In The Meantime ~ 0r ~ The House Is For Sale But Life Goes On…


The House Is For Sale, But Life Goes On…

The house went on the market 2 months ago. Since then I have been as if frozen in a block of ice, so afraid at any minute the house would be shown and I would have to clean and get it ready that something in me became paralyzed. I did join the gym, and Weight Watchers, and I am down nearly 11 pounds, and I have continued to go to church on Sundays, all good things that I hadn’t done before, but other than those things I find myself scared a lot of the time, anxious, worried the house won’t sell and scared when I have to jump through the hoops one does when it is shown. I need to learn how to live my life “in the meantime.”

The house is for sale but in the meantime I have a life to live. Every precious day, every moment, counts. I am working on the next issue of Pastiche which will go out on June 1, one month later than normal because life slowed down to a crawl the day the sale sign went up. It’s hard to breathe now I am so anxious. I kind of pushed myself to the edge by doing the things I am doing, the gym, Weight Watchers, church, because prior to that I didn’t leave the house hardly at all except to go to the doctor, or to get groceries, or to take the dogs to the vet.

In December I started going to my friends cafe that they had just opened and this was huge for me and the beginning of my creeping out of the house in new ways. Now I leave the house with a bit of hesitation and a kind of Geronimo! attitude as I get in the car and pull out of the driveway. Having suffered from agoraphobia for years it is nothing short of a miracle that I am doing these things, and the therapy that I have been doing for almost a year is responsible for this. My anxiety got so bad a couple of weeks back, however, that my therapist tried a flower essence blend, a Post Trauma Stabilizer, that, in addition to my regular meds is working for me pretty well, but I still move rather woodenly through the things that I am doing with a kind of urgency to get back to the house where I am liable to sit here at the computer for inordinate amounts of time or go to sleep in the afternoon with the dogs for a nap. That is the way I anesthetize myself against crippling fear. Sometimes it is as if my hands are glued to the computer keyboard in the “On” position in front of Facebook, my email box, or other regular internet haunts to help me stabilize the paralyzing fear. I have got to figure out how to move through life and breathe at the same time.

How do “normal” people do this? They get up and go to their jobs and do what they have to do even if they are scared or overwhelmed because they have no choice, this is what I imagine. Even if their house is for sale they plunge into their day headlong and handle the showings as they come. That’s what I am doing but living with 4 dogs has proved more of a problem than I had at first imagined. Hard enough that I have to pack the dogs up in the crate and go out and drive around with them for an hour while the house is shown, it seems that no amount of cleaning on my part will get rid of what some lookers have complained about as a doggy smell. This is disheartening because I do indeed live with 4 dogs and there is not a lot I can do about that except what I am doing. I am washing and bleaching dog beds as I write this in an effort to freshen things up. I got rid of half the dog beds and try to keep the others clean but a house where 4 dogs live is apparently going to smell doggy and people don’t like that. So I clean and get ready for showings with a knot in my stomach. In the meantime there seems not to be a lot of energy for anything else. The house showing business is precarious because it might be shown seldom enough that you fear it will never sell but you can get a call one night that it will be shown the next morning and have to go into high gear cleaning. It is nerve-wracking. What can I do about this?

The manic side of my bipolar disorder throws me into things like joining the gym, and the depressive side of the disorder makes it hard to go, though I am stubbornly pushing through as best I can. This last week I had a house showing Monday morning, a vet appointment in the afternoon, and another vet appointment Wednesday that was an all day affair so that I only got to the gym on Friday. This is the first week since I joined that I have not made it three times a week which made me panic a little because if I fall off a little I am liable to fall off entirely and I just can’t afford to do that. I will get there 3x a week as best I can no matter what.

When I look back over what I’ve written here, besides feeling like it is so painfully boring no one will read it, what I realize, am realizing, slowly, is that I have done a remarkable job and I am not giving myself credit for it. My house is on the market and I am scared about it and there are ongoing struggles related to showings BUT I DID join a gym, I DID join Weight Watchers, I DID start going to church and I haven’t missed a Sunday since I started and that means me getting up much earlier than I ever do so I can get ready to get there. And I am getting there.

What this means is that I have gone from living a life when I barely left the house at all to leaving 6 days a week to get to the gym, Weight Watchers, therapy, and church. I have gone, in less than a year, from being agoraphobic to leaving the house, if sometimes grudgingly, and nervous, nearly daily. That I still take a nap some days and spend time online to help calm my nerves is a whole lot better than when I didn’t leave the house some weeks at all and sat frozen to the computer keyboard most of the day.

I am so used to seeing myself as a broken thing that when I am doing well I can’t see it. I have to open my eyes, see what I am really doing, and be proud of myself. I am doing remarkable things, even though the house is on the market, and I will continue to do them, as fully as I can. Damn, I’m pretty proud of myself when it comes right down to it. My life is going on, and it will continue to, come what may.

The house is on the market and in the meantime I am living my life.


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  1. Bravo, Maitri. You are telling the story that needs to be told, the healthy one, the one that celebrates what you are accomplishing, the steps you are taking. One day soon the right family will walk through the door, fall in love, and bring their dogs to share the beautiful new home they have chosen.

    • Thank you so much dear Cathryn, that means so much to me. I get so afraid but there’s nothing to do but keep trudging on. Onward and upward I go, one day, one step at a time.

