Friday, April 09, 2010

Am Attempting to Breathe Deeply and Not Freak Out

There is a reason why I've lived in this stupid apartment for seven years. It is because moving is really, really motherfucking stressful. Add to that the stress of buying a house, and I don't even know how to talk about how tightly I'm wound at this current moment.

Over the past three days, I have walked through the main home inspection (news will come today on the pest inspection and radon), gotten a variety of insurance quotes, called up a couple of banks about the financing, and, just now, started the process of getting quotes for movers. Oh, and I found out the most recent tax bills on the house for city and county. And I called up my management peeps at the apartment complex to find out about getting out of my lease a little early. (The good news: I will only need to pay one month of both rent and mortgage; the bad news: I have to pay one month of rent and mortgage.)

I feel like I have no money; I feel like I will never have money again. (Let's note that I have more money than I've ever had in my life, but I also see the money just bleeding from my various bank accounts and I feel like the bleeding will never stop.) I feel like I want to bail on one or both of the conferences I'm supposed to attend this summer (which I won't do, but still, I feel like I want to). I feel like I really don't want to be doing all of this totally by myself because dude, this is a lot for one person to take on. I feel completely ill-equipped for the whole process, and I feel like I hate everything. I also feel like the end of the semester is grinding me down on top of all of this, and I feel like everything is happening all at once and too quickly and too scarily. A large part of me feels like I just want to back out of the whole enterprise right now, and to live in my stupid apartment (which I hate) forever, just to avoid all of this. (I won't do that either, but a part of me really wants to.)

In other words, I am freaking the fuck out. And not in a "oh, this is so exciting" way but rather in a "I need to be medicated" sort of a way.

I am trying to talk myself off the ledge, to repeat over and over again "All of this will be fine once I get through the closing and move. All of this will be fine once I get through the closing and move." I keep trying to tell myself that this is not going to be a decision that ruins my entire life, but rather that makes my life better. I'm trying to keep some perspective and to realize that while change really stresses me out that I always feel like change is good once I've actually made a change.

But, seriously, people. This is for the birds. Wake me up when it's June and all of this is over.


Ann said...

Wow, Dr. Crazy! You are losing it.

Why not try to save some coin on the move? You can "buy" a lot of moving assistance from friends for the price of a hoagie or a few slices of pizza and a 12-pack of beer. Ask people to pitch in--people who are coupled will recognize how difficult it is to move on your own, and people who are single will remember how difficult it is to move on your own. Ask them just to help with one loading/unloading of the rental truck, or just to help with the big things. (You can gradually move boxes and small stuff over in your car over the course of a few weeks, if necessary.)

Seriously: ask for help. Some people will say no, but others will say yes, and then you can thrown in a move-in housewarming BBQ to thank them.

Dr. Crazy said...

H - I surely will be asking people for help as things move forward; it's just that right now there really isn't anything friends or family can do to help. I will, however, surely be hiring movers, as I vowed to myself that I would never go through the hell of not having them again the last time I moved :)

Yes, that's more money, but 'twill be money well-spent in the long run, and also will help to make things less stressful on the actual moving day. Now, will I ask people with help packing/unpacking, painting, any number of other things? YES.

(Also, I feel much better having written this ranty post. Just needed to let it all out :) )

Ann said...

I hear you--and I think it's probably a wise decision, if you've been in one place for 7 years. That's a lot of accumulated stuff--do try to sort through some of it and do a big clean-out/give-away. Where I live, the ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) and other charitable organizations will come to your house to pick up unwanted used household items and clothing--you just put it out on the porch or your driveway, and they load it up and take it away. You don't make any money on it, but you get a tax donation--and sometimes, the fact that they take it away is worth more than money!

The house you're buying looks so cute that it doesn't really *need* paint, does it? (Interior, anyway?) Interior painting is pretty easy, and you can do it one wall or feature at a time, if necessary, but it's still good to have help.

Dr. Crazy said...

Ann - oh yes, I've got big plans for donation and getting rid of a TON of stuff. I actually did do a major charity weed-out last summer, so it's not as bad as it might be. But there is a good amount of crap that will not be making the move with me, that is certain.

Re: paint, there are only two rooms that I intend to do anything with painting anywhere near immediately. The bedroom that will be mine, which is currently the exact same color of peach as my bedroom was when I was 13 (though I don't need to do this before I move in, as I'm going to buy myself a new bed and will be using the spare room, which will be where I have them move my current bed until I'm ready to do deal with the "new bed for Crazy" issue), and the dining room, which while it would be great to paint in there before I move in, it would actually be ok if I did it after (As really I would just need to throw a tarp over the table if I were already moved in when I did it). Other than that, no painting immediately.

Lawgirl said...

Pay for the movers. It's totally worth it. I never ask friends (even though they offer) because I'm afraid one of them will be hurt moving my stuff and I couldn't live with the guilt.

