“Sometimes we need clouds to remind us why we love the sun.”
Today was a day of disappointment. No, actually, it was a day of Disappointment. Capital D.
Firstly, around 9am, I got an email saying my wife and I had missed out on a scholarship to Marie Forleo’s B School – something we both wanted to get. Then, around 4:30pm, our apartment went to auction. It was passed in (i.e. not sold) without one single bid. NOBODY bid on it. Not one person.
My wife and I stood, tight-jawed and blank, while the “buyers” – or more accurately, “spectators” – simply stood, silently, while the auctioneer encouraged people to place a bid.
It was heart-breaking.
For six weeks, our every effort has been to prepare the apartment for sale, do everything “right” – renovations, furniture styling, etc – and make sure it was clean and tidy and ready to attract the right buyers. We had such high expectations of a great result today. We were buoyed by our real estate agent’s positive attitude, despite concerns that there weren’t many enthusiastic buyers and estimates of the price were much lower than we were initially told was right for the property.
Even now, as I write this, I find it hard to comprehend. My mind is racing with “what it?” scenarios, questioning who is to blame or what could have been done differently.
But either way, for whatever reason, the apartment didn’t sell.
Immediately after the auction, I was numb. I felt hollow. Silently, we got in the car and drove to a beach to look at the ocean. I wondered what just happened, and snapped at my wife who, to her enormous credit, was doing her best to both keep it together herself, AND stop a full-blown meltdown depression crash in my mental state.
I watched the waves for a while. We drove to Coogee and had some gelato, then met up with our kids and our niece who was babysitting, and grabbed some dinner.
I was irritable with the kids, with the restaurant, with the meal, with pretty much everything.
I felt like the carpet had been ripped out from under me, and I was still falling, yet to hit the floor. I didn’t know what to do next. I didn’t know how to feel, what to say, how to process my Disappointment.
Ultimately we came home, and the kids watched a movie while I read a book, and Belinda updated family via text messages and social media.
Gradually, like the evaporation of dew on grass in the morning sun, my disappointment faded. Echoing through my mind were many beautiful thoughts about dealing with the curve-balls that life throws at us:
Everything is going to be okay, because where I am right now is exactly where I need to be.
When one door shuts, another one opens.
It all works out in the end, and if it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.
Everything happens for a reason.
And so on.
I sit here now, still twinging from a bit of disappointment, but mostly optimistic that eventually, we will sell our apartment. We will eliminate our debt. We will buy our bus. We will put away some money for a deposit on a home and/or emergency cash. We will prevail.
My wife and I have overcome too many challenging circumstances in our 14-year relationship for me to think anything other than: We will prevail.
Right now, I’m grateful for the clouds. I’m grateful that things didn’t go as planned. I know there’ll be a lesson, and a big one, waiting for me.
Already I have learned to simply let myself sit with the anger, the frustration, and the disappointment, to feel it deeply, and in doing so, let it go. I feel about a million times better now, than I did even two hours ago. I’ve also learned (again) that it’s OK to simply feel like sh!t sometimes. It will pass, just like the clouds.
Belinda and I are OK with the dual possibilities that we might not get our target sale price, but equally, we still might.
It has already spurred me on to think of new ways I can improve our business so we can still take the kids on a holiday in October for our 10th wedding anniversary. (Not that the holiday is totally off the cards, but it was partly dependent on selling today.)
I love the sun. Days like today remind me of this. The sun is good. Tomorrow is a new day, and the sun will be shining – in my heart, even if not in the world.
With much love,