Almost a week after the sale of our house went south, it’s amazing how much better we all are doing now that we have decided to stay put. The amount of anxiety we felt the past few weeks was crazy, and I believe a great deal of it was related to knowing that we had veered too far from our bottom line.
Part of this was financial, but an equally important realization was that as a family we were risking too much. During the past six months our motives for selling fell by the wayside. Life changed in unpredictable ways that made the proposition of selling less desirable. Now we are having fun emotionally moving back into a house we thought was sold. We are still meticulously going through all of our stuff and consciously deciding what to keep. Downsizing and simplifying life are still at the top of our list.
While the experience over the past few months was painful, we learned some valuable lessons. I think every family needs to know their bottom line. Learning individual boundaries is part of life, but most of us rarely think about family boundaries. It’s not so easy figuring out how to weight individual needs against those of the family unit. Some parents forgo time with kids for their careers. Others forgo their careers to be engaging parents. At either extreme I believe families will experience problems. There is a balance that must be found where individual and family needs are optimized.