Jake many thanks for the mention! Much appreciated once again. Very well put above… I have a tale on this… Let me bore the head off you all now…

Hold tough ‘till the end though, it’s “interesting” :-)

10 years ago I lived with my new wife in a rough part of the suburbs and had a desire to find a better place to live. I went searching. After about a month a found this place online that kind of looked ok, nothing special, was the right price so I decided to book a visit with the auctioneer.

It was evening time when I viewed the house, just coming into summer. The quiet road was lined with mature birch and the sun was setting. I felt there was something special here. I walked in the door of what was a vacant, very run down 3 bed house and knew instantly that this place was for us.

The auctioneer was a older guy, no hard sell, no typical sales bull, he just showed the house and answered my questions. My wife didn’t have time to view it but she trusted me, so the next day I made a bid.

There was a bit of toing and froing on the price over the next couple weeks and then the auctioneer said;

“Ok, here’s the truth. The family want to move this house fast and there’s nobody else bidding, so if you are willing to go 5k more they are willing to sell to you”.

I increased my offer by 5k and we closed the sale.

Now there’s nothing remarkable in this per se, other than it was 2006 and the housing boom was at it height here in Ireland. People were queueing around the block for houses, and this one is 15 mins from the city so I found it very strange that we were the only ones in the picture.

Anyway, I spent a ton of money renovating it and within a couple months we moved in. It’s such a great place to live and we now have 3 children sharing it with us.

Now for the interesting bit…

For months mail would come through the letterbox for Anne Doyle. We noted to each other that must have been the lady who used to live here.

On one ordinary day my wife was talking with the next door neighbour about Anne and her husband Jack. Jack had died and Anne lived there on her own for a number of years. Then she became ill and was moved to a nursing home.

From the nursing home her deteriorating health took her to the local Connolly hospital, Redwood ward where she later died. The house went up for sale shortly after that.

Redwood specialised in caring for older patients, most of whom were on their way out. My wife is a nurse, In Connolly Hospital, Redwood ward.

The penny dropped. Suddenly Joanne remembered her. All that time we watched Anne Doyle’s mail come through the door it never clicked. It all came back to Joanne in a flash. She remembered tending to Anne, talking with her, brushing her hair. She remembered how much Anne appeared to love that.

We were now living in Anne’s house.

Sometimes at night when it’s quiet (like right now) I get shivers all over my body (phew, big rush there). It’s like Anne is still here, watching over us.

So, what’s the big deal?

Well, you were asking about planning, strategising and such. I refer back to events like this one that prove to me that the greatest things, the most memorable things, happen as a result of forces outside our conscious control.

Sometimes (all the time?) it’s better to go Wu Wei on it.

Thanks for prompting the story!

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Writer on Psychology of Creativity, Human Performance, Behaviour & Expertise | Examining Happiness & Work | Slight Perfectionist | larrygmaguire.com/subscribe

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