Two Thousand and Eight is finally winding down to a close.
Sitting at my desk, staring out the office window overlooking the park. It’s hard for me to really recall all that has gone on in the past year or so that got me here. I remember being upset, frustrated — angry, even. A lot. However, view now is so nice it all seems to have faded into the distance. Just one thing really reminds me of all that.
Looking back over the past year, it has been one of extreme highs and lows. And I think that may be true for many more people than our family, even. The housing market. A presidential election. The economy. It all seems to be swinging in such wild circles.
When we decided to move back to Tennessee, I knew it was going to be tough selling out house on Fitzhugh in Richmond. I really didn’t know just how tough it was going to be. I had no idea that the country was going to be hitting one of the worst housing markets in its history. Add to that our ever increasing frustrations with our real estate agent and we had a rough time of it. We lost a very large chunk of the equity we’d built up in the home. But then again, there are a lot of people in this country who are in far worse circumstances with their homes and mortgages1. We finally got aligned with the right agent — who sold the home in twelve days. A very large weight off of our shoulders.
We found a decent apartment when we moved down, but we knew it wouldn’t be any place we could live for long. However, having spent the past six years living in a pretty urban environment, moving to Williamson County, TN has been something of a shock to us. We really do love the place but we’re still adjusting to the people here. We found a new subdivision we liked and decided to proceed on having a home built back in April. However, with the threat of not getting our home in Richmond sold by the end of the year, it was hard to get much enjoyment out of watching our home be built.
Over the coming few months, we did monitor the progress of the new house. As it drew near completion, we got the word that we had a buyer in Richmond. All seemed well.
Then, we learned that some changes in the mortgage industry which had come into place recently were going to affect us. We had to move up our sale in Richmond to coincide with the sale here. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem except we only were give four days notice. It took a massive amount of phone calls to lawyers, banks, real estate agents, builders, etc. to get it to happen; but it did. In the end, we turned in the keys to our apartment and closed on two different homes all within about four hours. Oh, this was also the day after what has been called the largest financial collapse in American history since the Great Depression. You might guess that added to our anxiety levels a bit.
But, like I said, those have all passed now. As they were happening, I thought they’d linger much longer but they don’t even seem to phase me at all now. Things aren’t perfect. My job demands even more of my attention. There is a laundry list of things that need to be done in a new house. The dogs need walking three times a day. Ainsley is walking now — which has created a host of new things to have to deal with. However, none of it seems complicated. All of it is wonderfully contained to us and our own abilities — not relying on some person to consider purchasing our old house nor some underwriter to juggle all the dollar signs associated with our lives.
I’m exhausted but I feel content. It’s something I haven’t felt in about a year now. I’m think I’m allowing myself to feel a lot things I’ve been suppressing during all this. Being able to really enjoy watching Ainsley learn and grow. The thrill of watching our new home come together. Sadness of leaving our home in Richmond, which is now really no longer ours. The bittersweet joy of opening a new chapter, but knowing that the old one is closed. I miss our friends in Virginia more than I have since we’ve been gone because now it feels final for this first time.
I don’t know that having all those feelings at once would be something I could have dealt with, but I can say that dragging them out over the course of a year has been extremely difficult. We made it through it somehow, though. And I’m okay with all of it.
But, this roller coaster ride of a year is now pretty much over. Here’s to even better thinks happening in 2009, minus all of the heartache and worrying.Oh, and I almost forgot to mention one last bit of news: we’re going to have another baby in April. Good thing we got a bigger place, huh?
- Ever found yourself thinking renting is throwing away your money? Imagine how it feels when you’ve bought a home — which everyone says is a sound investment and not throwing away your money — only to learn you’ve pretty much been still throwing your money away. Renting is paying for shelter and is most definitely not throwing your money away. Sure you may not own anything at the end of it, but you also don’t have the struggle of ever having to sell the thing, either. [↩]
- I should also point out that during all of this, I ended up having to provide a presentation on some new software to beta testers for work. Putting together an hour-and-a-half presentation on software that isn’t even finished also took up a large portion of my time, as you might well imagine. And though it got off to a very rocky start, I was pleased with the whole thing once it was done. It certainly took my mind off all the other issues going on around us. [↩]