An uncertain future


On February 17 – in the middle of nine days without electricity due to ice – we took the basic contractor to re-inspect our house. We experienced some settlement last fall and I was worried that this could point to deeper problems.

The performer explored the crawl space for thirty minutes while I sat in the living room and got angry. When he finished, he came to tell me what he had found.

“Look,” he said, “my assessment is the same as when you had me here three years ago. Your foundation is fine. Not unsuccessful. The house is not falling. “

I felt a wave of relief sweep over me.

“So,” he continued, “I think I would feel better if I strengthened one part of the foundation. It seems to me as if you see some minor expansion and contraction of the soil, causing your sedimentation problems. It would cost about $ 9,000 to fix that. “

That evening, as Kim and I huddled in our helpless living room, buttoned up in coats and jackets, and used flashlights to read, I confessed.

“I want to move,” I said. “I know we both love this house and this yard, but it affects my mental health.”

“I know,” Kim said. “I know you tried. Ever since we moved, I’ve seen you get more and more depressed and anxious. I will do my best to make you happy, but I think you might have to give up your dream of owning an old house. ”

He’s right. I adore old houses, but my personality is not suitable for them. They shake me. (My ex-wife and I also had an old house – she still lives there – and it also caused me endless stress.)

For the next few weeks, Kim and I spent many hours discussing our best course of action. Then today, a month ago, we decided: we will sell the house as soon as possible (to take advantage of it the crazy real estate market in Portland) and then rent an apartment for a while, when we carefully and thoughtfully decided where we would live next.

Entering the campaign

March was a crazy happening. From the moment we decided to sell, Kim and I worked almost continuously to get the house ready for the market.

  • We’ve done almost every repair we know needs to be done. We have a couple more on the schedule. (And we are postponing the strengthening of the foundations. We will disclose this review and assessment to customers and let them decide.)
  • We rented a warehouse and methodically packed our unnecessary things and moved them. In addition, I moved out of my rented office space and put all of these things in the warehouse as well.
  • When we pack, we try to thoroughly clean all the corners of the house: clean the walls, wash the windows, wipe the closets, and so on.
  • We also clean the yard. In four years in this country hut we have collected all sorts of things – spare wood, old fences, excavated stones – which we have stacked in different piles. We’re tidying up those coupes.

Honestly, the house now looks better than ever when we owned it.

While we prepare, we are torn. we to do i adore this house and yard. Above all, the yard is almost perfect for us. However, there is no doubt that this home is causing me mental pain for whatever reason. I can’t live here.

In fact, I spent the entire first half of March in a deep, dark room. I was filled with anxiety as I pondered the house. Whenever it was possible to catastrophize, I catastrophized, “What if the house doesn’t sell? What if the contractors we call find that several things are wrong? What if we can’t sell it for what we put into it? ”

I was a mess. And that affected my relationship with Kim.

I find myself again

Fortunately, the last two weeks have been better for a variety of reasons.

First, the performers who came out no found more problems with the house. In fact, everyone says something like, “Yeah, this thing I’m fixing is a problem, but it’s not as bad as you think, and I don’t see anything else wrong.”

Second, I tried to practice attention. When new fears arise, I acknowledge them and move on. “Oh yeah, I’m stressing again because of the gutters. But we fixed the problem in advance and the contractor said there was nothing else wrong, so I’m just trying to make sure there’s nothing wrong. “

In this regard, I wondered, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” We bought this place for $ 442,000. We spent another $ 150,000 on repairs and remodeling. (I’ll have the exact number by the end of today.) Our cost base for this site is therefore about $ 600,000.

“The land alone is simply worth $ 300,000,” I tell myself as I browse Zillow to see what other homes are selling for. “We shouldn’t have a problem with the house getting $ 442,000. And with all the upgrades we’ve done, it should bring in $ 500,000. Maybe even $ 550,000. So even if I lose money for the house, I probably won’t lose much. ”Basically, I’m trying my best to distract myself from the disaster.

Finally – and perhaps most importantly – I started taking ADHD medication a good two weeks ago.

