Monday, April 11, 2011

Commitment Takes Surrender And Being Present

There are milestones in life that one hits. I believe I just hit one today. I bought an apartment. Or rather, I signed a purchase contract, with the sale subject to the bank approving the mortgage. If all goes well, the transfer of the deed happens in a couple months.

PHEWWWWWWWW!!!! How very adult. *Gulp*

Here's my housing agent and notary. HAHAHA! Yes, we took photos.

Needless to say the past month has been filled with house viewings (33 in total), agonizing over what compromises have to be made (Location? Square area? Condition of the house? Price?) and it's been a whirlwind of endless questions I've been asking myself, my closest friends and family. Many apologies to the ones closest to me who've had to hear me agonize over the issues. I am seriously a nut case.


Of course, I already knew this. But I guess it was when my housing agent looked at one of the conditions in my initial offer and said "Well, that's refreshing! I've never come across this kind of request before!" ...That I realized that... OK, I might be more of a basket case than I thought. I had requested to spend ONE NIGHT in said apartment because I was fretting over the potential noise at night. The flat is on a busy street corner and even though it's got double-glazed windows, sound insulated floors AND I couldn't really hear much traffic noise during the day, I was getting anxiety attacks that what might seem OK in the day may turn out to be annoyingly LOUD at night.

Since the apartment had just been renovated with no one living in it, I figured that seemed like a fair request. I thought I could do a sleepover there with a friend who was up for it too. "Just like going camping!" she said. HAHAHA! (Oh, the naivety)

In Amsterdam there are rules that allow squatters to live in your house if they've somehow managed to get into it (don't ask me about the details coz I have no idea) - since this was a case with "squatter potential", the seller was having none of it, of course. So we settled on a night viewing instead where the seller's agent patiently waited 45 minutes for me at 9pm on a Friday night where I sat in silence in the master bedroom and meditated.

Uh huh. Like, seriously. That's what I did. I am laughing at my own anal retardedness and that someone was patient enough and willing to put up with my nonsense in the next room! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Apart from the occasional scooter VROOMING past loudly, the rest of the traffic is a dull hum of city noise. I reckon I love everything else about the house to let this one go. So... Ask me again a couple weeks after I've moved in, I might be kicking myself then. Hehe.

In considering all the future possibilities of this place (as one does when making this sort of "big commitment"), I got kinda carried away with worry and anxiety especially with the rent-control regulations here. Y'know... If I decided to leave and didn't want to sell it yet and had to rent it out then what happens if this, and what happens if that, and blah blah blah. I was running around in circles. My very kind housing agent answered all my neurotic questions patiently, giving advice that was one-part life coach and one-part motherly advice.

She reminded me to bring my yoga off the mat and live in the present. She's no yogi (or at least I have no idea if she is), but she pretty much told me something along the lines of "Look, you've been pretty smart about this place - checking this and checking that and thinking of things in the long term, more than what most of my other clients would've thought of. It's good that you're aware of all of these things. But at some point, no one can guarantee what's coming in the future or what your situation will be like then. Why are you buying a place? To live in now. Don't forget that you're living in the present. It's good that you've got your eye on the future possibilities and issues with the house, but down the road your situation might change, the regulations might change and you'll have to deal with it then when it happens anyway. So remember about being in the present too."

Ha! Well said, lady. I was gobsmacked. She was right. I had done enough worrying and contingency-planning. Occupational hazard of being a Producer, I suppose... I just wanted to ensure my arse was definitely covered. Two times over. But at some point when the numbers check out OK and all the other things on my things-to-worry-about checklist check out OK, let alone the fact that I'd actually found a house I'd fallen in love with... Then at some point I'd have to let go and surrender to the process and trust in the decision I've made.

So... I guess I'm buying a house then! :)

Even though it's been renovated on the inside, they left out the floor, kitchen and bathroom sink/ cabinets. I'm quite pleased with this since this means I'll get to customize what I want done with the place anyway. And you know this means a gazilion remodelling photos coming your way. (I've already started hunting. If you've been following my tweets, you'll know Ikea does my head in.)

Oh yeah, in the midst of all this, I'm also in pre-production on my next work project and we're in Prague at the end of the week for a shoot. Umm... With all this going on, I have no idea how I got here today. No wonder my face is breaking out, my sinuses are inflamed and my yoga practice in the past couple weeks has been non-existent except for some Pranayama (which hasn't helped the sinusitis either. I haven't been able to breathe through my nostrils in 5 days now). I still haven't gotten the hang of finding the balance between work, life and asana practice... Sigh.


I am still ever so grateful for the little reminders to stay in the present. Like that reminder from my angel of a housing agent.



  1. I'm so excited for you! And I think you were very smart and reasonable in your requests. (Obsessing about them is another thing. Clear those nasal passages and b r e a t h e ) xoxo

  2. Wow, big step! wish you all the luck in the world!!! and hope you enjoy it and build sweet memories in your new nest

  3. Thanks guys!! :) :) :)
    PS. Fran: I shouldn't do neti now right? Remember someone saying something along the lines of when you're sick and sinuses stuffed, that's when you SHOULDN'T be neti potting. Or did I remember wrong?

  4. Congratulations, Jaime!! Can't wait to see pics of your new place! xoxo

  5. Am I the only one who can't stop laughing at the vision in my head of you meditating for 45 minutes while that poor lady sat and waited? I LOVE THAT YOU DID THIS SO MUCH. We bought our house in Portland Oregon over one stressy weekend where we saw crap crap crap and finally just bought the last one we saw. And then didn't move in for 3 months because the CY had a gig in Aspen. When we finally got to town I sat in the bedroom and sobbed that we had bought a 'hovel' but then we renovated and it was a great house in a great 'hood. Sad we had to sell it when we moved here but it was a funny experience. You were so much more sensible. I'm meditating in my next house before I buy it! Congrats Miss Skippety!

  6. Congratulations Ms Skippi - that's great! I'm assuming it's in Amsterdam ... ?! I remember when I (we, then!) bought my first place, I was so freaked out about everything, including the idea of being tied down with a mortgage. But as soon as it was ours and we moved in, those fears completely disappeared! Looking forward to seeing much more in pictures!!!

  7. Congratulations, Jaime. That is a big step. I admire that you attempted to stay there overnight and settled for a meditation period. I would have done the same if I was concerned for noise. The advise of the landlady was good. Sometimes a house purchase becomes like the equivalent of renting for a while in an expensive place. But you're living in the present.

  8. Congratulations! It's nice to have such a patient agent! Nice when life throws you little reminders every now and then :)

  9. Congratulations Skippetty! This is so awesome! Does this mean you're settling down in Amsterdam for good?

  10. Happy nest building! I just ordered a magenta moroccan pouf (ottoman) from amazon and thought of you. Oh, and congratulations to IKEA too. :-D

    It's the right thing - anyway what's the alternative ..... staying with unwelcome Mice?
    Well done darling - can't wait to hear decor plans and see pics.

  12. That's awesome! Congratulations!!! xxx

  13. I'm so late in congratulating you! This is VERY exciting! Being a home owner for 12 years now, I still look around me in awe that I have this little place I can call my own... and paint the walls and tile the floors and do whatever the heck I want with it!

    If night noise gets bad, there's always ear plugs (I started using them when an elderly cat was close to death and meowing all night long, now I'm addicted to the total silence).

    LOVE that you tried to spend the night. Smart! I'm dying for photos but know you'll come through with a fine documentation of everything!


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