New Year’s Musings – Lessons and Blessings

New Year’s Musings – Lessons and Blessings
January 4, 2019 Maggie Lynch

Wow! What a whirlwind December became. I hope that all of you reading this found some sanity among the chaos of the winter holiday season. I was able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas dinner with extended family. For the first time in nearly 50 years, all of my sisters live within 2 hours driving distance of me. That is four sisters and their family. So, it was really wonderful to have us all in one place for a Christmas meal.

woman jumping from 2018 to 2019 with mountains and water in the backgroundMy December is traditionally spent in evaluating the year that is about to pass so that I can take the lessons I learned forward into the new year and say goodbye to the disappointments of the past year. I truly believe in the tradition of sweeping out the house as a way to sweep out the bad, and then usher in the new year with light and goodness and hope for what is to come.

As if to reinforce that hope, my husband and I found the perfect home for us on December 22nd. We’ve been looking for about 3 years. We had specific needs, but also a limited budget; and I must admit that around September of 2018 I was feeling that we would never find it. But on December 22nd a listing appeared in Zillow that seemed too good to be true. We immediately called our realtor and said we were coming to look at it the next day. It was two hours away from where we currently live. Not only was the listing true–an estate sale where the heirs just wanted to be done with it–but the shape of the house seemed very stable too.

So we made an offer, and so did someone else. I hate multiple offer situations because I know we can’t afford to run up the price. However, our realtor gave us a suggestion on how to word the offer in a way he believed would be helpful to the sellers and also work in our favor. He was absolutely right. It involved us not wanting perfection but being willing to help (e.g., they didn’t have to clean out the house or remove the deceased’s furniture if they didn’t want to). Our realtor reasoned that often heirs of an elderly person don’t live nearby, are grieving the loss and have neither the time nor inclination to deal with the possessions. It worked. Though both offers were at the same price, it was our offer to relieve their burden of cleaning or moving furniture they didn’t want that sealed the deal.

It was yet another lesson that thinking about the burden of others is important in any transaction. From then on it seemed that one step after another went even more smoothly. The inspection was stellar–particularly learning that the roof had been replaced only two years ago from a found receipt and verification with the roofer. No one knew this before listing, neither the heirs nor the selling agent had any idea what work had been done. Some of the furniture they didn’t want are actually items we needed. In our downsizing over the last three years we had given away most of our furniture. But our new place is actually larger than we thought we would ever have again. The remaining furniture will go to people who need it–young people starting out and Habitat for Humanity.

Next we learned that our realtor maintains a moving van (about the size of a medium u-haul truck) that is available for free use to clients on a first come first serve basis. That meant our expenses for moving were now only the cost of gas. I could go on and on about all the things that have aligned to bless this move from volunteers to lift and carry heavy furniture to special community advantages we didn’t know existed when we made our offer . This has never happen to me before and I’ve moved a lot over my life.

Michael Jordan quote: Limits, like fear, is often an illusion.Why share all this with my readers? Because it is a reminder to me that being open to opportunities and moving toward hope is what set this up. What if I had decided not to pay attention to listings for the last two weeks of the year because it was the holidays and I wanted a break? What if I decided, upon seeing the listing, that I did not feel like traveling two hours the day before Christmas to go see a home that was probably not what we wanted? We had seen lots of things before that looked good but turned out not to be good. What if when we learned there was already an offer on the place, we had given up knowing our budget was limited? At first my reaction was not to try because we don’t compete well in those situations. At any one of those decision points we could have given up and no one would have blamed us, given our past experiences in house hunting. But we didn’t. It was being open to new opportunities, and not being afraid because of our past, that brought this about. Had we hesitated even half a day at any point we would have lost this wonderful home.

One of the things that has guided my choices in life, in friends, in my career, and in love is to always believe the best is about to happen–to always move toward hope and trust. Yes, I’ve been shot down in the past; my trust betrayed; my hopes dashed. In fact many times things haven’t worked out. But I’ve never accepted that was my fate and that I shouldn’t bother trying. I could have given up, with good reason, at any point in the past three years, or the past three weeks, or the past three days and have missed this important opportunity.

So, I enter 2019 again with hope. Hope for the joys of getting to know this new community are joining. The belief that this is our final move where we can live out lives together. Confident that 2019 will be a year of career progress with a combination of writing more stories in existing series (honoring the past and my readers who love these series) and starting a new series that combines my love of romance with my love of science fiction. Opening myself and my readers up to new opportunities. Finally, I am entering 2019 with the steadfast belief that by living in love and light we can confidently approach all the new opportunities this year will bring with a resounding yes. And I know our lives will be enriched once more.

I’m sure there will be challenges in 2019. Every year has them. But right now I’m not worrying about that. I’m only thinking of moving forward. I am living in this day, this week, with confidence I can tackle whatever comes next. It is a great feeling! I love new beginnings.

Happy New Year to all my readers! Tell me what you are looking forward to this year and what you are happy to leave behind.  I’d love to know.

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