Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Yeah. Even more of them. Hopefully not tomorrow or next week, but they're happening all the same. Change is not necessarily bad, but it's...change. Something new to cope with. Another flurry of activity and angst before things settle into...what?

We've talked and talked. I've resisted, acquiesced and resisted again. I know, deep down, that I can't afford this house, that my better than average ECE salary is enough to rent a really nice place, but not enough for mortgage, plus taxes, plus the hefty utility bills that come with owning a barely-insulated 100 year old house. I can't keep up with cleaning a house that has four levels, from attic to basement. I love my eldest but she really needs to be renting her own place - when she's up and about. I could learn to sand and stain, install windows, caulk, replace flooring - I am capable, but I must do all this in my nonexistent spare time, in between working full time, parenting, and trying to live a life.

But I love my house. I love the creaky wood floors, and my amazing kitchen, with pull-out cupboards and lots of counter space. I love my main-floor laundry room, the big window in front that looks out onto the street. I love the old-fashioned front porch, and the tiny walled-in back yard.

I love my gardens. I put a lot of work into my garden, and I don't know what I'll do if I can't stick my hands in dirt once in a while.

I need to let go. It's too much for me to handle. But it's so hard.....this has been my home for four years, I've put down so many roots, and when I transplant, all those little connections will be lost, or pulled out painfully. It will take time for the dirt to settle, for me to feel at home in new surroundings.

Our finances are still tied together, and will be for the next few months to come. But he's offered to buy me out - take over the house, while we split the equity. That would (hopefully) put some money in my pocket, and even if that amount is small, I will be debt-free, and fully independent. I need this. I need to make my own decisions, I need the freedom of living only for myself and my kids.

The ideal plan is for me to find something in the neighbourhood - so that we can both be close to Em and her school. There are lots of lovely old duplexed houses around here, but there are things I need. Ground floor access. A yard for the dog and for Em. Enough space so that she can play and live comfortably. Storage. Laundry. Trees. Perhaps a bit of earth to dig in - or closer proximity to the nearest community garden.

Em gets to have a place to live with both parents. Right now she lives with me and visits her dad - occasional overnights, but his living situation doesn't allow for more than that. I'm still the primary, but she needs her own room in his home, she needs her own space. But I worry about the effects of another change on her - she has gone through so many changes lately, and another one would be hard. Change is always hard for her - I am starting to recognize that she has some special needs, and she needs lots of love, encouragement and support. More about that in another post.

There will be compensations. Maybe I can take a real vacation. I'll have more time (hello notebook - pen -ambitions). I have lots of warning, so I'll be able to find the home that I want. I won't be rushing around at the last minute and taking whatever I can find.

But it's hard. Saying goodbye all over again. Does it ever stop?

(I'll post pictures when I get home from work)


Writes Like A Girl said...

My girl friend sent me a link to your blog today. We have a lot in common. I only read this one post but I look forward to reading more.

Earth Muffin said...

Change is hard, but usually it's a good thing. I hope you find exactly the kind of place you're looking for.

Maria said...

Personally, I think that change is nearly always good. And focus on the will find a grand new place to rent, something perfect and small and cozy.

I never thought that I could be happy in an ancient house with a huge dinosaur of a boiler in the basement and radiator heat, but I have come to enjoy it. I think you just have to focus on the joy that will come with the new.

And children are FAR more resilient than we think.

Sweet Melissa said...

Nothing stays the same. I sold my home of ten years six months ago & I have so much more time available to live. I too loved my home, my flowers, the decks I built...I had everything just the way I wanted it. It was such a tough decision to leave it. So now the kids & I are in a new state & I don't miss the upkeep of the house & yard one bit. You will find that you have more quality time to help your daughter with all the changes in your lives. Kids really can roll with the changes better than adults. Less upkeep on the home = more time with her & for yourself.

Janet said...

I think you'll find a new space to love, perhaps in a different way but still love.

Change is the only thing in our lives that is permanent.

Sinnerviewer said...

It was easy for me to leave our house because we only had a year in it together and he bought it without me. It was so symbolic of that relationship and I am glad to be gone.

Hahn at Home said...

I let my ex buy me out and I have to say, I've never been happier.