Thoughts On Moving, Craigslist and Good Character

I am in the process of moving (again.) If you have had the pleasure of making a move from one house to another, particularly in quick succession, then you are familiar with the joy I am referring too. Until five years ago, I was a stay-put kind of person who lived for long stretches in one place. Now I am a reluctant veteran of the many times moved population.

Despite the disruption, I am trying to enjoy the process. I have cast this into an “opportunity” to reassess what I need for the future and pare down my belongings accordingly. I’ve contemplated becoming a minimalist, although I wonder if any of them have children with memorabilia. What does one do with the beloved stuffed animals, blankets and artwork in the minimalist philosophy?

I have off loaded quite a bit of superfluous “stuff.” Furniture I no longer need, tchotchkes, linens and clothes well past their use by date. I am rather flush with large, heavy furniture that no longer fits into my world. During one of my last moves, one of the young men helping me asked if my furniture buying motto was, “Do you possibly have anything bigger and heavier?”

There are a number of ways to sell items these days and I have been exploring all of them. If you know of any I have missed, please do share.

We had a garage sale, which was somewhat successful but not what I had hoped for in terms of outcome because my garage is still full. We had a good turn out due to both posting it on Craigslist and putting up signs all over the neighborhood. I used the phrase, “Estate Sale” because I didn’t have the standard items that one seems to find at traditional garage sales: old clothes, Tupperware, used floral vases, stuffed animals, all marked for a dollar and haggled over.

I didn’t want to haggle (because it’s not my forte) but of course people who are out at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning are hankering for exactly that kind of thing. Thank god my brother was there to put an end to some of the nonsense.

I’ve listed things on Chairsh.com, Chose5, eBay and of course, Craigslist. The most exciting, and educational, has been the latter.

It amazes me that one can list an item at eight in the morning and be loading a table and eight chairs into a strangers car, after a quick exchange of cash, by three in the afternoon. Some of the transactions have been that easy, but of course there have been other varieties that weren’t so pleasant.

For instance, the unfortunate email exchange with an individual named Ricki.

There are items I have listed that got zero action, which is interesting because it forces one to try and figure out the reason. Getting the price right is key. In my experience, Craigslist is no place to sell truly valuable items. It’s perfect for the thirty-dollar, rarely used Weber BBQ and the cool, but no longer needed tree stump lamp. It is not the place to peddle the expensive designer leather couch.

Then, there are the items that garnered immediate attention. This is what happened with the Restoration Hardware leather chair and ottoman set I listed for a ridiculously low price that Ricki responded too. I love these chairs, and don’t really want to part with them but alas, they are large and heavy, and I’m not sure my future homestead will have the space.

I received numerous emails right away and the first, and most eager, were a couple who wanted to drive immediately to my house but live three hours north of me. It seemed a bit ridiculous so I suggested they come on Saturday and they were thrilled. I responded to all the other emails saying I had a buyer and if things changed I would let them know.

I did not check email for the rest of the day because my brother and I were busy tending to the hectic business of moving. When I finally did open email I was rather surprised to find six emails from Ricki, which basically amounted to a one-way conversation, and ended with this one:

“…it doesn’t bother me that I didn’t get an opportunity to buy the chairs. There are plenty of other chairs out there, many in better condition than these. What’s disgusting is your lack of respect in communicating.

May I suggest taking some of the money from the chairs and buying yourself some books on building good character, which always includes respecting others.”

I suppose one could be offended, but in actuality, I felt bad for this person. The escalation of anger could be felt in each email and I wondered what kind of sad loneliness must be at the root of it. How does one turn shopping online into a personal attack on another human?

I know for certain that a few years ago, I would have willingly engaged with Ricki in a self-righteous way, possibly taking great measures to belittle him or her. I am so relieved I had no inclination to go that route. I find the more I explore my own inner terrain of vulnerability and weakness, the more compassion I feel for myself, and people like this. The self-loathing I harbored in my old life always resulted in judgment, while the experience of self-love I am allowing myself to have now, just seems to expand my ability to meet whatever is before me with deep understanding.

It is the strangest, but most wonderful thing, I have ever experienced.

There are lessons to be learned, and character to be built, everywhere we go. What are you learning, or what can you learn, right now?

–db

Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

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