Ok, I started this blog over a year ago because I was really feeling stuck. I was not happy in my job, I didn't (and still don't) like where we live, and my life circumstances had taken me to a very lonely and isolated place. I was so busy just getting through each day that I could never find time for myself, let alone my friends or outside interests.
I went back and read some of my posts from the past year and can't help but feel thankful for all the ways things have improved. There have been some major bumps along the way, but overall I think I've done a fairly good job of living up to my blog's title.
With one exception...
One huge, suffocating issue that keeps me feeling more "stuck" than anything else (now that I ditched my teaching gig)...
Home ownership. Or more precisely, my inability to get us into a home of our own. Our timing has been famously off for the past ten years. It's been a series of missed opportunities and risks not taken.
I have beaten myself up for a decade over the fact that my children have yet to experience the simple joy of picking out a paint color for their bedrooms because, you know, we're just renting.
As a teacher, I often overheard colleagues make comments about this family, or that child. How little Patrick is below grade level and struggling and oh, what do you expect, they're renters...comments that unintentionally lump all non-home-owning parents into one big group of undereducated, ignorant losers who don't read with their children or support their educations. These were coworkers and friends who I love dearly, but whose comments sometime really stung. They reminded me of all the ways that I - with my Master's degree and full time job - felt like just another loser parent.
Spending most of the past ten years in one of the costliest real estate markets in the nation did not help. Neither did the fact that I was a teacher (with massive student loans hanging over me), and my husband was a social worker (ditto the loans for him as well). Two well-educated, hardworking, criminally underpaid professionals trying to make a difference in the lives of others. Yeah, we couldn't buy a house in California. Losers.
We relocated to Arizona in 2006, in the hopes of finding ourselves in a more affordable situation. It was a bit of a mistake. Again...bad timing. We hit the very top of the housing market with the timing of our move.
Here's where it gets good though.
Something kept us from pulling the trigger on purchasing a home in 2006. A gut feeling perhaps? A nagging voice in the backs of our heads that said this was not a good idea? Yes, it was something like that.
Thank God we did not!
The market tanked in a bigger way here than just about anywhere in the country. If we had purchased in 2006, we'd be so upside down on a mortgage it would be scary. I guess someone was looking out for us.
So now here we are, with a favorable market and a great loan option available to us thanks to my husband's status as an enrolled member of a Federally recognized Native American tribe (thank you Section 184!). We are approved!
Now the fun begins. We want to take a few more weeks to clean up some loose ends with old medical bills that were misreported to the credit bureau in order to guarantee we get the lowest possible rate, but soon we will be shopping for a home of our own!