Last night I came home from work, changed clothes and washed the basement floor, then had dinner with my husband and watched some Monday Night Football. I didn’t pack, unpack, water plants outside of an empty house, or exchange frantic emails with our realtor. Monday evening … normal life.

The townhouse closed last week just 35 days after it was listed. As I said in my last long-ago blog post, the inspection and sales process was brutal, made worse by dealing with our HOA.


There was a 27-day period when I felt like my life was sucked up with uncertainty and anxiety. Several times I stopped myself and attempted to be mindful and in the present. In my conscious mind I would occasionally remember what Eckhart Tolle says about anxiety, and clearly this is going to be something that I work to practice every day:

Why do anxiety, stress or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.

 Basically all of the anxiety I experienced was a result of my brain constantly jumping forward in time and thinking, “what if” (granted, they were huge what if’s). Instead of enjoying the first month here I was obsessing. What an absolute waste of what should have been a joyous first month in our new house.


Maybe I need to pay attention to signs

About two weeks ago I drove past the Spruill Gallery  here in Atlanta. It has this sign painted on the barn, and it always brings me comfort. A good message in the middle of the city (truly, it’s across the street from Wal Mart, and not as pastoral as it appears here).


But an even bigger sign was one that I noticed but didn’t pay enough attention to. While we were going through the worst of the anxiety and I felt physically sick with worry we went over to the townhouse to clean up some things. When we parked In the driveway I saw a beautiful butterfly on the zinnias. Flitting from one to the other, enjoying the pollen. I stopped and took a few pictures with my iPhone, then grabbed the hose and watered the garden. The butterfly stuck close by the whole time I was there – maybe 10 minutes.

Before we left, I told G that our sweet girl kitty was in that butterfly and she was sending us blessings. Like a lot of people, I believe that loving spirits visit us in the form of butterflies.

When I came home and looked at my pictures on my phone. I gasped.


There’s no filter or enhancement on this picture. I added a frame and used a vignette. Look at that beam of light on the butterfly. There are about 5 pictures just like this.

It took my breath away. I contemplated then that it was a sign that everything was going to be okay, but I couldn’t say that out loud because people would think I’m a kook.

Everything was okay.

Maybe I needed this very strong lesson of being in the present and believing the signs that are right I front of me. Perhaps that’s the real gift of this summer.




One thought on “Lessons and Signs

  1. Beautiful post. I love the quote. The photo is amazing. We too have been going through a house sale – my parents – for about 8 months now. The house actually sold in two days, but the lead up was 8 months of hard work, anxiety and stress. I’ll have to remember your post if something comes up again! Thank you!


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