What to do if everything and nothing is wrong

Stressful tasks and ambitious projects have been mounting up lately and it seems I’ve entered a very uncertain period. If over the course of 2012 I’ve begun to erect dreams of a better quality of life (in terms of where I live and how hard I work), the calculator was not my friend this week.

I had to medicate with CSI last night after an evening talking with a friend who may or may not move into the gorgeous home I currently rent, but for which I need to find new housemates. I got in after the pub and lay on the sofa watching a CSI agent buried alive and being eaten to death by ants for 57 minutes while his colleagues watched on camera and tried to guess where he was in order to save him. (In the end the ants gave it away as Grissom was able to identify that they weren’t the normal Nevada desert ant, but rather a very rare kind only found in special soil.)

Leon, my cat, sensed my despair and consoled me by flopping out on my shoulder and resting his paws on my head (you’d have to picture that I was lying across the sofa stretched out on my side). He was also interested in the ants.

Nothing was wrong. Except that everything was.

I don’t know whether I’ll be able to continue to live in the best home in which I’ve ever lived; my fate seems totally dependent on friends making up their minds (and having just revisited my personality tests this week, I was reminded that apparently the only type of person I like less than a “negativist” is a “staller” … and they seem everywhere right now). But of course it isn’t; I could just advertise the rooms and see what happens — maybe there are other people I’d like to live with who I haven’t met who have the cash and might be dying to share a lovely big home with two very friendly cats right smack in the middle of Notting Hill.

Assuming that I’m just a bit tired and I will of course get this resolved, unfortunately I had other moments of calculator-reality this week.

After my chat with the financial advisor and the decision not to sell my property for now, I set aside a couple of hours yesterday to online fact-check and price-tag things such as what size mortgage I can get with my salary, how big a deposit I’d need to buy a 2 bedroom flat in London, what it might cost me if I decided to buy far away from here, how much stamp duty is, what the average estate agents charges. And other types of facts and figures to which my personality seems allergic.

As we can all guess, the information I gathered was far from encouraging. It’s not easy living in one of the most expensive cities in the world and it’s worse when you do it on a single income, never mind a part time salary.

Which got me all depressed about Counting Zeros — whether this entire year-long exercise will make any material difference to my life, whether I won’t just get to the end of it  and have to kill off the dreamer in me and become REALISTIC about the one life I have to live.

And then I remembered something that my most wise and encouraging advisor frequently repeats:

When things are shaky, there are always two doorways. The doorway to fear and the doorway to faith. You cannot enter both at the same time, ever. You must choose. Choosing faith over fear makes more sense every time.

And so I am going to press on with my plans to buy a new life and I have decided that even though I do need to wade through a few periods of uncertainty and cross a few shaky bridges, I shall simply trust that as long as I do my bit, all shall unfold brilliantly. And since it is Sunday, I’m taking the liberty of tucking that calculator away to step out into the sunshine of just another day — neither good nor bad unless I make it so.

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4 thoughts on “What to do if everything and nothing is wrong

  1. Faith over fear is good advice… I might even keep that sentence on my desk… Counting Zeros is a brilliant project, and so, even for it’s own sake, you have to keep going. I think perhaps the key is to unite the dreaming and the reality, and I think perhaps doing so is an endless task… but that’s what you’re going to find out. It’s a quest… and it will be worth it, even if it isn’t in the way you expected.

  2. Thank you Jen. Sometimes we swim backwards, I guess. It’s just one of those times! But words of encouragement always a balm 🙂

  3. Courage mon brave! I just received a leaving card with this quotation on it, and it seems it might be apt for you too.
    “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” ~John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic (1928)

    1. Touché! Though an image of the Titantic just floated into my head. Oh dear. What to do with a wimpy attitude.

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