Sunday, September 25, 2011

What Worrying Gets You

Three weeks ago, we had no inkling that we would be moving. Today, we are living in a new house and entirely unpacked. I was proud of the fact we unpacked so quickly (in less than 3 days) until I realized we'd done it by working for more than 40 hours straight. It's hard to be proud of such unhealthy working conditions, especially when they are self imposed.

You remember my post 2 1/2 months ago about my lead paint fears. Every window in the house had serious issues with chipping lead paint. And while Sky and Pink P's lead tests showed they had normal levels, I couldn't imagine having Stow learn to crawl and walk in a house with known lead issues. So, I requested that the windows be repainted.

The thing is that all that landlords of older houses are required to do is provide a pamphlet that acknowledges that houses built before 1978 could have lead paint issues. If there is no "known" issue with lead paint, they don't have to do anything about it. So when I got the pamphlet upon move in, I swear the only thing I consciously took away from it was that I shouldn't let my kids chew on the window sills. You know, just in case. But as the chipping got worse, I was reminded of the pamphlet and dug it out of the bottom of some drawer. This time, I took a bit more away from my reading of it. Namely, my kids were at high risk for lead poisoning due to the poor conditions of the windows.

So I made a repair request, and we waited. And waited. And waited. Soon it became clear that the problem wasn't going to be fixed any time soon. Classes started, and still no hint as to when or how the windows would be fixed. In the meantime, I ran into a colleague who said he'd be willing to rent his recently vacated house. I told our landlord that we could move if they paid for it, and before I knew it, we were out of one lease and into another.

We didn't pack our first box until Thursday evening, and by Saturday, all of our stuff was in the new digs. By Tuesday morning, it was all unpacked. It must be a record of some kind, but I wasn't really going for that. I just didn't see any other way to manage a major life change in the middle of the semester. Sky does not handle transitions or chaos well. So, it has been a rough week, but not nearly as bad as it could have been if we'd taken any longer to move.

Late at night, somewhere the middle of our 40-hour unpacking marathon, a sleep-deprived, sore-backed Ren snapped, "I wasn't the one who wanted to move!" implying that somehow I did. That I had gotten us into this mess. Of course, I didn't want to move any more than he did (though he does end up doing more of the work when we move), but his statement forced me to wonder, yet again, whether I had let my uncanny ability to obsessively worry about certain things make life more difficult than it needed to be. Maybe it did. Then again, maybe my anxieties were right on in this case. I'll never know, but I guess I'd rather risk being wrong.


Of course, the worst thing about moving is dealing with Comcast (After our initial move here two years ago, it took nearly 20 hours of phone time to get them to give us the correct services at the agreed-upon rates. Twenty hours!) This time around, 10 hours on the phone and 8 days later, and our phone, TV, and internet are still not up and running correctly. Speaking of which...I'd better go call Comcast. Sigh.

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