Life Is a Bumpy Ride.

bumpy-ride

Hello all!

Life has been bumpy these last few weeks (months is it now?).  Things have NOT turned out at all close to how I planned them.

Employment.  Yes, I resigned. Now that I’m out, I realize I made the right decision for my sanity and physical health.  And boy, do I looooovvvveee not working (I still keep plenty busy, it’s like I have a full time job taking care of me!) .  But I am not independently wealthy.  My home in CA has not sold (see below) and I don’t have enough savings to support myself for an extended period of time…so my dreams to go back to school are on the back-burner and I need to get job (yes, that heart wrenching wailing in the background is me).  Deep sadness set in… and I got through it.  I put on my big girl pants, assessed what I want to do (no more Customer Success, it’s a thankless, shit job – more on this in a later post).  I figured out what I want to do and the kind of companies I want to work for. Married these two… and voila, found a a job.  I signed an offer of employment this week. It is a bittersweet moment for me.

  • I love the company and what they are doing.
  • Every person I met was wicked smart and incredibly nice.
  • I believe they will be tremendously success at what they do (yes, another startup).
  • I know I can be successful in the role and there is a lot of room for growth.

The not so great part?

  • I have to go back to work (boo), and
  • I have to move back to the Bay Area…

Yes, the cats and I will be moving back to the Bay Area, at least for the first 6 months of 2019.  Not at all sure what this looks like or how it is going to happen… I just know that it has to happen. That I need to make it happen.

 

O.k.. 2nd big unexpected turn.  Retirement.  My House in CA.  It has not sold.  It’s been on the market since Oct. 17, 2018. I received one low ball offer which I declined.  It has been on the market long enough that folks think something is wrong with it.  As of now,  I own and am paying the mortgage on an empty house in California (not a cheap endeavor).

Here is the sad truth.  I knew the market turning in Northern CA back in early Summer.  I could feel it (I study real estate in my spare time). I approached the agent in June 2018. I was ready to go.  But I let my realtor talk me into two things that I regret. I only bring this up as to remind you that you should always trust your instincts.  AT 47, I wonder why I discount my intuition. Most of the time (if not all times), the trouble I experience in life is because I DID NOT trust my gut. Shame on me.

So the two worst pieces of advice that I followed are:

  1. Remove tenants and stage the house.  I had wonderful tenants. The lived cleanly and took very good care of the property.  They wanted to stay in the home while it was up for sale – they agreed to cooperate with the agent and all showings. My agent said that it was not best for a home to be occupied during a sale.  So against my better judgement, I gave the tenants 60 days notice to move out. It pains me to know that I am paying a mortgage and the costs to stage a home just so it  looks like its lived in.  The irony is not lost on me.
  2. Turn town an private offer – “you are better off listing your home”.  The tenants that moved out wanted to purchase the home. They made a healthy offer.  The realtor recommended that I do not accept their offer and that I put the house on the open market as I am more likely to get more $$ if there are competing bids.  Yes, there is truth to his statement, but it is not the norm.  Not sure why he did this, he probably would have made more commission by representing the both of us in this transaction.

I feel like someone who’s profession it is to read and know the market would NOT offer this advice given the market conditions.   If I were to do this again, I would do it my way, and if the realtor didn’t like it, I would find another realtor.

Anywhoo… the house has not sold, I just put it on the rental market.  Please cross your fingers and toes that I get amazing tenants soon.

 

Last but not least, I am living through a home remodel in my home in UtahI am immersed in it.  It started the week before Thanksgiving.  The project is to remodel 2 bathrooms.   The first bathroom, the guest bathroom, was demolished the Friday before Thanksgiving.  It is scheduled to be complete by Friday, Dec. 14th.  That will be exactly 2 weeks late, which means the 2nd bathroom remodel is delayed, not set to start until the guest bathroom is done (I need at least one toilet and shower).  This has a direct and negative impact on my schedule now that I have to move for my job (see above).

I do love the fact that I’m doing the remodel and that I found a contractor I trust, but shit, this is hard.  It is so dirty and messy, it cannot be good to breathe in all the fumes and particles.

Cost wise, I’m on budget on materials and labor…

  1. The contractor and I agreed to a fixed labor amount for the totality of each project, so the longer the project goes, the more it eats into his profits.  My guess is that the delay in the first bathroom can be made up on the 2nd bathroom..  He now has intimate knowledge of how the house was constructed and what to expect. FYI – the delay is NOT due to me – all items, parts, pieces, and the like are available to him.  Any timing delays have been due to lack of detail on his part. As of now he has NOT asked me for more $$.
  2. Cost of items are on target with my expectations.  I am a bargain shopper and have been cost conscious.  It helps that I know exactly what I want, so finding it on sale is easy, especially during the holidays.  🙂  BTW, Amazon is AMAZING.  I found some of the best deals on Amazon – prices were competitive, but shipping (2 day prime, hell yes!) was what sealed the deal.  When I say items, I mean tubs, toilets, shower sets, etc… construction stuff.  It’s insane what you can find on Amazon and the prices are very very competitive.