      Love to you dearheart,


  2. Great going Maitri! You indeed have accomplished so much! By the way, your house looks exactly like my sweet brick ranch that I had before I met George…I mean exactly! It’s a great house because all on one level living is so important as we age. Your house is just darling! It’s exactly my taste and style…and just like that, someone will feel the same way I do and snatch it right up! Probably an artist who loves color and whimsy like we do. Someone who is probably very much like your many FB followers and friends.

    Stay the course, dearest friend, and you will be amazed!
    Sending you love and big hugs from New York!

    • Thank you so much Donna honey, your comment here really means a lot to me and really lifted my spirits. It means a lot to me that you like the house and I’m tickled that it is so much like the little house you loved so much. I hope you are right and trust that the right people are on the way…<3

      Love you,


  3. Yes Maitri, you ARE DOING all those things, for which you deserve so much credit. I don’t think it is easy for anyone when a house is for sale, just because of the uncertainty. When it does not sell as quickly as we are often led to believe it will, we get frazzled because we didn’t expect it to be on the market long at all. At some point you just realize, as you have said that you can’t just live on edge all the time, waiting for something to happen. You just have to carry on with life and its routines as best you can. I expect, even though it may still be challenging for you to go out to your various activities, that it is less stressful than only being at home waiting for a showing appointment.

    Thank you for posting a picture of the house so we can visualize a big red SOLD across it!

    • Thank you so much Joan. You know I was going to join the gym before the house went on the market and then I thought I shouldn’t because what would I do when I needed to show the house? But I’m not even having one showing a week and in the end it will be like someone who said, about taking piano lessons, “But how old will I be when I learn how to play the piano?” to which her friend answered, “The same age as if you don’t try.” We just jump in and do what we can. If I’d waited to join Weight Watchers I wouldn’t be down over 10 pounds. Finally we just do it. And you are SO welcome and thank you for helping me visualize. 🙂

      Love you honey,


  4. what a darling cottage/house! as one of your commenters said, people with dogs in their life will move right into their natural habitat. a buyer can always get someone to come in and clean the place thoroughly before they move in. we did that when we were moving from oklahoma to talla. we fell in love with the house, and hired a company to clean the house thoroughly, including redoing the hardwood floors.

    what a thrill that, really, you are no longer agrophobic. or if you are, you are defying it greatly. what a huge step forward maitri!!! and those lucky people who get to see you at church, new friends, people struggling just like you to live their best life, follow their heart’s calling, etc etc. i’m so glad to see you again on my screen

    your sister writer friend


    • Darling Katya, thank you so much honey, and it helped me a lot to read that you fell in love with your house and bought it anyway even though it needed work. My house is painted a lot of bright cheerful colors and that bothers people but they can even negotiate the price for a painting allowance if that is a big issue. Some people just have no imagination. If they love the house they should be able to see past dogs and colors I think/hope! And yes, I am getting out and it is sometimes scary and hard still but I am doing it. Onwards and upwards!

      Love you honey,


  5. When the timing is right, your house will sell. When we had our house on the market, I kept it in “show ready” condition at all times – that meant getting up earlier every day and staying up later every night to wash dishes, run the vacuum cleaner, pick things up, etc. We had 3 dogs and some people complained about the smell but you do what you can do. Some people will complain about anything and everything. It took three full months for our house to finally get an offer (after many, many showings) and that offer came the day that our dream house (the one we’re in now) came back on the market. The timing was absolutely perfect. Trust that this will happen for you. I’m visualizing that SOLD sign in your yard – you can only sell it once – let it be somebody who doesn’t complain about the dog smells and who appreciates the eclectic nature of the house and wants to make it their home. Love, light and many hugs to you.

  6. Thank you so much Brenda, you have given me hope. I have only had 2 people actually complain about the dog smell but my best friend said it was a real issue and a couple of other realtors said they don’t take listings with dogs in the house because they are so hard to sell and I have really been down about that. I have dogs, what am I supposed to do but do the best I can. Thank you so much honey, you have really cheered me up!

    Love to you as well…


  7. Kim Shimmel says:

    I am proud of you. Reading your stuff on Facebook also helps me too.

    • Thank you, and I’m glad that my posts on Facebook help you, thank you for sharing that with me.



  8. One single step starts every journey and look HOW MANY steps you have taken. With all these changes in your life you may score higher than usual on the Holmes Rahe stress scale. In the face of all this, I dub you my conquering hero! You are slaying your dragons and standing your ground. It may not feel that way, but you are making tremendous strides!

    • Thank you so much Cindy and it’s so good to see you. It has indeed been a very stressful time but I am hanging in as best I can.

      Best and Blessings to you and I appreciate your kind encouragement.


  9. MC Milhaupt says:

    Maitri – What you are doing is nothing short of incredible! That’s a LOT of progress in less than a year!

    I admire your strength and tenacity to hang in there when it’s still difficult. Yes, you seemed to sum up [at least my] life correctly – leaving my home on a daily basis, several days dealing with SOME level of stress or anxiety, but doing it because I have to do it. And soon, I will be leaving my house every weekday in order to help others going through similar issues. This, I actually look forward to, as I pursue my career in Art Therapy Counseling – my true calling.

    Hugs and positive thoughts!

    • Thank you so much, I appreciate your kind comments and support. And good luck to you doing Art Therapy, that is just an amazing thing.

      Hugs back to you and blessings,


  10. I would keep some cookie dough in the fridge and bake up a dozen right before a showing. Or bake bread before a showing. Or simmer some cinnamon in water on top of the stove for 20 minutes. Any of those things will give the house a pleasing scent and perhaps help mask the dog smell. Good luck! Looks like a lovely house.

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