the hiatus and moving on

It seems like every time I return to regular posting after something of a hiatus, I have nothing but complaints about what kept me in hiatus.

And I feel like I’ve come out of one of the most stressful times of my life. There are two kinds of stress I experience: time-related stress, where a million things need to be done ohmygodlikerightnow; and, the deeper, more existential stress… the stress that keeps you up at night and never really goes away, only morphs and mutates as you age.

Earlier this year, it was the former. For the second time in less than a year, we had a landlord tell us they were selling the place. It’s definitely not as bad as getting reno-evicted, but it still kinda sucks. The uncertainty is what plagues you. Will you have to move? Should you move preemptively? Where the hell will you move to?

Now, we’d been saving up for a down-payment for a while, but in a real estate market like Vancouver’s, the downpayment milestone is a milestone that always lies on the horizon. You reach your goal but suddenly whoops! Sorry, you ain’t getting a studio apartment in Chilliwack with that!

But maybe we were close enough that we could manage it.

And, oh my god, am I glad we tried. We started looking at townhouses in Surrey.

We love New West and called it home, but, damn. Those townhouses were well over half a million to begin with. For a townhouse. Not even in Vancouver proper. Good luck with a detached home anywhere.

We were just priced out. Simple as. We could have gone for a condo and that was Option #2. We had just heard way too many horror stories about new and old condos alike.

In the month or so that we were looking, prices on townhouses kept going up and up and up. The average price rose by almost $100K in the short time we were looking!

And looking was hell. Multiple cash offers were coming in after one open house. Offers were going for $50K over asking.

So we did end up getting a townhouse in Surrey. It definitely quite suburban and several concessions were made, but, hey, we’re homeowners. And that’s an incredible privilege.

And we got to paint the walls bright colours, which was nice after so many years of white rental walls.

cat-on-daybed

And there is a farm market a two minute walk away. And a huge park with nature trails.

So it’s been nice.

But the instant that time-suck stress ended, the existential one set in. Life was suddenly entirely different. I miss New West a lot. I don’t really have a routine yet. I’m coping by moping. It’s a time-tested strategy of mine that has never worked.

I’m like a frigging plant that’s been repotted and is a total wuss about it.

Anyway, I feel like I say this biannually, but I’m trying to get around to posting more often, and perhaps about far less navel-gazing crap. That’s the thesis statement.

 

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