FYI – I spent a LOT of time trying to shop locally to little avail.  Its too bad as I do not want a world where we don’t have local options…

 

All of these elements is not what I expected or envisioned for myself.  But this is how the cards are folding for me.  I have made decisions – the best decisions I can based on my options at this point – so now it’s a matter of moving forward.

Ever forward.

I have so much more to share, but this is a lot to absorb in one post.  For those of you that I owe a response to, I’m sorry for my delayed response.  I have been super busy and a bit overwhelmed and stressed with everything going on.

Last but certainly not least, please keep your comments and words of encouragement coming. Hearing from you makes a difference to me -makes me feel connected, tethered, to others…    so thank you for those that have reached out. I greatly appreciate it!!

xoxo.

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Spending A Few Nights In.

2013_03_Sophie_and_ZoeyI FINALLY heard from FreeBird.  I sent her a few emails AND actually left a VM (I hate voicemail and recorded messages in general) for her to no avail.  I was so worried about her!  Now I know that she is not only O.K., but she is fabulous!  Life is changing for her, for the better, and she is going to be moving closer to me… since it’s all about me, how fabulous is this?!?  I will be seeing her soon, possibly next Friday.

I’ve also spent the last few nights in. With myself.  I should have worked both nights, or unpacked, done laundry, cleaned the house, etc., but instead I sautéed some veggies, made some cupcakes, drank a lot of wine, watched a season of Mad Men, and now finishing up a season of Parks And Recreation.  Tonight’s going to be a late night as I can’t procrastinate any longer – I have a lot of status reports due to my management by noon tomorrow.

A few thoughts that have run through my head:

  • I went to lunch today with my colleagues and asked the waitress about the treatment of the farm animals that are now meat on their menu. I asked in a nice way, but yes, I’m still on my non-violence to farm animals kick.  My stomach still turns thinking about what the chicks, pigs, and cows endure.
  • I think I’m over my jet lag.  Got up at 8am this morning and heading to bed soon.
  • Since my new diet (sans meat) and dairy (I hate milk but I love yogurt and cheese),  I’ve not had any stomach issues.

Another thought that is constantly on my mind –  Money and Relationships.  The furniture in my current cottage was purchased at yard sales or on Craigslist. The entire living room cost me $170. Why was I so frugal?  Because I was $3000 dollars away from being homeless.  If I had lost my job in Nov. ’13, I would have been living on C-Licious’ couch.  If I hadn’t rented out my house OR my condo in Utah, I’m sure one, or both of these places would be in foreclosure right now.   I feel super lucky to have survived.  Things have improved for me in the sense that I have more of a cash cushion now (not much, but more) but I still worry sick about it.  All the time. Every minute of every day.  I will be working and all of a sudden I will have a panic attack about it.  I’m done with this level of stress.  This is why my major NYR this year is to get as debt-free as possible.  I plan to pay off all my debt and sell all my non-CA properties so that all I have is my CA home mortgage.  That way if I ever get in a bad place again, I’ll be able to handle it on my current salary.  Once I get rid of the debt, I’m back to my saving ways.

For those of you who don’t know, I purchased and remodeled the house of my dreams. It’s on a big lot, or what is considered a big lot in Northern CA.  I have so many dreams, so many plans….. I  love this house.  BUT I don’t live there. I rent it out. I live in a tiny 1 bedroom cottage at the back of a small cottage.  It’s a converted garage.  Makes me want to convert my garage to a studio/1 bedroom… which I will do after I a) get debt free, and b) have a large cash cushion.

So where is this story going?  ATrain offered to buy me a couch and I took him up on it.  Just as I’m trying to make a break, to get some space from him and our relationship, he offers to make my life a little bit easier, and I wasn’t able to say no.  My current couch needs to be re-upholstered – it needs new cushions and fabric. Its cheaper to re-upholster the current couch than a buy a new couch, but I can afford neither.  ATrain gave me money for a new couch (he doesn’t like the old couch).  I officially ordered the new couch yesterday. It will be here in 3 weeks. It’s exactly what I want –  a couch with chaise in the exact color I want.  I’ve never had exactly what I wanted before… I’m giddy with excitement, but at the same time I’m stressed and overwhelmed by the expectations that I think it will bring.  I do plan to resell all my living room furniture to help pay for the couch, but even if I break even, its pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of my new couch.

O.k. enough procrastination.  I’ve got to get my status reports done. I’ll get it done.  AND I do have a date tomorrow, with my girlfriend Hannah – we are going to a charity event, set up and paid for by ATrain, but still, it’s an opportunity to get dressed up and go out!  I’ll take pictures and share what I can…

Moral of the story – even while sitting at home I can find plenty to do that doesn’t include work or housecleaning. 😉