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When I Have My House

House-buying is hard.  It is scary.  You have to deal with sharks and idiots and your own self doubt and timidity.  You have to worry about money.  You have to worry about making bad decisions.  You have to fight your fear of being locked in and stuck in a situation you fear you can never get out of.  You have to fight the urge to crawl into bed for a hundred years and not come out until the world is less scary again.

But, on the plus side (and I am really trying to find plus sides in my life right now), you get to have a home.  Your own home.  It will be a struggle and new worries will pop up now that you are responsible for everything that goes on within those four walls.  If stuff needs fixing, you have to get it fixed – you can’t just call the property manager and get them to sort it out.  But, by the same token, you can get whoever you want to fix it and WHEN you want them to fix it.  You don’t have to wait three weeks to have a leaky tap sorted.  Granted, you could also be a grown-up and learn how to fix a leaky tap yourself but let’s deal with one thing at a time here!  Baby steps, people, baby steps!

So, this morning, feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed, and sad about having to leave my little rented house and the lovely suburb that has been my haven and my security for the last three years, I started trying to think of all the things that I should see as positives.  And there are lots of them, if I just take the time to really look (and not be such a party-pooping, down-in-the mouth pessimist).

  1. I will have my own home.  I never thought I would accomplish this.  Fifteen years ago, I had about $1000 to my name.  Now I am buying a house.  I have worked hard for this.  I have saved and scrimped and been a total tightwad so that one day I might be able to buy myself a little house that is all mine.  I’m allowing myself a little bit of pride about that.  It’s a big deal.
  2. Having your own place means you can paint walls bright purple if you want to.  I don’t want to, but I can if I want to.  And nobody can stop me.
  3. No more rent inspections.  Hallelujah!
  4. I can get pets!  I get to be crazy old cat lady after all 🙂 Finally!
  5. I can knock as many holes in the walls for picture-hanging as I like.
  6. I can knock out walls altogether if I like.  Although I should probably get a professional to do that.  Not just start swinging a sledgehammer about because I’m bored and there’s nothing on TV or I’ve watched too many episodes of Masters of Flip.
  7. I can have a beautiful garden.  Or let it all die and just have weeds if I like.  It’s my house AND my garden.  I can do what I want.
  8. Nobody can tell me I have to move out.  Except maybe the bank, if I forget to pay my mortgage.  Or my hoarding becomes a real issue and the council condemns my place and tells me I have 30 days to exit.  Don’t laugh – it could happen.
  9. I don’t have to worry about spilling stuff on the carpet, or marking the walls, or breaking stuff.  I don’t plan on doing those things, but if they DO happen, no one is going to get cranky except me.
  10. Because it’s a two-storey, my craft room will be upstairs.  So all my mess and junk and chaos can be contained on one floor.  The ground floor will be neat and tidy and look like a grown-up lives there.  This is my plan.  I’m not very good at following plans, so we shall see how this one pans out.
  11. Financial security.  Nothing is certain in these un-certain times, but equity is something to hold on to.  And I don’t want to be still renting when I am 80, because rents will be like a bazillion dollars higher than they are now and I will be a crazy old cat lady pensioner.  As it is, I will be paying a mortgage until I’m in my 70s.  Which is a little scary.  But I am trying not to think about that right now.  It makes me hyperventilate and feel a bit sick.
  12. I will have an actual spare bedroom.  Not just a couch.  My Mum can come and sleep in an actual bed when she stays.  I can have my nephews and nieces over to stay.  Friends can drop in and stay the night.  I can be a proper hostess.  I can also just hoard more stuff in the spare bedroom.  Let’s not kid ourselves – you know there’s a very real possibility of it happening.
  13. While I’ve been fretting over the thought of being locked in to a mortgage, I should have been calmed by the thought of never having to move again if I choose to stay there long-term.  I hate moving.  It’s the pits.  I’ve moved four times in the last 9 years and also moved three libraries – I’m so over it.  After this month, I never want to see another packing box ever again.  Or at least for a good long while.
  14. I can start decorating properly and figure out what my style is.  I can experiment with colour and designs and really make this home my own.
  15. I can discover a new neighbourhood.  While I am going to miss South Perth dreadfully, I am going to get to know a new neighbourhood and maybe find some awesome spots to walk and eat and catch up with friends.  Maybe there’s some nice parks.  Maybe they have cool shops.  Maybe I will have really great neighbours. I don’t know the area well at all, so I am going to try and be brave and get out there and see what’s what.  And I have a car – I can always drive to South Perth if I am having withdrawal symptoms.
  16. The house will be all mine.  Did I say that already?

