye bye beautiful garden which was one of the selling features- nearly all foliage has been dug up and left to die a sad death under mounds of dirt piled up about three feet high.
- After paying an extraordinary amount to have all of the original fir floors refinished, the movers managed to bang and scratch a great deal of them with the furniture (which is also badly scratched and banged up).
- We have lost our two beloved pussycats more times than I can count as they explore the house and manage to get stuck in the most ridiculous places where it’s nearly impossible to extract them from. One cat’s favourite hide-out at the moment is in a tiny room containing only a toilet where he manages to get locked in about ten times a day- and keeps going back! We also went for a walk around the neighbourhood the other day and came home to find this lifelong INDOOR cat sitting on the porch waiting for us. So glad I thought to get new cat tags with our new phone number on them.
As I tend to live in my head, I don’t easily tune into nor listen to my body when it’s telling me to take a break or slow down. I’m also a very obsessive-compulsive person who doesn’t grasp the concept of doing things one thing at a time, at a reasonable pace. So as I have done my whole life, I pushed myself beyond my physical and mental limits a number of times during this moving process and paid dearly for it:
- The first night upon moving to Victoria a few months ago, I woke up screaming in pain as I was convinced I had broken my foot again (I had previously broken it two years ago and it felt exactly the same when I was awoken by the blinding pain). I took some heavy duty painkillers and managed to go back to sleep but couldn’t walk on that foot for two days afterwards.
- A few days after we moved into our house, I was struck by a seriously debilitating bladder infection and was peeing blood. It was a Sunday and all of the walk-in clinics were at capacity so I ended up in the Emergency ward at the nearest hospitable for most of the day. I’m not sure which was worse- my infection or being around so many people far sicker that I was that day.
- Frequent bouts of intense anxiety which wake me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I have to remind myself that I’m experiencing major stress and that it’s normal to be feeling a lot of fear and that this will soon pass. Thank goodness it always does.
Because I pride myself on practising what I preach to clients- amping up the self-care during times of great stress and transition- I am happy to report that I have done just that. This includes daily yoga practise, regular acupuncture to regulate my nervous system, frequent visits to a wonderful Naturopath for support for my bladder and hormones, and daily walks along the ocean in my gorgeous new neighbourhood. And yes, two daily rounds of meditation. I am living proof that self-care techniques work. I honestly don’t know what shape I’d be in if I had not upped these methods so drastically over the past few weeks.
I look forward to the day when I can feel “bored” again and have to look for stimulation in the world. Here’s to finding grounding when the rug has been pulled from beneath us- even it was by our own doing.