Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New Lease On Life

First visit to the splash park this summer.  I
don't know why I waited so long.  She loved it!
Six months ago, our first year lease was up in this apartment and the paperwork was on our door to let them know if we were going to stay or go.  Talk about pressure!  We didn't know what to do.  Do we want to stay?  No way.  Do we have to stay?  I'm not sure.  What is best for us?  What is best for Kinley?  We decided at the last minute, that we would stay.  But only six more months.  That's what we told ourselves.  That six month extension would bring us to August and by then we would know what school district I would be working in and be able to be doing our house search.  And then, we could maybe extend it one more month just to get us extra time to move into the house.
On Friday, the notice came back.  Those six months came and went so fast.  And here we are again.  Not only is this a reminder of what didn't happen in the last six months, but it's a slap in the face as to what will we do now.

We really don't want to stay, but can't realistically leave either.  I still don't have a job.  And it's not looking too promising for fall either.  I can't even get the subbing coordinator to call me back to ensure that I am on the sub list for fall.  I am so over it with the teaching drama.  I started applying in other fields and am holding out hope for those options.

The stress of not being where we want to be in life, and the dread of resigning a lease to lock us in a "home" where we don't want to be was really taking a toll.  We were angry.  Our communication was nonexistent.  It was just not a good situation.  I remembered back to our marital counseling last year and knew that we were back in our pattern of not fixing or addressing what was wrong.  So on a whim, I asked a close friend to keep K for a few hours so that we could do dinner and talk this through.

Over dinner (and a margarita or two) we discussed our feelings about things.  We discussed moving.  We discussed staying.  We discussed options.  But most of all, we talked.  We needed to talk.  Moving crossed both of our minds.  Let's face it, we moved up here to better our lives--better Kinley's life.  And we're apartment locked.  That's not what we wanted for her or us.  But moving back would worsen our job situation for both of us.  Sure, we still own a house down there (but it's rented out through September and we already sent out the new lease).  We have friends and family down there.  It was an option considered.

But we have a pattern.  We don't hunker down and brave the storm.  When life gets down and we feel defeated, we leave.  We left Chicago-land before we were married because I was overwhelmed and just couldn't take it.  We then left southern IL because his job wasn't what it was supposed to be and the new jobs up here promised so much more for our family.  So we left.  And here we are again, not living how we expected to, and we discuss moving.  It has to stop.  We have to stop the cycle of just up and moving when we aren't getting things EXACTLY how we want them to be.  Most importantly, don't we want to teach Kinley to persevere through the tough times?

Sure we don't want her raised in an apartment.  But we won't be here forever (I hope not, anyway).  We have to brave through another lease and get over it.  I seriously wanted to drive over to the local shelter that night and talk to some of the people living with their children with no home.  no apartment.  How boo-hoo will we be then?  It's time to start being thankful for all that we do have and stop crying over what we don't have.
"I want to take my rest time with Monsters."
Monsters, Inc.  Her favorite movie.
She lasted all of twenty minutes before she was out.
Connie (the budget coach) told us that we will be in a great place to buy a house by the time that Kage is in the first grade.  That's when it starts to matter.  Yeah, that sucks.  That is a long time.  But in the big picture, it really isn't.  And won't we appreciate it so much more after enduring these years of hard work and perseverance?

I'm sure that I'll have to pep talk myself many times over during these years of a strict lifestyle.  But if that's what it takes...

We decided that we're going to resign for another year.  A full year.  But only because each time we resign, they raise the rent.  We are now going to be paying $1090 a month for a rinky dink two bedroom.  When we initially moved in, it was $995.  So in a year and a half we have gone up that much.  Crazy, right?

As another option, I did look into renting a house, but they just really aren't in our budget.  We can't find something decent for less than $1500 a month--and then the utilities on a house are so much greater than our tiny apartment.  To be able to live within our means and pay off the debt with the intensity that we are, we have to hunker down and do what's right.  Not what's fun.

Living within your means takes great strength.  Sure we could get a loan, buy a house, struggle and possibly lose.  But why do that to ourselves?  God speaks in different ways.  Right after I wrote this post, the K-Love Morning Show  Facebook page posted this status:

"Walking through a home under foreclosure, on one wall I saw the names of 3 children and their height measurements. I realized that I need to pray for the families who are losing their homes where great memories were made. Click "like" if you will join us in praying. - Amy"

We are doing the right thing.  As hard as it is, it's the right thing.

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