Still Here

April 08, 2005

I haven't had the desire or inclination to post much here lately. The added stress of trying to limp along financially until the closing on our house, and worries over whether we'll be able to move out of this apartment soon have taken most of the wind out of my sails.

We have a solid contract on the house in Illinois. That's the good news. The downside is the buyer is unmotivated to close early. Initially their offer had a contingency - they had to sell their house first - and we were able to keep ours on the market. We got a second offer without a contingency and accept it immediately. The first buyer met the terms of the contract and removed their contingency. They then had a number of inspections completed and produced rather lengthy list of nit-picky details needing attention. We had the option of refusing to address any of the items but ethically and morally we felt we had to at least make a token offer. So we countered with a $500 refund at closing time. Much to our eventual dismay the buyer accepted our terms.

If I were buying a house that needed some repairs, even minor ones, I would want it sooner rather than later. Even without the repairs I would want possession as soon as possible. These buyers aren't motivated that way and it appears we'll have to wait until the original date, June 13th, even though the contract clearly states, "June 13 or earlier." That means three more months of no month and no room for error. Yes there is an end in sight, but somehow that makes the payments all the more bitter rather then providing any relief.

We've been looking at maintenance free homes in the area and are finding several communities we like. It would appear that we aren't the only couple in the world who wants a low-maintenance house. We've found one we really like but unless I can get the job I'm angling for, and get a sign on bonus too, I don't think we'll be able to move just yet. Living here in this apartment has been difficult at best. Neither Michele or I feel entirely safe or at home here. It's like a Residence Inn with our furniture. Oh and noisy intrusive neighbors. If I never, ever have to live with a neighbor through a common wall or ceiling again, it'll be too soon.

For a long time I was looking for anyway possible out of this mess. Even drastic approaches held some appeal to me. In my experience and estimation, talking about all the choices you have, even the foolish or offbeat ones, is the only way to completely clear the emotional table. Leaving some option hidden away is like leaving a wound untreated. It'll begin to fester and eventually infect the whole body with its poison. Consequently I have talked, sometimes openly and sometimes obliquely, about suicide in the last year. It is an option. Not a good one, but certainly there. In talking about it and thinking about it I have been able to evaluate my life very closely and honestly. It has given me a lens I wouldn't have had otherwise.

I am extremely fortunate to share my life with Michele. And no matter how rough current conditions maybe, I will always have her love and support. One of the factors that makes our marriage so strong is that she can be my hero, and I can let her fill that role when I need. We have both leaned on each other a great deal in the last 12 months. Another two or three will see the worst of the financial burden behind us and then maybe I'll start to relax and enjoy myself once again.

For now, it is enough to make it to the end of the day without either going postal at work, or spending some quality time in the garage with the car running.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.