Thursday, October 8, 2009

Now and Future Now

This coming weekend will be our third real-estate-intensive weekend in a row. When we moved out of our house two years ago, I knew that our current housing situation wouldn't last long. As I'm sure I've mentioned a zillion times before, our apartment is a converted basement. It's a very, very nice converted basement in a beautiful neighborhood with wonderful people and places and things nearby, but it is a basement: small, with very little natural light, even less storage space, and 1-1/2 bedrooms* and a 3/4 bath. I thought we'd find ourselves packing boxes right around the time Westley was going to start school. I wanted to move sooner than that--I started getting itchy for change right around Westley's first birthday--but I didn't think it was possible. Now it looks like it's not only possible, but entirely probable we'll be in a new place in early 2010. As in, just a few months from now. Belated Merry Christmas, have a house!

While the idea of a new house excites me, the reality of it is causing me a series of tiny panic attacks. (See, for example, recent posts.) There have already been meetings about money and faxing of documents and signings on dotted lines. Every listing our agent sends us makes me jump. Is this the one? Is this our house?

Rob is fairly relaxed about the process. He casually came into the living room last night and told me he'd seen a listing that looked "pretty good." I had been relaxing--finally--and I just lost it.

"What the hell?! Do you realize you've just dumped ten-thousand pounds of anxiety on me?!"

It wasn't fair to him. He was trying to be considerate. But Rob is very good at living in "the now." I am not. For instance, the fact that there is nothing I can do about a particular situation at the moment is not sufficient to keep me from worrying about it. In fact, it might be all the more reason to worry.

Rob looks at real-estate listings and walks through houses and sees things like floor plan and quality of light. That's now. I look at the same house and think about new babies and children and teenagers and dogs and homework and birthday parties and vegetable gardens and Christmas trees and rainy days inside and dinners with grandparents and on and on and on. Nothing to do with now. Nothing to do with Where will we put the couch?

I can't look at our potential home without thinking about the future. I have to picture what "now" will look like in six months, six years, sixteen years. Because time is moving so fast already. I still haven't wrapped my mind around the whole two-year-old boy thing, and that's right around the corner.

I am the mother of a toddler, and we're going to buy a house. With three bedrooms. So there's room for the new baby.

Did you see how I did that? Practically got myself pregnant just thinking about moving? But if we decide we're really serious about having another baby when Westley is about three, that means my getting pregnant next year. It's already October.

I feel like looking so far into the future is making me crazy. It certainly has a lot to do with my current level of anxiety. But, on the other hand, I can't make time slow down and wait for me to catch up to it. If I don't look at the future now, I'm afraid I'll be completely blindsided by it.

*I realize that 1/2 bedrooms are not a legitimate real-estate occurrence in the way 1/2 bathrooms are, but I would argue that Westley's bedroom is actually a 1/2 bedroom. It's only slightly larger than a twin bed, and what little "closet" it has it shares with the water heater. It was the laundry room before we moved in. That's a 1/2 bedroom if I ever saw one.