Welcome to Ask April, a no-nonsense advice column focusing on what it is you can do to correct things that need correcting. While we all know much in life is out of our control, and sometimes, our reaction is all we CAN control- we really do have a lot of personal power, thankfully. Our will is just as important as the wills of others around us, and while we need to be considerate, we also need to make sure others are equally considerate of us. It is my hope that when you write in to me, asking advice, that I can help you make a good decision that somehow improves whatever situation you’ve found yourself in. As with anything I share, I recommend people don’t automatically take my word for anything, but include my advice in with the rest of the things that help them make a decision. I wish you well. Read on.
This is Observational Wisdom.
For a few months now, I have been hyperfocusing on getting our condo ready to sell, so we can buy a house.
I have a ton of reasons for this that I won’t bore you with. Suffice to say, you have likely heard all my reasons from other people before.
I’m a different person than I was back when I house hunted before. I was 25, with my first husband, and had no clue about how earning money or paying bills worked. My first husband resented the hell out of the fact I wanted to move from his small, but inexpensive home into a larger space where I could spread out, decorate, and entertain. His main goal in life was to come home from work, eat a fattening meal, and sit in his recliner, reading, and watching TV until bedtime.
You can imagine, prepping a house to sell, and leaving for showings was very stressful and upsetting for him. You can also imagine going to view perspective new homes was upsetting to him also. It was just too darned much work for him.
We looked at a plethora of houses from midcentury moderns that resembled time capsules, to brand new homes, and everything in-between. I preferred the historic homes in Uptown Westerville, and he threw a fit because he did not want to be responsible for maintaining an older home. He did, finally agree to buy me one, and we had it in contract, but the owners changed their mind and decided to stay put.
The next home we saw I fell in love with was right on the water in a fabulous neighborhood in Blendon Township. I mean, you could cross the street, and be at the dam, and boat launch. I begged for the house. The realtor scared him out of buying it for me because the roof needed some work.
After many viewings, debates, and a lot of tears on my part, we settled on a house five minutes from the water I dearly wanted to live by, and on almost two acres, with woods skirting our yard. It was three times the size of the home we were in, and had a spectacular entertaining area indoors, and out. He didn’t even complain about the fact it had a septic system.
Two-and-a-half years later, he kicked me out to move his mistress in, who he later married.
He bought me a condo worth 50% of what the house was so I would not make his lazy ass move, and he paid for the divorce, and my move, and six months of condo fees. Before you say how generous he was, I will point out the only reason he did so was that I reminded him my name was on the mortgage as well, and if I had to move, HE had to move. He bought me out of the house. I sometimes wish I had fought him, and forced him to sell. I made it too easy for him.
I can’t regret that too much, however, because the man who became my second husband lived in my condo building a few doors over, and I would never have met him had I not allowed my ex to move me into the condo.
I LIKE the condos, but it’s STILL not a house.
I had houses in contract three times between my divorce and today, and things made those all fall through. Not meant to be? Maybe. I still resent the hell out of it.
I have not given up. I am still determined to have a house!
I was looking for different things when I last house hunted. I was young, starting my life, and had big dreams. I wanted to have the most beautiful home, and have a ton of kids. I was Catholic, went to the church weekly, and just wanted to be a good Catholic wife and mother. Nothing else.
Now, I am a born-again Wiccan. I love working, and staying home makes me absolutely crazy. I do art, and tarot readings. I’d like to have my own psychic studio someday.
I would LOVE a family, but I’m damned tired. It’s been 20 years since I got with my first husband. Time flies. I wanted to have kids way back then, and tried. The Universe had other plans. I would work constantly, two jobs at once sometimes, and watch all my friends who saw me marry first have the dream home and children that have been just out of reach for all these years.
Not that I’m bitter or anything.
The house COULD happen, but my current husband wants a brand-new house that needs no work whatsoever. Our budget does not allow for that, and beyond that, I think those are ugly as hell. I want a farmhouse- better if it’s in Uptown Westerville, a garden, and chickens everyplace. We can’t have the “yard birds” in Uptown, and those houses are out of our price range as well. For us, a “ dream house” is just that. A dream, and unless we win the lottery, the kind if house we that is what we WANT it is just not going to happen.
After nearly twenty years, I am very tired of trying. I’m always the one telling people to have faith, keep their eye on the prize, keep trying no matter what, and just suck it up, and keep moving forward. For tonight, I just don’t have it in me.
I will drink some wine, then have some more, and maybe some of the cake I baked tonight, and watch something funny. Then tomorrow, I will continue.
The advice part is- There are going to be times when you are as upset as I am right now, and there is not a thing you can do to change the situation. You are going to have to have a pity party, catch your breath, and then pick your devastated ass up, despite everything, and move forward.
We can’t control everything. We can’t have everything we want, dream of, work for, and, sometimes people can’t even have the things they desperately need. None of it is fair. We can’t change that.
I’m not going to say some dumb shit like ‘Nothing worth having is easy to get.’ Whoever came up with that has a fetish for suffering. I don’t. I will say, though, my personal struggle is not enough to make me quit. After twenty years, I am still trying.
There comes a time when we all have to admit defeat and redirect our energies to something else. Then there are times we are exhausted, and have to give ourselves a break before continuing.
Nobody can decide for you which to do.
During the times you decide to continue, know you are not the only one who is overwhelmed by obstacles. Sometimes, all you can do is remember why you began whatever you began in the first place. I don’t have any sayings I use to motivate myself during times like these. I’m just damned stubborn, and keep going. That’s not always a good thing, but it’s served me well.
Whatever you are exhausted from trying, may you succeed. May success be better than you had hoped it to be, and may your success create further successes in all aspects of your life.