Please don’t settle.
Whether it’s a relationship that is “just okay” a job offer that is “kind of nice” or a purchase that seems “pretty good” I have three words for you:
DON’T DO IT.
How many divorce stories, career missteps and other regrets could be avoided by listening to that little voice inside? Not the one trying to convince you to settle, but the other, gentler one that says,
“You deserve better – and it’s worth waiting for.”
Let me add this disclaimer: I have mastered the art of making mistakes and suppressing that little voice. The good news is that valuable lessons are learned from the missteps.
No experience is wasted if you learn from it.
But the older I get I realize the importance of valuing ME enough to believe for the BEST. I am worth receiving my dream – and guess what? SO ARE YOU.
A little story to illustrate the point: My husband dangled a dream in front of me when he approached me about pursuing HIS dream to live in Florida. He challenged me to look online at homes in our price range compared to what we could afford in Pennsylvania. Next thing you know, I was dreaming of a HOT AND SUNNY CHRISTMAS.
I fell in love online. No, it wasn’t Match.com or eHarmony – it was Zillow. And the house of my dreams…in our price range.
We planned a trip to see it in person and – hopefully – make an offer on July 4th weekend. Just about as we boarded the plane, we got the call: Someone else got it first. We landed in Sarasota and saw 6 or 7 other properties, none of which felt like “home” so we found a little condo to rent until we fell in love again. (Well, that’s how I would phrase it. My husband, on the other hand, was adamant that we were staying put for at least a year because we had signed a lease and he was NOT about to lose our security deposit.)
Then we had a flood. Which released us from our lease. Which coincided with the couple who bought my dream house reconsidering their purchase (it was too small) and entertaining an offer. Which we gave. Which they refused.
On the one hand, I thought, “You need to let this go…” and on the other, I thought, “This is MY house!” Let it go prevailed, and we embarked on more house hunting. And we found a very nice house. (Can you hear the lack of enthusiasm in that sentence?)
Back in 2007, when we bought our townhome in PA – our first home purchased together – we were like little kids in a candy store. We were so over the top excited about having TWO bathrooms that we would, with glee, flush the toilets simultaneously.
This very nice house did not evoke that giddy, make my heart leap response. But since I was thisclose to abandoning my dream, we submitted an offer. They refused and countered outrageously. We upped our offer and once again, they countered. As we got closer and closer to the finish line, I couldn’t ignore the growing pit in my stomach. This was not my house.
Fear will always challenge your dream with an onslaught of “what ifs.”
What if we turn this opportunity down and all the snowbirds show up and we NEVER get to buy a house! What if I’m just being bullheaded and can’t appreciate this very nice house and let it slip through my fingers? What if Duane and I never find a place we agree on?
We had a heart to heart. Then called my brother-in-law, Tony, who is a real estate genius and a straight shooter if ever there was one. We laid out the facts, he heard us out and said, “Why would you buy a house that you’re not in love with? Go back to those other people and see if you can’t work something out.”
Really? I know – so simple, but when you are thisclose to abdicating your dream, sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees – and need an objective party to weigh in.
We graciously turned down the very nice house and went back to the DREAM HOUSE PEOPLE. Who said YES.
And on December 30th, we will settle – but not SETTLE – and sign the papers on a place that makes my heart sing.
Did I mention that in the four months that the former owners lived in the house they made EVERY improvement I would have – down to the very paint color I would have chosen for the walls?
The lessons learned in this entire experience have been life-changing for me. That I lived in this home in my mind since May, and visited this house every day (online) since I fell in love with it…that it offered visual treats that I could escape to when times were tough. Despite the detours and the flood and the variety of curve balls that came our way – this dream was on course for fulfillment. And nothing could stop it – except me.
My gratitude level is off the charts — and it’s not just about the house (though boy, am I super grateful about THAT.)
It’s that I’m finally “getting” that there is a lavish buffet of life to be enjoyed. And it is not just for a lucky few. It’s for me. And for YOU.
I feel like a portal has opened to a whole new, miraculous level of life, and I can’t wait to try on the next dream for size!
Are there dreams in your heart that you could – and should – dust off and bring back to life? Don’t take your cue from the detours. Keep your eye on the prize, say “thank you” for it before it ever arrives – and enjoy imagining living that dream come true. It WILL come to you. And I can’t wait to hear the story YOU will tell when it does.