Small steps, bittersweet

Deciding to sell the condo was a watershed moment, and certainly brought me some lightness and ease at the time.

Since then I’ve been weaving my way through the winter holidays, and I haven’t felt like doing much of anything including writing. I half-regretted my self-imposed solitude at times during this past week, but as I look back now, hunkering down alone with no commitments to anyone or anything was probably the best (or the least traumatic) thing I could have done for myself.

I’ve had lots of time to look around, sigh, and start to second-guess myself. Each time I’ve come back to the same decision. I do not need or want to keep this place. Now the real work of making that happen can begin.

One of the pesky legal things I had to do was find the original deed. I’ve had a briefcase containing a 5-inch stack of files pertaining to buying this condo sitting on the floor next to my desk for… I’m almost ashamed to say this, but for months.  This afternoon I went through it and found the deed.  Now the next thing I’ll have to force myself to do is get back in touch with the attorney here in California that I first worked with six months ago shortly after Kurt died, and get him restarted on filing the necessary forms to confirm my unfettered right to sell the condo.

Once I know all is good on the legal front, then I can start deciding when to put it on the market, whom to list it with, what objects I want to pack up and ship home and which ones I will sell with the condo, and how I will keep my life under control throughout this process. I’ve never had to sell a house without Kurt before. Even before he went into real estate as a career, he simply took care of all the logistical things — handled every phone call, every escrow glitch — leaving me with nothing to do except make the budget work, pack most things and oversee what I didn’t personally pack, figure out where to put things in the next house, and orchestrate the actual placement and unpacking. We each knew our strengths and played to one another’s strengths. Thinking about doing this without him now leaves me exhausted and overwhelmed.

Still, I know how to do this. I’ve had many occasions to observe how it’s done! In this case, I’ll do it one small step at a time, knowing that each step will be bittersweet but also knowing that I’m heading in the right direction.

Unfortunately, I’m not getting much stress relief from running right at the moment. I did complete my 500-miles-in-2011 goal, and I’m now standing at 506.47 with another 10 miles or so planned before 2012 makes its debut. I’ve had to cut my last several runs short for various reasons. There just seems to be a lot going on mentally and physically although I can’t really account for some of the odd things that time is doing with me right now. I guess it’s all just part of the process that I need to go through. With the Palm Springs half marathon just over six weeks away now, I really want to get in a few good, solid long runs over the next three weeks or so. But it seems that everything has a bittersweet cast to it right now. Even as I look forward to a happier 2012, I look back with sadness at 2011 and the last of my life with Kurt.

Every moment that passes, every step I take — even each small step that begins to say “hello” to a brightening future — is yet one more “goodbye” to the brightness that is fading forever behind me.


Posted on December 28, 2011, in grief, LIfe_goes_on, Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I was just about to close down for the night and up popped your post! Adding the stress of selling the condo to your “must do” list is really an enormous challenge, I would think, but I can understand the need to get it taken care of in order to relieve other stressors! Wow! It again hits me so profoundly how really fresh the grief is sitting…the closing out of the year you lost Kurt and feeling a stab of sadness at saying goodbye to that year as a new one enters. I can certainly understand that sometimes emotional energy just isn’t available to keep up your running goals, but I think it’s great you’ll be part of the Palm Springs half marathon before you leave California…and go home! Debra

    • Debra,
      I had intended to follow the standard advice and “make no major decisions for a year.” But in this case, as I sit here in a place I never really wanted to be, I see no need to wait out the inevitable.
      Even so, I do intend to enjoy the time I’ll be here as much as possible: sun, palm trees, Mexican food, fresh-picked grapefruit, architectural icons, and another half marathon finisher’s medal.
      It truly is bittersweet…

  2. Had you had more years there, it might have felt more like a ‘home away from home.’ But those aren’t your circumstances. Your ‘but I’ve not actually done this part’ of selling a place reminded me of the first time I made both the crust and filling for the same pie: I knew the pieces but I’d never put them all together at the same time. You will find your way through this step.

    • It’s hard to say what might have happened.
      I spent the first winter here really disliking it but learning to appreciate the architecture, the natural beauty that is so very different from the PNW, the dining and shopping choices, and the fact that he genuinely loved being here.
      This past spring Kurt was too sick to enjoy any of that. Our short time here (8 weeks) was a nightmare of driving to constant doctor’s appointments, seeing him get weaker by the day, and hoping he’d hang on long enough for me to get him back home.
      Not the stuff that makes for good memories of a place.
      I thought maybe if I came down here and spent some time, it might start to feel more like my place, my choice. But that’s not going to happen, so I need to let go of it to create space for other places and experiences that will work for me.

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