When I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2012, my therapist and doctor prescribed Vyvanse, a mild stimulant. I took the matter briefly, but stopped after a few days because I hated how I felt. While there’s no doubt that this calms me down, Vyvanse physically makes me tense. My mind calms down, but my body twists like a spring for eight hours. So I only used them occasionally when I did to know I have things to do.

Then Kim and I read this article on ADHD from our friend David Cain. “David’s article could talk about youSaid Kim. She was right. Everything he wrote was as if it came from my thoughts and my own experiences.

At the same time, I read an article describing the link between ADHD and depression / anxiety. Suddenly everything clicked. “Shit,” I thought. “What if my depression and anxiety get worse – or even worse caused – because of ADHD? ”

So at Kim’s urging (and at the urging of my business partner Tom), I started taking ADHD medication every day. I have been taking them every day for almost three weeks now. And you know what? Depression and anxiety have (mostly) disappeared. I’m serious. No, I don’t side effects of Vyvanse, but these side effects may be worth considering the benefits.

I still notice various shortcomings in the house, but they no longer put me in a mental nursery. Everything in my mind seems somehow more calm, more organized. My short-term memory has noticeably improved. (Both Kim and Kris have been telling me for a long time that I have a terrible short-term memory. Now I see that this could be related to ADHD.)

In addition, as you might expect, Vyvanse keeps me focused. I can do the job as a normal person! I wake up in the morning, take a pill, drink coffee, and then tackle my to-do list, one task at a time. I don’t jump everywhere and move from one task to another. I just pick one job and work on it until it’s done.

As an example, I sat down to write this article about 45 minutes ago. All this time I was writing continuously without interruption. More exciting (for me) I wrote this part linear instead of jumping everywhere from start to finish to mid to end to start to middle to end. I started at the beginning, now I’m in the middle and approaching the end. Such writing is a revelation!

An uncertain future

Our future is unclear.

At the moment, Kim and I have no idea where we will be living in a month, let alone in a year. But we’re fine with that.

If all goes according to plan, our home will be ready for an inventory in about ten days. Like many other parts of the country, Portland currently has low housing stocks and homes are selling fast – even unusual homes like ours. It is very possible that the bar will be sold on the first weekend when it is on the market.

Once we accept the offer and the home is inspected, we will look for a space to rent. (By the way, this is the only thing that causes Kim stress. She’s worried we won’t find a place that will take all our beasts: three cats and a dog.) During the rental, we’ll take the time to look for another place to live.

It is possible that we will be staying in the Portland area, probably in a small town that is further away from the city. It is also possible that we will find ourselves on the south coast of Oregon. Or maybe somewhere in Washington. Or maybe in Omaha. (I spend too much browsing homes in Zillow. In Omaha, you can get smoking deals for beautiful homes. Wouldn’t it be fun to live just a few blocks from Warren Buffett?)

Cheap house in Omaha

Yesterday my friend Castle came with her husband to take away the old fences. (Castle and Jim are artists. They turn old fences into cool crafts they sell at Saturday’s market in Portland.) They told us about a place they bought a few years ago.

“We live about an hour north of Portland on the Washington side of the river,” Castle told us. “We have a few acres, which gives us a safeguard between us and our neighbors. In addition, it gives us space for farming and gardening. We bought a crafted home, but it’s great. So nice and much cheaper. ”

Kim’s eyes lit up. “I like this idea. I could live in a made home, ”she said. Then she looked at me. “I don’t know if JD could do that. He grew up in one. He has no fond memories of that. “

I shrugged. I’m not ruling anything out at this point. True, I grew up in a battered mobile home and for a long time it seemed to me that this was a stamp of how poor we were.

Since then, however, I have been living in a standard ranch house. Twice I lived in unusual old houses with large courtyards. I spent fifteen months on the road in a motorhome. And for four years I owned an apartment on top of a building overlooking the river. I realized that a house is just a house. At the moment, I feel like I could live almost anywhere – just not here.

This article highlights some of the psychological and emotional reasons for moving. I am preparing another article that explores the financial side of the decision.


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