Anyway, this is completely normal. Everyone feels this way when they buy a house.

I'm so happy for you!! I can't wait to see how you make it your own. :D

Bardiac said...

Lawgirl is exactly on the mark, both about hiring movers and about how everyone feels.

As another single woman who owns a home, I can assure you that it's scary as all get out. BUT, look at what you've done: you've earned a PhD, found a job, written and published a book, earned tenure. You are way better equipped to deal with all the house stuff than you realize.

It IS okay, if a friend offers, to accept help with painting. It's way more fun to paint with a friend.

And one last thing: you were talking about hiring someone to do your shingles and such. I'm totally with you on hiring someone who knows what they're doing to do tasks or at least teach you how to do them (lesser tasks).

With summer coming on, you can be a little more relaxed about all the unpacking and reorganizing.

Thinking good thoughts for you!

Janice said...

I can understand the need to rant. Heck, I'll need years to get over the trauma of our last move. It's a big job!

The only thing that made it manageable for me was having a checklist of things to do and giving myself permission to take a break, even just a walk around the block, when I'd done a few such tasks.

Your new house looks lovely, though, and I'm sure that you'll settle in well once the move is accomplished.

Tenured Radical said...

Dr. Crazy:

You will have money again. I promise.

Money-saving moving tip: find one of the underfunded sports teams at your school that is out of season, or better yet, a club sport: you rent the truck, have them move you. Last time we moved, we were moved by the men's crew team. Saved thousands; the were able to defray the cost of their spring trip.

AcadeMama said...

Just a can be medicated :) Last year, I gave birth, accepted a job overseas, planned for the move to the Middle East, packed out entire household for storage, and moved to the Middle East. This took place in about 3-4 months. I got. no. sleep. I knew something had to be done, so I visited my regular doctor, and he was shocked that I could even function on a daily basis *without* medication. He wrote me a prescription for the lightest dose of an anti-anxiety medicine, which I only took when I thought it was really necessary. It got me through that time, and then I was fine. In fact, I was able to deal with everything much more effectively.

You can do this though! I bought my first house all by myself while I was a single mom. I thought of it as something that was very empowering; it made me feel better knowing that I didn't need anyone to help me with the whole process.

Remember, this too shall pass. Good luck!

PhysioProf said...

Start drinking now, and stay drunk until it's all over. DONE!

Susan said...

What everyone else said. But my one piece of advice is to paint BEFORE you move. It is so so so much easier, especially if you are only doing two rooms. With a good painting party, that's a maximum of two days of work. Really.

And you will survive...

helenesch said...

Ditto what others say above. I'm going through some similar stuff myself (I've been in my apartment 10 years). I was thrilled when I found the house and had my offer accepted. I'm not freaking out about the financial stuff, but the move itself will be stressul. If you can afford it, I would definitely pay for movers!

I guess I keep trying to think about the positives of all of this (like yours, my house-to-be is super cute and in pretty good shape). And I'm proud of myself for doing all this my myself--finding a house, having the money to buy one, navigating the whole loan/real estate thing (which was completely foreign to me). A few months ago, my parents actually said that they felt "very, very sorry" for me doing this all alone (i.e., without a husband). But I did it! And you're doing it, too.

Anyway, I'm not sure if this helps, but it's getting me through some of the stressful days... You'll proabably feel better once classes are over and you can focus on the moving stuff (and just get it over with). Plus you have a sabbatical coming up...

Doctor Pion said...

The plus side of the overlap in rent is that you can use that time to plan the move a bit better. There is nothing like putting stuff in a box that will go to its new room, particularly when an existing room is going to be directed to two different places in your new home.

Belle said...

Crazy, I love painting. I'll come do it for/with you! I've done enough moving/painting that I can tell you: it's easier when there's no furniture to work around and it's far more common to do it around furniture. One of the reasons I love doing it is instant gratification: within hours you change your environment with little cost/effort. Gardening should be so fast. Give yourself time once you've moved to unpack. Don't try and do it all at once. ID the box with the coffee makings (packed last and unpacked first) and your towels.

You've got all summer to unpack and settle in; give yourself the gift of time.

Matt said...

Thank you for posting this. I've actually been living in a new place for almost a month now and things have been going pretty well - well at least now they are. For the months leading up to the move I had been perfectly fine running my calculations, determining how much money I'd have after the whole process, and making sure I made the right decisions in buying my first home (alone). Everything was great until the moment they handed me the keys. From that moment, I couldn't stop crying with anxiety. I was completely crippled. I could barely breathe I was so scared. I was scared that the whole house would collapse, that my parents would die, that I would lose my job the next morning.

All of these things were irrationally intense and it made what should have been a great day for me the worst day of my life.

I know this isn't exactly your situation, you seem to be in a lot better of a position that I am (Phd vs bachelors in chemistry, tenured position, etc) but maybe you can appreciate the experience. My mom told me that everyone goes through the exact same thing as soon as they buy a house.