Anxiety

By: Ben

I’m apparently an idiot. Or a glutton for punishment.  Or a masochist (not in a sexual way; just the boring old regular way.) Or maybe all of the above.

My wife and I have decided to sell the house and build a new one….our forever home, if you will.  Sounds like a great idea and I’m on board, I truly am.  BUT–do you know what it takes to sell a house?  Lots of work.  I don’t know about you, but my wife and I settle for mediocrity a lot.  (I mean, she did marry me after all.)  But, in regards to our home, a lot of things have gone “undone” around this house over the past 9-10 years.  We always say “we’ll fix that when we can afford it.” Or, “that’s not a huge issue, we can live with that.”

Well, folks…it’s time to pay the piper.  Our chickens have come home to roost.  And any other idiom you can think of.  Now, all of those “little things” that we’ve not been attentive to must be done because, who wants to buy a house with a bunch of small shit that hasn’t been taken care of? So, it’s paint this, caulk that, put up this piece of trim, clean up this, fix that…and it drives me absolutely insane.

So, there is one thing that isn’t such a “small thing” that needs to be done.  We have to remodel our main bathroom.  It was the room that posed the least issues when my wife moved into this house.  It was one of those rooms that “isn’t ideal, but I can live with for now.”  Well, “for now” is ten years.

Our house was built in 1963ish.  Back in those days, apparently it was chic to have pink tile. So our bathroom is the 1960’s pink tile. Everywhere.  In the tub, halfway up every wall…you get the picture.  So it’s demo day for that bathroom and revamping it.  My wife swears that we will get all of the money we put into the bathroom back once the house is sold. She’s probably right.

If you know me, you know I have severe anxiety.  I worry about everything.  If there is nothing to worry about, I will manufacture something to worry about.  But, this won’t be happening for a while…because there’s plenty of things to worry about.  We have a nice home.  Three bedroom, two bath, formal dining, big kitchen and huge laundry room.  I should be able to look at all the “pluses” in this house and know that it will make a wonderful home for another family.  But then my anxiety kicks up in my ass and I start examining every. single. flaw.  And then I start to think…”who the hell will want this house?” And while logically, I know that someone will want this house, I also can’t help but battle this constant anxiety.

When my anxiety flares up, I stress.  I make lists, I agonize, I analyze EVERYTHING, I get short of breath, I get angry, I get hopeless, and ultimately my poor, wonderful wife takes the brunt of all of it.  She’s already asked that I “up my meds” for the time being.  It’s probably not a bad idea.

So, I’ve created a spread sheet where I’ve gone room to room in our house and listed all of the things that will need done in order to get the house market ready. My goal was to accomplish several things from the list each weekend.  This weekend, I accomplished 3 things.  A miserable 3.  And I worked my ass off. 1.) I hung two new doors and caulked and painted around them. 2.) I installed new door pulls on the closet door in the nursery.  They’re crooked because I’m in competent with a measuring tape. 3.) I fixed the plate on our breaker box.  So yeah.  Worked my ass off and that’s all I have to show for an entire weekend.

We also went and picked out the new tile for the bathroom remodel and bought 17 boxes. Did I mention I don’t know how to lay tile?  That’s okay. My wife and mother-in-law do because they’re much more handy than me. But they don’t work as quickly as I would like them to.  In all honesty…no one works as quickly as I want them to.  I have unbelievable standards that even I cannot live up to, so it is not their fault.  I desperately try not to become a tyrant…but it is an almost uncontrollable feeling that takes over me.  I can’t seem to stop it and then I feel guilty later.

But, we’re doing this.  Even though we both work full time, have a one year old, and I’m in graduate school–we’re doing this. Please keep my poor wife in your thoughts.  She has to put up with me.  Good vibes only please!

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