I am busy. I work two jobs, raising two daughters, on a committee that meets monthly, sometimes have kids’ sports or other commitments. I may not like it, but my life requires planning. If it isn’t in my Google calendar and has a reminder set, it isn’t going to happen. I don’t see people I deeply care about nearly as much as I would like, I don’t have time for pedicures and manicures, one of my best friends lives 5 minutes from me and its been months since we’ve spent time together. Where am I going with all this? If you say “Let’s hang out” or “we should hang out sometime” that isn’t really going to get you far. And then when I even specifically say “Ok, when? where?” and you don’t respond, don’t turn around and accuse me of blowing you off! If I am someone you really want to get to know better or already know and want to spend more time with, I am sorry, but it’s going to require more effort than a casual and open-ended “we should chill sometime.” You brought it up – plan something. Pick a place, date, time and if I’m free it will happen. There isn’t a place on my schedule for “someday, somewhere, sometime.” Continue reading Confessions
So, I am thinking about buying a house! The idea is both exciting and terrifying at the same time!!! I haven’t lived in a house since I left my ex husband more than 11 years ago, and that house was on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. As a single mom, there are always things I wish I could do differently, better. Things I wish I could give my kids that I just haven’t been able to, and raising them in a house, in a neighborhood has always been one of those things. Having a place they can permanently call home, that we can add our own touches to and make our own. That we can own a dog without someone saying no, can have a real Christmas tree without someone saying no, can paint the walls whatever color we want. Can get to know our neighbors and feel that sense of community that just seems to be missing when you bounce from one apartment to the next.
At the same time, it is terrifying, the level of responsibility! Right now if my garbage disposal breaks or my fridge burns out, that’s on someone else’s dime to fix. I don’t have a yard to enjoy, but I also don’t have yard work. I thought about a townhome, the ones in my price range seem so much nicer than the single-family homes in my price range, but then you’re adding $300 or so in association fees a month on top of the mortgage and I can’t afford that. I’m struggling to make ends meet as it is, would buying a house make things worse? Or would I spend less on outside entertainment to cure my never-ending boredom, if I had a home to focus on? The thought of having a space big enough to have people over for birthdays, dinners, drinks, instead of always having to go out is enticing, maybe I’d become a homebody! It would definitely quench my non-stop daydreaming about moving out of Minnesota, I’d become rooted here, at least for another eight years. And, if I stayed beyond that, my girls would have a place to come home to.
Waiting now to hear back from the loan officer. This internal dialogue in my brain, half of me hoping she approves me so I can start looking today – half of me hoping she says I have lots of work to do to get my credit score up first!
So, as coworkers and I are packaging pasta today at a volunteer event, one of my coworkers is asking people “what’s your story?” We meet a guy who grew up in Minnesota, went to college in Minnesota, met a girl in college, married her and now they’re raising two sons out in the suburbs. He’s got a nice office job, his wife’s a teacher, there is talk of parents and in-laws who are still married, teaching kids to ride bikes, date nights.
And then…the question eventually turns to me. Jennifer…What’s your story? And I cringe. Continue reading My Story