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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.