So, there’s lots of positives.  I know I am lucky to even be able to purchase a house at all and I am trying to remember that.  Because not everyone is so blessed.  I’m lucky to have always had a roof over my head, whether it be a rented one or my own.  Coincidentally, the roof in the new place has some issues, and I will have to sort them out otherwise I might NOT have a roof over my head but, I can do that.  Because it’s my house and my responsibility.  Roof and all.  See you in 30 years 🙂

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Little Monsters

Lots of little monsters in my head at the moment.  The doubt and fear monsters, the “am I doing the right thing?” monsters, the “what am I doing with my life?” monsters and all the other noisy little beasties that plague my brain. To be honest, I am feeling completely lost and anxious and unsure about everything. I don’t know what the heck I am doing or what I SHOULD be doing or if anything I am doing is right or a waste of time.  I feel like I am not being a good friend or daughter or sister or employee or ANYTHING right now.

The drama with the house purchase continues and is threatening to drive me completely crackers.  It’s been such a long, drawn-out process, with no one on either side seeming in the least bit competent or able to do their job efficiently.  I am trying to keep it together – the last few weeks I have done exactly the opposite and have had several meltdowns and hissy fits – and am attempting to be assertive and in control of the situation.  My natural tendency is to run around, trying to fix everything and do everyone’s job for them.  But not this time – I have to do what is required of me and no more.

So, with house dramas and a sick Mum (my fault – I gave her my lurgy; I’m a terrible daughter), work stress and a general feeling of just wanting to stay in bed forever, the little monsters are running amok.  I haven’t been doing any crafting at all (just can’t settle my brain to it, plus I am packing and culling) and that isn’t good for me either.  So I did some doodling.  The idea of the monsters was on my mind, so that’s what I drew.

If only all worries and scary thoughts could be put on to paper and made less frightening…  I think I could take on this little guy and win.

Hope your day is free from monsters x

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Glad and Worthy Heart & First Homes

I made this card on a cold and blustery day one weekend when I was feeling anti-social and needing some quiet time away from the world.  Which is not uncommon for me, let’s face it.  I could probably do with a regularly-scheduled “quiet day” – wonder if I could work that into my job description at work…

I would like to say I have a glad and worthy heart myself but, at the moment, it’s more of a grateful but very weary and stressed heart.  I’m in the process of buying a house.  It’s a long process.  A long and anxiety-provoking process and I don’t know what I am doing.  Everything seems ridiculously difficult and complicated.  I cannot make decisions at the best of times and so, for something as monumental as buying your first home, I am going completely mental and am stressed to the max.  I’m also very grateful to be in the position to even CONSIDER buying a house.  Not everyone is so lucky.  But I have worked very hard all my adult life and have saved my money and lived within my means and not wracked up any debt or credit card issues.  I didn’t think I would ever be ready to buy a house – didn’t think I would ever be able to afford it on my own or be emotionally ready for the responsibility.  But when are you ever ready for such things?  And that’s what I keep saying to myself – If you wait until you are ready and feeling secure, you will never do it.  

The economy at the moment is pretty dreadful.  Australia has one of the stronger economies in the world but still, it’s in trouble the way the rest of the world is.  My job is not particularly “safe”, although perhaps safer than some other people’s in the organisation.  But if I wait for a “safe” time, I probably won’t be able to afford to buy and, anyway, who knows when that time will be?  Five years from now?  Ten?  I’m in my forties – time is running out for me to get and pay for a mortgage.

