11. CPR

The commercial property nightmare was finally over—three years and two months after it had begun. I should have been ecstatic; instead, I was thoroughly spent. Numb. What little enthusiasm I had was beaten out of me during the final weeks leading up to the closing, which were fraught with all manner of snafus and last-minute haggling. Plus, the weather was miserable, my health had taken a serious nosedive, and I was a hair's breadth shy of a nervous breakdown. It was like skidding through the finish line in a totally wrecked car.

But the worst part was that I still faced an uncertain future: owing to lawyer's fees, property taxes and a host of other deductions, I ended up with roughly half the amount I would have net had the transaction wrapped in a timely fashion. I can only hope it will be enough to finish the house; I won't know until after I start getting estimates for some of the really big-ticket items, like the doors, windows and roof.

Plus, things are different than they were back in October 2016, when work on the house ground to a halt. In spite of having Lyme Disease and Sarcoidosis, I was perhaps the fittest I'd been since I was in my early 30s, when I was busy gutting and rebuilding my first home. By contrast, I've been nearly immobilized the last two years. Not to mention acutely depressed. All the physical gains I'd made building my home have been lost.

I may be able to recover some of my strength and flexibility, but I'll never be back to where I was. My knee has become the stopping point: I need a new one, but the likelihood of that happening is remote at best. And so, as I embark on the last, long leg of the run to get the house done, I'm faced with the fact that I can only manage a few of the items left to do. The upside, however, is that the work will be done much more quickly, and perhaps with better quality—assuming I can afford it.

With my head reduced to oatmeal, I needed a solid action plan. Fortunately, I'd already created one, which I've turned into a to-do list that I can keep updated. The biggest challenges, however, will be readjusting my mind and body from years of inaction to action. Plus, I must be prepared for any number of unforeseen speed bumps that would almost certainly pop up along the way.

Well, that's enough self-pity. Time to get back to work. For regular progress reports, see the latest news.

Chapter 10 ç

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