Faster, pussycat

Have you ever bought clothes while traveling, and been unable to fit everything in your suitcase when it was time to go home? That suitcase is what my days are like now. For starters, The Wife and I are buying an apartment—or at least we are attending all the meetings, filling out all the paperwork, hiring all the attorneys and assessors and brokers and fixers, faxing and messengering and hand-delivering all the documents, auditing all the books, returning all the missed calls, sending all the e-mails, digging through spam traps for all the missed e-mails, rescheduling all the appointments, raising all the money, applying to borrow all the much more money, digging and refilling all the holes, and running up and down all the staircases that are supposed to lead to us owning a place.

Timing is the secret of comedy and an ungovernable variable in life. Our first-time homebuying marathon comes during one of The Wife’s busiest weeks at The Library, and amid a frenzy of new client activity at Happy Cog and the planning of next year’s An Event Apart conferences. In my idiocy, I agreed to speak at other people’s conferences, which means I need to create the content for those engagements. I am days behind in everything because completing the Findings From the Web Design Survey sucked nights, days, and dollars. It was our Apocalypse Now. The dog is sick and requires constant watching. The Girl must be taken to preschool and picked up and played with and loved and taught and put to bed.

My life is like everybody’s. I’m too busy and I’m grateful for everything, but I worry that I will miss some detail, forget some essential, give less than everything to some e-mail or document review or design.

I intended to write about the Findings From the Web Design Survey on the night we finally published them, but there was nothing left inside. I intended to write about them this morning, but instead I have written this excuse for not writing about them. During my next break between brokers, I will clear up one area of confusion as to the motivation behind the survey’s undertaking.

Meantime, Eric Meyer, the survey’s co-author and co-sponsor, has written nice pieces about practical problems overcome in the survey’s creation, and how to keep probing the data for new answers and new questions.

[tags]aneventapart, alistapart, webdesignsurvey, design, survey, happycog, homeownership, NYC, newyorkcity, newyork[/tags]

23 thoughts on “Faster, pussycat

  1. Totally know how you feel Jeffrey. I always wondered how anyone could forget something or ignore something. Now I understand. I never believed “Life’s too short” but it’s amazing how quickly the weeks go by. I think the kids end up taking an abnormally large amount of that time.

  2. My life is (currently) far less hectic. Good luck with all that is on your plate. I remember what a big time sink buying a home was for us. I don’t envy you. (At least not this week.) ;-)

  3. We didn’t have all our bank paperwork finalized until hours before closing. What I hear from friends who’ve gone through the same ordeal is that this is the norm. From offer to closing you’ll feel like you’re conducting a bizarre symphony of musicians who are all playing their own tune and don’t care much about the performance. In the end it works out and it’s worth it. Good luck!

  4. Thanks, for all you have done and will do for the web community.

    It is in your families and your best interest to get some rest and the issues will still be there in the morning or later in the week even. Remember to take of the important things first (family, friend, etc).

  5. You must be busy! All great stuff.

    My firm submitted a Happy Cog Project planner for our site redesign about 6 weeks ago and never hear back. Any suggestions?


  6. And just this week, I was thinking, “how the heck do you have time for it all?” Honestly.

    PS: Just to warn you, after you close the deal, maybe after you move in maybe before, you will have some moments of buyers remorse; that feeling where you say, “we just spent how much?” It will pass. :)

  7. I was in your shoes exactly one month ago with the presentations and the kid and the deadlines and the spouse being even more busy at work than I. Thank god I was not also buying a house at the time. Good luck with everything — you definitely have lots of people rooting for you!

  8. “Faster, pussycat” Hahahahaha

    Jeffrey, buying your first home is kinda like having a baby. Don’t worry, the three of you will get through this. You WILL see light at the end of the tunnel.

    All the best

  9. You’re doomed. That’s all I have to say.

    Like that overstuffed suit case, there are only two ways to get it to close. Throw out the old stuff to make room for the new or buy a second suit case.

    Since you’re the suit case this time and throwing out the old stuff isn’t really an option, you’re just screwed.

    But hang in there. I’m sure the apartment will be more than affordable.
    \ /
    [x x] – cheers

  10. This is my professional training coming out but…

    You’re buying real estate? Now? In the United States?

    Please tell me you got a sensible mortgage and not one of those “write in the income you’d LIKE to have” ones.

    Hope it goes well despite the meltdown going on around you.

  11. Ah! Home-buying aerobics. I am now 5 years in my magnificent, albeit tiny, abode and I couldn’t be happier. Right after closing, I began moving in, had just taken on a high school age mentoree in a mentoring program, decided a second 8-HOUR-DAY-JOB would be a good idea to recoup my monies, and I spent every waking hour working, moving, unpacking, freaking and loving my new place.

    I ditched the second day job about 3 months later with a kind letter of thanks and I have not had such a whirlwind bag of events since. It is all worth it. It is worth all the headaches, the turmoil, the enormous stress and the urgency. You are going to love it. All my very best to you and the family.

  12. Read somewhere that buying a house and moving into it is the second most stressful and emotionally draining thing you can do.

    Sick dogs aren’t much fun either.

    Any suitcase can be closed if you have enough people sit on it. If you’ve fit all the people on it you can and it still won’t close, you just need denser people.

  13. Can’t wait to see the new place. So glad to know you and Carrie and Ava will have a home of your own. Your piece of the “American Dream.” In New York of all places! Makes me feel like anything’s possible.

  14. The Girl must be taken to preschool and picked up and played with and loved and taught and put to bed.

    … and everything else will fall into place soon enough.

  15. Welp, I feel disgustingly lazy now. Sometimes I forget to shave in the mornings, and here you are stuffing 30 hours of activity into every day.

    Good luck, and hopefully things become more manageable soon.

  16. We live in historic downtown Washington, NC. The South. We’d been told the owner had been turning down offers for quite awhile. After 20 minutes of talking with my wife as they walked through the house he asked if we’d like to buy the house. It’s my first house and I never went through all the craziness folks speak of in buying a house – am I’m glad.

  17. @Robert: You are lucky! Three days after writing this post, we are still faxing and messengering and overnighting documents; still playing phone and e-mail tag with the mortgage broker, the attorney, the skipper, Gilligan …

  18. Hey Jeff

    You gotta move to Denmark. Nice housing, good pricing. Just bought a 134m2 totally remaked on the inside for $354,394.00.

    It took 1½ month from finding the house to moving in.

  19. Exotic as it may sound, catching your breath and taking a couple of deep breaths can actually expand your conciousness and buy you that valuable stillness- really! I just started this new outfit and inspite of being Indian I’ve never given any heed to all the youga talk that happens everywhere here- until my worklife went over the top- Just try it.

  20. Jeffrey,
    I can entirely relate, not sure how old you are, but for me I hit a point where it all seems to gel. I had to roll with it for a long time, missing deadlines, clients upset, wife upset, 2 yearold upset, father in law (who lives with us 82years old )upset, dog upset. If you listen to your senses and believe that everything happens for a reason you will find that things will start to fall into place. You will also find that what you thought was important at the time in reality was not.

    My biggest fear is whether i am a great father or not. That has been a struggle for me for a long time. I finally realized that all I can do is the best that I can every day and my son will know that i truly love him. Case in point, there was a time ( age 10-17) that i did not see my father more than an hour a day ( he was an insurance broker and met with clients in the evenings). I think he was a great father and I know he did the best he could.

    Once in a while just say screw it and be present to it all.
    Good luck.

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