So, into the property market I go.  Tentatively and with much fear and trepidation.  I don’t know if I will even end up with the house.  There’s some issues with it that need addressing before I sign off completely, and so the settlement agent is dealing with that. I don’t want to buy a lemon, and I don’t trust the seller’s agent one bit.  He is well dodgy. But it’s altogether scary and I am so anxious.  I keep having little panic attacks where you can’t breathe and you feel really sick.  The kind that make you want to climb under a rock and stay there until it’s all over.

But, if it all works out, I will have a house of my own.  I can have cats (hooray!) and make a lovely garden and decorate how I like and not have to worry about rent inspections.  I will have some financial security for the future and a teeny bit of pride that I actually did this on my own, without help.  I can say “my house” and it will be true.

So, hopefully soon, I will have a glad and relieved heart.  Not sure about the “worthy” part, but hopefully the Universe sees me as somewhat deserving and cuts me some slack!  I need all the help I can get right now, just to stay sane.  Why do people like buying and selling houses???  It’s so tricky and frustrating and HARD!

I hope that wherever you are in life you are settled and happy, secure and at peace with the choices you are making.  And if you know a way to be like that ALL THE TIME, please let me in on the secret!

🙂

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Blogging Challenge – Day Two : Twenty Facts About Me

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I was going to skip this step in the blogging challenge, because I had already done several “Random Facts” posts about myself and I was running out of random… But then I thought “Who am I kidding?  I am completely random!” so I shouldn’t really have any issues with finding things about myself to write about.  Maybe.  Or I could be in for a really difficult and dull time.  And you’re along for the ride, poor things.  Nevertheless, here goes :

Twenty Facts About Me

  1. I don’t like stinky cheeses.  Except for Gorgonzola.  It is a different, refined kind of stinky.
  2. I have terrible balance.  I can’t walk in a straight line.  If I ever get pulled over by the police and asked to do that straight-line-walking thing, they will immediately arrest me for being inebriated.
  3. I am a librarian but I don’t want to be.
  4. I don’t get the whole Brad Pitt thing.  I’m sure he’s a very nice man but I don’t know what all the fuss is about.  I’m sure he wouldn’t think I was all that and a bag of chips either.  Which is fair enough.
  5. There are two TV shows I can watch over and over again and never get bored with – Seinfeld and MASH.
  6. I have a ridiculously large collection of scarves.  The only good thing about Winter is scarves.
  7. I can’t make decisions.
  8. People think I am very stoic, calm and sensible.  I am, in reality, the complete opposite.  Overly emotional, ridiculously anxiety-prone and pretty darn good at catastrophising.
  9. I am a sleep-walker.  Not as much these days but, when I was younger, I would wake up in weird places.
  10. I really don’t like mole rats.  They are the one creature I just can’t get behind.  I’m sure they’re great, and I wouldn’t want them to be extinct or anything, but I find them creepy and gross.  They’re like little hairless nightmares.
  11. I have Gilbert’s Syndrome.  This produces elevated levels of unconjugated bilirubin in my bloodstream.  It doesn’t have any serious affects.  It does, however, make me turn yellow if I am particularly stressed or unwell or fasting.  One of my doctors found out by accident that I had it – he was blood testing for all sorts of things and this turned up.
  12. I can’t stand it when people walk without lifting their feet.  That whole dragging your feet thing – ugh!  Pick your feet up, Schleppy!
  13. When I was six, I fell in the playground and sliced my face open on some wood.  I needed stitches and still have the scar.  I remember walking back to class with blood pouring down my face, and sitting in the car on the way to the hospital with my brother cuddling me but not looking at me because he can’t stand blood.
  14. I used to be in an Academic Extension Program in primary school.  They thought I was smart.  I wasn’t.  I did get awarded Dux of the school when I graduated, but I think there was some sort of error. But I’m not giving it back now.
  15. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 12.  I learnt to fall off one (repeatedly) shortly after that.
  16. I can’t wear high heels.  Just can’t.  Don’t ask me to.
  17. I’m a little bit allergic to wool.
  18. I’m very allergic to the Kardashians.  They bring me out in hives.
  19. I am always cold.
  20. Tea is my favourite thing to drink.  There is no time that is not appropriate for tea, as far as I am concerned.  It is a salve to all that ails me.  Also, cookies generally accompany tea, and that’s never a bad thing.

