Too much time on your hands can be dangerous. The wise decision you made on day one begins to slip away as new options emerge – each one of which deserves serious examination and each examination reveals still further and multiple layers, each of which constitutes another possibility to be carefully considered. Of course none of these is ever written down. Eventually my brain becomes clotted with all these double cream possibilities until I begin to reinvent previously discarded options which again become possibilities – strangely familiar but not fully recognisable.
One of these options was for me to buy my brother’s share in the house. This would constitute both a broadening of my retirement investment portfolio and securing the family home for future generations.
But what, I thought, if my brother wanted to buy my half share. How would we negotiate that? Toss a coin? And what would constitute a fair price? Neither of us would want to pay too much. Neither of us would want to dud the other by paying too little. This circular thinking became ever more convoluted and unresolvable. My beloved was fully supportive of my thinking and yet, the mere conversation about the topic seemed to have the power to create tension and argument between us.
I felt pressured by my own arguments coming from her mouth and then felt aggrieved that it was not her place to agree with me or even dare have an opinion even if I did recognise it as mine from five minutes previously.
“I love my brother” I declared in a voice rather too loud than seemed warranted. She stepped back, confused, then fell into a silence – feeling excluded from my family business. What was happening? It was a most mysterious experience.
Possessions, greed, love, hurt, hate, anger.
This simple scenario wasn’t going as smoothly as I’d hoped.
Muriel, from the Public Trustee’s Office, saw her opportunity and asserted that they could sell the house for us. She had, after all, set in motion a valuation in order to establish a capital gains base-value in case we never made up our mind and our children inherited this whole disaster.
She’d arranged the valuation. Why shouldn’t it follow that she would arrange the sale. Wasn’t that why we’d gone to the Public Trustee in the first place? To minimise complexity? To make the decisions for us!