Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Anatomy of Stress

I’ve had an epiphany today: Stress is a condition caused by not knowing. An example would be struggling to meet a deadline and not knowing if you will get the job done in time. Or struggling to pay all your bills and not knowing if there will be anything left over for food.

It seems that once you know one way or another, stress is reduced and transforms into some kind of action. If you can’t make the project dates, you take action to push out the timelines. If you don’t have enough money for all the bills, then you decide which bills won’t get paid this month. But one way or another, once a thing is known, the stress levels are reduced and you move on.

I realized this today because I’m trying to sell my house so that I can purchase a house in Palm Springs, California. A buyer has made a generous offer and I have accepted his offer. The problem, the buyer is having trouble securing a loan. Not too surprising in the current financial environment.

But the thing that has my stress levels going through the roof is that we are supposed to sign all the ownership transfer papers tomorrow, both to sell my current house and to buy my new house in PS, and less that twenty-four hours to signing I still don’t know if said buyer has the money available to buy my house.

One would think that with a day to go, they would have let us know if they had not secured the loan. These folks, however, have not been the best at communications. Meanwhile, my husband and I have been snapping at each other for two days, both keyed up over not knowing if this deal is going through. We have seen other real state deal fall apart at the last moments, so it is not inconceivable.

The funny thing is, knowing that stress is caused by not knowing does nothing to minimize the stress. So I suppose we have another day to swipe at each other before we know, and can move one way or another.

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