So that’s it.  I struggled a bit there…there’s not really many things to tell about me.  I’d like to say I have been sky-diving or that I graduated from some prestigious University or that I am curing cancer but, mostly, I am pretty dull.  But that’s that challenge over and done with now!  Onwards and upwards!

Have a great day everyone 🙂

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House Sitting & House Hunting

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been house-sitting this week for a friend (SR) from work, and looking after her two gorgeous wuppets, Sam and Chloe.  They are delightful but a bit nuts (as you would expect from two young labradors!).  I had forgotten how much work dogs are – I don’t mean that in a bad way – and how guilty I feel when I am not entertaining them ha ha.  I stayed home a lot because I didn’t want them to be alone too much and the weather was awful so I wanted them inside in the warm and dry.  I mean, how can you look at this face and put him outside in the cold and wet weather???…….

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They were really good anyway and just liked to be with me, whatever I was doing.  because it was such miserable weather, I actually stayed indoors a lot and watched TV (which I NEVER do normally) – lots of cooking shows and decorating shows and things that basically made me want to eat a lot and paint stuff ha ha.  Sam and Chloe were happy to nap and hang out in the lounge room, with intermittent play times – lots of ball-throwing and mad chasey games around the backyard – before taking another nap.

There is nothing cuter than a sleeping dog 🙂

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Besides house-sitting, I’ve been madly house-HUNTING.  Which is anxiety-inducing and stressful.  I never thought I would be in the position to buy my own home and so I think I haven’t really prepared myself mentally for it.  Everyone keeps telling me how exciting it is and I’m just thinking how scary it is.  And then I feel guilty because I should be grateful I get to even consider buying a house, when some people don’t know where they’ll be sleeping tonight, let alone for years to come.

But I have to think of my future security and the fact that I will probably not be able to afford rent in the decades to come.  I have to put my big girl pants on and be brave and make the commitment and BUY SOMETHING.  But it’s hard.  Borrowing all that money is hard.  Figuring out what neighbourhood to live in is hard.  Making a decision is hard.  I don’t make decisions, I avoid them.  I can’t even decide what colour socks to wear, let alone where I want to live.

Of course, where I will live is very much dependent upon what I can afford.  Which isn’t much.  I can’t afford to buy in my own neighbourhood here, which SUCKS big time because I love it here.  So I am looking at nearby suburbs and faraway suburbs and suburbs I have never even heard of before.

I nearly put an offer on a townhouse last week.  I was all ready to do it.  And then I panicked.  Majorly.  Anxiety-Attack Central.  It didn’t feel right and it all happened too quickly and the seller wanted to settle by the end of June and I have to get out of my rental lease and it will cost me a fortune to do that and AAGHAHAGHGHHHH!  Basically, I had a bit of a conniption.  So, no offer was made.  I will re-look at the property in a couple of months time.  If it’s still there, I will reconsider.  But I think it will sell as it was a pretty good price and in good condition etc.  I regret it a bit, but am also relieved I didn’t go through with it when I wasn’t feeling 100% sure.  I felt the way I did just before I got married – and we all know how THAT turned out!  Sometimes you have to go with your gut.

So, it’s back to the drawing board.  I have banned myself from looking at places for the next couple of months, until I am nearing the end of my lease here.  Then I will be ready, emotionally and financially.  Or I will just find another excuse to not bite the bullet and buy.  It’s just scary.  I’m not good with scary.  I never trust my own instincts with things so don’t know when I am making a sound judgement.  Adulting is hard!

All I know is that I want to feel safe and happy in my home, have room for a cat or two and be able to get to work without too much hassle or commuting time.  If I can win Lotto in the meantime and afford a nice neighbourhood with maybe a cafe strip and pretty streets, that would be a bonus.  Maybe near the River or Ocean, with some friendly-but-not-nosey neighbours and my own lovely garden…I don’t ask for much 🙂

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Culling and Doodling

Firstly, apologies for not posting anything this last week or so.  It was a busy, stressful time and I just lost track of the days.  Plus, I had nothing of interest to say!  Which isn’t unusual for me, let’s be honest.  I’m not exactly a thrilling person to be around (or read about)!  But the last week or two was focused on work stuff and other boring tasks and obligations.  I had some friends and family in hospital too, so that took up some time and brain power.  Basically, I didn’t have the “ooomph” to post anything.

