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We were approaching the middle of June. Spring was fast turning into summer, yet rather than enjoying the change of seasons, each day that passed seemed to add another layer of panic and anxiety to our hearts.

It had been more than five months since my husband and I had officially started the ball rolling for our long-planned move across the country. Since January we’d reestablished contact with our realtor… deep cleaned our home, tidied away our personal effects, eliminated clutter, and repaired what needed to be fixed… put our home of the past three years on the market…

…and waited.

We waited through Open Houses hosted by our realtor almost every weekend. We waited as various parties of strangers traipsed through our home with their own realtors. We waited for calls from our realtor scheduling a private showing, all the while keeping the house clean and ready to be vacated at a moment’s notice should a potential buyer show any interest in a visit. We waited through a declining market and reluctant price reductions. We waited through regular inquiries from family, friends, and co-workers – “Is it sold yet?” We waited for the offer that would allow us to move ahead with the exciting part of our plans.

While we waited, life went on… in a way. We went about our usual daily routines, but never felt able to fully relax. Nothing had really changed, but everything was different. Home had become nothing more than a house, a residence, a place to stay in the interim until life started up again… after. After we received an offer. After we found a new home. After we moved.

We held it together for the most part, but months of up-and-down hopes rubbed edges raw and made every nerve sensitive. Occasionally tempers flared over inconsequential things. Tears spouted for no real reason. Making small decisions took on disproportionate significance, causing flustered bewilderment.

One morning, my husband and I were rather dispiritedly tidying up for yet another Open House. I opened the sliding doors that enclosed our laundry area to check for missed clothes and stray dryer sheets and found everything to be clean, tidy, and in order – except for a small slip of paper resting alone on top of the dryer.

The paper was from a Chinese fortune cookie, and read, “Your present plans are going to succeed if you stick to them.”

The moment I saw it I felt a little thrill. I asked my husband if he’d put it there, but he hadn’t seen it and had no idea where it had come from, particularly since neither of us could even recall the last time we’d eaten Chinese food. I knew that in reality it had probably been sitting in one of our pockets for months and just happened to have fallen out onto the dryer, yet the timing and sheer magic of the moment had the effect of immediately uplifting and wiping away a great deal of our discouragement and anxiety.

We went on with our day in far better spirits, feeling a sense of refreshment and renewed commitment to following through with our plans and dreams.

It would be another three months or so before our house sold, during which time we went through more of the same plus an accepted offer that fell through due to problems with the buyer’s financing. In the end, though it didn’t all happen in accordance with our timing, it worked out better than we could have planned. We missed house-hunting in our new city during a massive and out-of-the norm heatwave, and when we finally did get there, we fell in love with (and bought!) a house that wasn’t even on the market when we’d originally planned to be looking.

It was a long year, was 2011. Long, frustrating, stressful, anxiety-inducing… and fortunate.

Your present plans are going to succeed if you stick to them.

Written for The Writers’ Post
Blog Hop #42: Fortune

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Megan April 10, 2012

    Funny how plans have a sneaky way of getting a life of their own. I went through so many things (let’s just call them “things” for the sake of abbreviation) in the last few years, where things that were supposed to happen just didn’t, no matter how hard I banged my head on walls, and other things that were not even on my radar, just materialized. There is a lovely quote that I started to believe, more and more firmly: “Man plans, God laughs”…

    Great post. Good luck in your new home and hometown 🙂
    Megan recently posted… easter, bunny, and stuffMy Profile

  • Margaret Christine
    April 10, 2012

    Moving is so stressful!! We recently tried to buy a Victorian house that was in foreclosure and it was. It to be, due to federal red tape. An investment firm purchased it from under us and I was devastated. Fast forward 8 weeks– same place sustained major damage from an electrical fire. So, again, I learn, Not my will, but thine be done.

    • Laurel Regan
      April 11, 2012

      It really is, Margaret. I don’t want to do that again for a LONG time! Glad things worked out well for you – you just never know, do you?
      Laurel Regan recently posted… FortuneMy Profile

  • Jenn April 11, 2012

    What a magnificent little find– some little fortune cookie paper that kept your spirits going til the sale!! You are fortunate!! You were able to sell!! And move…and find another home!! Great post 🙂

    Cheers, Jenn
    Jenn recently posted… JudyMy Profile

  • Lou Lou Loves April 11, 2012

    Well the waiting just makes the new place all the more better!

    P.S Mmmm fortune cookies.
    Lou Lou Loves recently posted… Day Spa HeavenMy Profile

  • Isabel Anders July 6, 2012

    Hope, it seems, IS the “feathered” thing that “sings the tune without the words” (Emily Dickinson) until we can find out what they are—for us!  I wrote about “Guidance in Small Doses” at:  http://www.blogher.com/guidance-small-doses
    Glad it all worked out so well!  🙂

    • DawnStorey July 6, 2012

      Beautiful and insightful blog post – thank you for sharing!


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