Dealing with Uncertainty

Are you a control freak? Join the club.

There is a Jewish saying that goes, "Man plans and God laughs." (Most Jewish humor is somewhat bittersweet.)

We planned to put our home on the market in December, but our real estate agent informed us that December is mostly dead. January isn't much better. So we changed our minds and listed our home right after Labor Day. The upshot is that we are trying to live in our home while simultaneously trying to sell it.

This throws every aspect of our lives into turmoil.

When we purchased our home, the people living in it had two large dogs, several cats, and numerous BIRDS. Yes, there was literally an aviary in the great room, with enormous cages and multiple macaws. The place was packed with furniture and boxes covered every inch of floor space. The floors--where we could catch a glimpse of them--desperately needed refinishing. Despite all this, we fell in love with the home and made an offer.

HGTV has since changed everything about real estate sales. Homes must now be "staged" and pristine. Pets, and all their pet accoutrements, must be hidden from sight. Buyers do not want to see any signs of human activity in a home. Countertops must be spotless and empty. God forbid you leave a trashcan or toilet brush in sight!

While we attempt to live our lives--cooking, eating, bathing, working out, watching TV--we never know when strangers will want to walk through our home and examine every detail. Can we cook those Brussels sprouts, or will they stink up the kitchen? What if buyers smell bacon? I need to shave my legs, but this will mess up the shower! I want to make a shake, but that means taking out the blender...

When will someone make an offer? Soon? Months from now? Never? Will we suddenly have to move out of this house, before we're ready? Or will we have to move without selling it?

How can we deal with all of this uncertainty?

We're trying to carve out some time "off". On the days where no one is coming to look at our house, we allow ourselves a few small luxuries like taking a shower, leaving the blender out on the counter, not making the bed.

I'm still teaching fitness and yoga classes, but I also make time each day for my personal movement practice. I take care of my body with foam rolling and stretching, which helps on many different levels. My practice relaxes my body, gives my brain something different to focus on, and forces me to take lots of deep breaths. After I foam roll and stretch, I feel like a different person.

If you are going through a similar period in your life, find those little rituals that make a big difference. Make the most of the hours or minutes you have. Find a few healthy habits--clean eating, yoga, meditation, deep breathing--that help you cope.

There is no denying that uncertainty is stressful. But most of life is uncertain. There is very little we can be absolutely sure of. Few things are guaranteed.

I guess our house will probably sell. And maybe, in a few years (or decades), we will look back on this time as being a minor nuisance. Nothing worth complaining about.

Whatever uncertainty you're facing at the moment, hang in there. This too shall pass.