The View Gets Better

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.

I’m exhaust­ed.

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?

  1. 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. []
  2. 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. []