Step 7: Stop Competing With Who You Used To Be

How To Enjoy A 50K — Step 7: Stop Competing With Who You Used To Be


At the end of last month I moved back east with a plan to purchase my first home in the Kingston area of upstate New York. I figured three months would be the perfect amount of time to shop around, have an offer accepted, and get ready to permanently relocate just as the flowers started blooming in May.

Hahahahahahahaha . . . . face palm.

Well, wouldn’t you know it that everyone in Brooklyn has the exact same plan? Like to the point of Kingston being declared one of the fastest growing areas with the fastest and highest home price increases in the country?

I didn’t. Sure, I realized a lot of people in the city were leaving due to lay-offs or work-from-home situations. Sure, I knew Kingston was already nicknamed North Brooklyn. Sure, I thought a little bit about how I’d be competing against the DINK (Double Income No Kids) New Yorkers and the flat out Wealthier Than Thou. But I really was not prepared for the feeding frenzy insanity of the current seller’s market north of Manhattan.

Now that I’m bearing witness to it in real time, I understand exactly what I’m up against. I know the DINKs of Brooklyn because I used to be a DINK in Brooklyn. There was a point in my life, 13 years ago, when I was paying half of a $460,000 mortgage on a one bedroom co-op in Park Slope.

Imagine if I stayed in that relationship and never got laid off that year. The old status quo stays put and we fast forward to present day. If I’m the person I used to be, all I have to do is sell our one bedroom co-op at the price we purchased it back in 2008. I don’t need to make a dime on it. I sell it at $460,000 and turn around and buy an entire house on an acre of land upstate for $275,000 at an interest rate significantly lower than I previously had. Now my payments are lower and I still have close to $200,000 to renovate the shiz-nit out of that broken down piece of crap and create the pastoral oasis of my dreams.

But I’m not the person I used to be. I don’t even want to be the person I used to be even though it would be really nice to have a second income and a human by side through this. I am single with one income which is not enough to buy a run down house at $275,000 and renovate it. It’s not enough to make internet offers above asking price before even seeing it. It’s not enough to compete in the current market place.

OK so it’s hard to buy a house in an upside down pandemic riddled economy/real estate market. What does this have to do w/ the enjoyment of running a 50K ultra? A lot, I think, because I’m also not the person I used to be when I trained for my first triathlon. I’m not the person I was when I completed a half Iron Man with a mere seven minutes to spare. I’m not the person I was when I biked 1,000 miles in Ireland. Like it or not, the consequences of 2020 have changed me.

Generally speaking, I’m fairly good at not competing against other people. I just don’t enjoy it. But in the past, I’ve always pushed myself to do better than I had done before — to compete against myself. I’m witnessing this pattern of Well, I’ve done hard stuff before so I can just do it again. Yet so many things have changed in the last year. Good things. Bad things. Fortunate things. The damned. All the things.

So . . . many . . . things.

I don’t like admitting to the toll the pandemic has taken on me. I much prefer to count my lucky stars that I haven’t suffered financially, gotten sick, or lost anyone I love.

Gratitude is monumentally important in all moments of life. But so is taking a realistic view of what is actually happening. Saying I should be happy because I haven’t experienced catastrophic loss does not do anything to make me feel the sensation of happiness. Relief, sure. Gratitude, yes. But happy? Productive? On point and ready to take action? Nope.

I need to take stock of who and where I am right now if I’m going to figure out how to compete in the current market and buy my first house. Heck, I need to make sure I’m committed to the game. On the same token, I need to take stock of how my body and my heart function after a year of previously unimaginable stress, as well as on the brink of 43 (yrs old).

I also need to stop wishing it would all just go back to the normal of yesteryears. It’s not going back. Attempting to force myself to act and train the way I used to is only resulting in more wasted time, more junk food, more frustration. My old habits are not bouncing back and maybe there’s good reason for that. I don’t know what the reason might be. I only know that competing against an old version of myself no longer seems to be a viable option. It’s time to regroup and try something different.

Sending love 💛 and light 💡

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