Jack Nicholas, professional golfing legend, used the mantra, “The good is coming,” whenever he found himself falling behind in a golf tournament. According to the story, this helped keep him from spiraling out of control with self-judgement and frustration and often led to him coming from way behind to win. I’m no golfer but I love this mantra.
Managing disappointment is a super power that I’ve been trying to cultivate for the last five months. I’ve leaned into the mantra, “The good is coming,” so many times to try to manage my own frustration.
Our house has sold twice and fallen out of escrow twice. Two other times we had potential buyers visit our house four or five times each. They asked all of the right questions and came so close to writing an offer that we allowed ourselves to eat out again to celebrate! After a self-imposed “wait-till-we-sell-our-house” budget, it was a treat to try some of the cute waterfront restaurants we’ve been walking by since moving to our Tacoma apartment in March. Each time, we got the dreaded call from our realtor the next morning that the deal had fallen apart.
Under the cover of darkness, my business partner/friend, Suzy, buried a likeness of St. Joseph, allegedly the patron saint of house sales, in our backyard. Luckily, no one called the cops on her for trespassing! Later, Karen, my other business partner/friend, told her that she heard St. Joseph had to be buried upside down and facing the house so they had to dig him back up and re-bury him. Thanks, Friends, but the poor saint is obviously so confused now that he hasn’t helped us out a bit.
This is the home where we raised our boys. They lost teeth and possibly even their virginity there. ( I don’t want to know.) We had parties on the deck and filled the house with laughter. We cared for my Mom in this house, helping her feel independent for as long as we could. She had a big room with a view of the water and a comfy chair she could sit in and put her feet up for a snooze. She loved walking the neighborhood and talking to all of our neighbors. We played Scrabble together in the kitchen nook while Rocky cooked. Somehow he could manage to play his Scrabble hand and still create something delicious for dinner.
We even shared our house with my mother-in-law, Sally, for a few years until she realized she liked having her own place better. We were a house full of kids and pets and she liked a bit more order and quiet than we could offer. When we first moved in, we had Pila, a border collie mix and Puffin, a shar-pei. When they died we rescued, Rudy, our chocolate lab and Tanner, our yorkie-poo. Our boys celebrated their first car, first dances and their high school graduations while we lived in our house. They brought their friends home and played table tennis and video games and made messy snacks.
When we moved out of our home, we packed up some of our belongings and sold the rest at an estate sale. It wasn’t difficult to let go of our big stuff …but it took time to flip through the boy’s favorite childhood books, remembering all of the nights we cuddled in my big green “mom” chair together to read before bed. Was I really going to save these books till we have grandchildren? Maybe I’ll take my future grandchildren to the library although they will likely just want me to read from their iPads instead.
I even paused while packing up the Nerf guns, smiling as I thought of the flash of boys running through the kitchen and hallways terrorizing each other with the spongy Nerf bullets. When I got to the boxes of photographs, I almost gave up moving altogether. In the end, I duct taped the boxes of photos back up and took them with us…someday I’ll have time to sort them, won’t I? I took photos on my phone of some of the boy’s artwork I had saved, but laughed at myself as I tried to pry apart watercolors that had stuck together ten years ago and macaroni pictures that now looked like rodent food.
Whoever buys our home might initially think they are just buying a five bedroom, three bath golf course home with a view of the water. I hope when they move in though, that they will start to feel the smiles, the laughter and the love that infuses every room. They will discover that they won the lottery of neighbors, too. Nancy who lives across the street will “anonymously” leave bouquets of gorgeous dahlias she picked from her garden on their porch. Dave and Colleen, who live next door, will offer to help trim the bushes, bring in a trash can or pick up the mail anytime; and the tribe of Brothertons that live across the street will always wave and smile and stop for a chat.
We love our new simpler apartment life, our sweet easy-going puppy, Wilma, and our ability to walk to downtown Tacoma. Our boys love being away in college and Mom is in a wonderful facility for Alzheimer’s patients near-by. We will never forget what a sweet life we had in our home though, filled with the sounds of boys and dogs and laughter.
The Good Is Coming. Any minute, I will get a call from our realtor, Dan, saying we have just the right buyer. And we will get to eat out again!