Sometimes I wish I could start blogging over from the beginning and do it all right from the start.
It would be so much easier than figuring out how to go back and fix things. The questions I find myself wondering on are beginner level. I mean…should I even still be using WordPress?
For whatever reason, I cannot get to a place of being rested. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I can’t get to a good place. Last night Mr. Brickie only worked 2.5 hours because a furnace wasn’t cool enough and even with him being home puttering around all night my sleep was fragmented and of poor quality.
I wonder how long he’ll be working nights. I don’t like it at all. I am, however, willing to put up with it. As long as he’s working, that’s what matters. He just texted and is back to 12-hour shifts at least until the end of this week. Great for the bank account, less so for our emotional well-being. But you do what you have to do, right? I’m grateful he was given this opportunity and I’m grateful I am in a position where I can pick up the slack for the rest of the family.
I cannot tell you how happy I am not emotionally connected to this place. If I was, this would be an emotional roller coaster. We’re down to one thing needing to happen (a thing Mr. Brickie & I have no control over) and I think my mortgage guy asked me for fraudulent documents today. He was low key about it so I’m not super offended or anything but yeah, no thank you. If I don’t qualify for a mortgage then …. don’t give me one. I mean, I know the problem is our debt to income ratio because they’re going back far enough his five months off work with a busted wrist are included so his income is skewing low. If they deny us, I can pay off credit card debt and apply again in six months.
Part of me thinks he doesn’t like that we aren’t panting and huffing and freaking out about the whole thing. Maybe if we were puffing and hanting it would make the process go more quickly. I don’t know how mortgages and underwriting works so everything I have is a guess. I wonder what credentials you need to be a mortgage underwriter. It feels like something I’d be good at. I wonder how awful it would be to do the job for a couple years to gain an understanding of how it works. (Yes, I hate not knowing how things work enough I’d consider doing a job to learn.) Maybe there’s an online class at one of the free sites online where I could get the basics down. I’ll have to check later.
The seller isn’t going out of town after all, so whenever the information goes through electronically that will trigger the closing and we’ll have keys in three days.
Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being
A few months ago I came across a lovely group online that was doing this cool journaling exercise. For forty days the leader of the group would ask questions and the participants would write their daily affirmations and then answer the question of the day. I found it very helpful. I did two of these forty day rounds. The first one we had to pick something we wanted more of in life and I chose peace. My head felt like static all the time and I needed some clarity and quiet.
Forty days later my mind is so much more quiet. It worked beautifully. I still find myself doodling, “I create peace” when I’m writing to do lists or taking down notes. That’s my little affirmation. I came up with another one when we were focusing on intuition. I really hope the person who ran these goes back to running them. I think she should charge for them because she did more for me in 80 days (two rounds of the session) than I’ve gotten from years of on and off therapy. It won’t cure you if you have something real ailing you, but I’ve learned some great coping mechanisms that I’d never found in self-improvement books or textbooks. (It’s possible I was reading all the wrong stuff, though, who knows!)
I’ve decided to pick a word for 2019 to help focus. The beginning of a five-year plan has the least amount of stuff to do and tends to be a little….boring. A lot of doing the right thing, paying down the credit cards, paying ahead on the mortgage. Lots of not super fun things that take discipline but not a lot of time. In between budgeting and paying those things down and parenting and wifing I’ll have some time on my hands. If I have a focus word, I am more likely to think of it in those moments where I have a few moments and keep myself on the track I’d like to be on instead of spending too much time on social media!
It could take a year to fix up and focus all my social media as well as re-categorize and clean up the design of the blog but I’m not sure I want to devote a whole year to that.
Baby Steps Toward A Hobby
I’m going to sign up for Life Book 2019 through Willowing Arts and get my artistic groove on a bit next year. (That is not an affiliate link.)
It seems to me I’ve spent a long time now fighting and clawing and scraping and saving the family from emergency after emergency. I’ve come up with so many solutions to so many problems. Now that we are in a more stable place I have to learn how to live without the constant fight or flight input. Calming my mind was a great start but I need something a little more active and meditative and art seems like a good place to start. Plus it’s just a little over a hundred dollars (after the 20% off discount for buying before December) for the WHOLE YEAR of lessons. Most art classes online are way more expensive and I’m nowhere near being able to spend a whole bunch of money on a hobby for myself. This class is a lovely baby step.
I’m grateful to even be able to consider a baby step like this Life Book course. Very grateful.
Back to the Word of the Year
I’m a little nervous about picking a word for the whole year, because I always have terrible luck with things like this. The first song I hear after the new year ball drops is always awful. It’s been Love Shack for two out of the last five years. Ugh.
Maybe I’m afraid to commit to a word or focus at all. I’m scared that committing to a word that isn’t budget or finance based will somehow jinx me back into a place full of stress and financial emergencies one after another.
To heck with it. My word for 2019 is CREATE
Even if it’s doodles. Even if it’s not pretty. Even if it’s black and white without a lick of color. Even if it’s embarrassing. Even if it looks nothing like what I hoped it would.
I have used YNAB (You Need A Budget) for about three years, now. It’s really helpful for knowing where your money is going. I was never great at coming up with categories, though. (Sidenote: I seem to have a problem with categorizing things in general. The blog. The budget. Huh. I should meditate on that or something.) Since we started the application process, however, everything has been on hold and I’ve avoided the budget like the plague. There is money in the checking account and I can’t spend it just in case we get the notice closing is in three days.
So I’m over here paying the minimums on all the credit cards and paying the bills the day before they’re due just to keep the daily balance as high as possible.
The mortgage guy is after us because although I’ve removed Mr. Brickie as an authorized user off all the credit cards, there are two still reporting to the credit bureaus. I could almost pay those cards off with the money in the checking account, but then I won’t have the money for closing. It’s a Catch-22 that only time will fix. Either the credit card companies will report that Mr. Brickie is off the cards and we can close or we will manage to save enough money I can pay off those two cards and we can close. Or it takes too long and they cancel the application. Or it takes too long and the seller pulls out. Or it takes too long and the interest rate skyrockets and WE walk away from the deal.
There are many possible outcomes but none of them involve action or planning by us.
So we wait.
I remember when I decided I’d never get emotional about a dwelling again. We were in Chicago visiting the pro bono lawyers that could possibly help us keep the house in Illinois we ended up foreclosing on. A lovely, young lawyer explained what we would have to do and how much money it would cost to fight to keep the house. It was an extensive amount of both time and money. I asked the lawyer, “Why would anyone do all that instead of just walking away?” The lawyer replied, “People have generations of memories in these houses. They’ll do anything to keep it.”
I had this moment where I was reminded I’m not like other people. I don’t get attached to things the way other people do. I mean, there are a few things I haven’t thrown away but I keep them in a bin on a shelf in the basement. Things are things. A house is sticks and bricks and nothing I ever want to be in love with. A house cannot love you back. I’m not giving one ounce of my energy or worry to the process of buying another one.
The only reason I was emotional at all about moving out of the house in Illinois it was worry for the children. Then I realized I didn’t want them to be attached to a pile of sticks and bricks, either, and the best way to do that was to find joy in moving. It was creative re-framing, for sure, but it is not wrong. I want my kids to prioritize people over things. Experiences over stuff. Not to the extreme that I do, but enough to get weird looks from people now and then would be a good gauge they’re doing it right.