It's entirely possible that this helps some people.
Note: some people = not me.
My imagination & capacity for worry are utterly limitless and my worst case scenarios often involve death, dismemberment & financial ruin. My imaginary plans for dealing with these scenarios often involve curling up in the fetal position & hoping it all goes away. (I am a big fan of the Scarlett O'Hara "tomorrow is another day" school of thought.) So, not all that helpful as a planning tool / coping mechanism. That doesn't keep me from playing this game religiously, normally right before I go to sleep at night. Thus ensuring that not only do I have an ulcer, I also have chronic insomnia.
When we put our house on the market (dear God, 305 days ago. three. hundred. and. five. *whimper*), I played the game endlessly. My major concerns were:
- we won't be able to find a house within 30 days of receiving a contract on our house and therefore will be homeless once our house is sold.
- we won't be able to find a house we can afford in a neighborhood that doesn't make me want to weep or buy a bulletproof vest.
- we will find a house that we love in a nice area but it will cost more than the GNP of Belgium.
- we will buy said house anyway because otherwise we will be homeless or living in the ghetto. (Cue Elvis: ". . . in the ghetto . . .")
- we will have to eat ramen and sell plasma in order to pay our mortgage.
- we will have to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to pay our mortgage.
- I won't be able to find a job before we move and will have to sell extraneous body parts (are both kidneys really necessary?) to pay our mortgage.
- I will find a job that's just as bad as the one I have now & I won't be able to quit (see: GNP of Belgium).
- we will never be able to have children because I won't be able to take any time off to actually give birth or afford child care afterwards (see: GNP of Belgium).
- we won't be able to find people to help us move.
- we will hire a moving company that will either lose all of our belongings or hold everything we own hostage unless we pay some exorbitant sum that was never mentioned in the contract (it happens, I saw it on Dateline).
- we will find a house that we can afford in a good neighborhood, everything will be perfect & then the buyers won't be able to close but we'll have already closed on the new house & we'll end up with two mortgages that we can't pay . . . (start GNP of Belgium cycle again).
- and on & on & on, until I finally put myself to sleep by naming everything in the room in French. What, you don't do that too?
Notice anything missing from that neurotic yet seemingly comprehensive list? Oh, yeah, that we wouldn't be able to sell the house. At all. Ever. No matter how low we dropped the price (already below the appraised & assessed values, at a significant loss to us) or what we offered (home warranty, inspection, chocolate chip cookies baked fresh for you every week for a year just please please please buy our house!) to make it more attractive to buyers.
So here we are, probably about a month or two away from being hauled back to court by The World's Stupidest Ex-Husband. (Scintillating backstory here.) The worst case scenarios (weeding out the ones that involve death & dismemberment) include being told that a.) we have to relist the house with another agency, which means that we will end up owing even more money if it ever actually sells or b.) the house will be listed for sheriff's auction, whereupon we could end up owing as much as $60,000 and yet having nowhere to live. The best case scenario is that the magistrate will take pity on us (& believe me, I am not above crying in court) and allow us to continue to try to sell the house with my company. Considering the condition of the market, this could continue indefinitely. This would also mean that I would have to continue working at this job, Chris would spend at least 3 hours a day commuting and one of us will eventually spontaneously explode. You can see how there are a few flaws with this option.
I really, really, REALLY try to keep this all in perspective. Chris and I are together; other than this mess, we are happy; we love each other; we're healthy; our families are healthy. I know that if this is the worst thing that ever happens to us, we are amazingly lucky. It's even possible that someday we will look back at this time and laugh. Well, maybe not laugh, but at least it will be in the past & we will have gotten through it. All of which is true but doesn't make the situation any less difficult or frustrating right now. Especially when I have to go home tonight & unpack several boxes of winter clothes that I packed last April in preparation for our impending move. *sigh*