I am currently on annual leave (thank the heavens!) for three weeks.  I just really needed time off – I was feeling like I was going to have a nervous breakdown or punch someone in the face (possibly one of those things, followed by the other).  I had time owing,  so I took it.  I was going to travel to Melbourne and have some time there, but decided to save my money and stay home and sort my shit out.

I have so much I want to do.  Most of it involves culling and cleaning.  LOTS of culling.  I have so much stuff and it is overwhelming me.  Most of it is just clutter and junk and silly little things I can’t get rid of, for whatever reason.  Today I went through my wardrobe (precipitated by me going to the op-shop yesterday and buying more clothes) and sorted tonnes of stuff out.  I made up three big garbage bags full of items I know longer need or want.  Shoes and handbags and pants and skirts and tops and EVERYTHING.  I seem to keep more handbags than I actually will ever need, in case I have a wedding to go to.  What kind of crazy reasoning it that???  If, in the event of being invited to a wedding, I find myself without a suitable handbag, surely I can just go and buy one at the time?  I don’t actually need to keep twenty of them in my house at any given time.  Plus, most of the ones I have are really old now and probably not in style.  Not that that normally bothers me, but it seems a bit ridiculous.

I have put on a lot of weight in the last year or so, so I really needed to bite the bullet and get rid of my “skinnier” clothes that I do not fit in to anymore.  While it pains me, and it does, these items are just sitting around, reminding me that I am a fatty.  I might as well get rid of them and use the promise of being able to buy more when I am thinner as an incentive to lose weight.  So, out they go.  I even have pants from when I was just out of hospital after my meningitis and they are like crazy small sizes.  I will NEVER fit into those again so why keep them?  The op-shop is getting LOTS of stuff from me this week.

I’m also taking the opportunity to sort my remaining clothes in to Summer and Winter stuff – storing the Summer items away in plastic tubs.  There are no in-between seasons for me – I am either freezing cold or warm.  Trans-seasonal does not exist in my house.  So I’m either in shorts or I’m in in thermals and walking around the house wearing a blanket. That’s how I roll.  It is still Autumn here but it may as well be the middle of Winter, as far as I’m concerned.  So, out come the jumpers and cardigans and long pants (ugh – how I loathe pants) and *shudders* jeans.  They all need ironing, mind you, so that’s the next big task.  I hate ironing and avoid it like the plague.  But I am not totally feral, so iron I must, if I don’t want to look creased and prove myself to be failing as an adult yet again.

My craft room will of course be on the list of things that need sorting.  It’s in such a state.  I will have to be brave and get rid of stuff.  I have a few arty-crafty friends who might take it off my hands, otherwise I will box it up and give it to the op-shop as well I guess?

Speaking of crafting…last weekend I spent a few happy hours at a friend’s house, having a lovely card-making day.  It was so nice.  Four of us brought our supplies and things to share and had great fun working away at our own little projects.  I’m not very good at working in a group, to be honest.  I think I am so used to creating on my own that I get a bit self-conscious around other people.  But I had fun anyway and made a couple of cards.  I didn’t bring a lot of supplies with me – I just wanted to finish some things off more than anything.  So I completed a couple of my “doodled” Little Peeps cards and I am reasonably happy with them.  One of the ladies at the table had a Big Shot embossing machine so we were able to have a go with that and create some nice backing papers and card (for example, the dotty white one I used in this Happy Birthday card).  We had some yummy lunch and caught up on each other’s lives and enjoyed some quiet, yet busy creative time.

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I stuffed up the stamping (of the text) in this one but it is ok I suppose…

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I won’t be doing any crafting this week, I don’t think.  I need to knuckle down and sort my life and house out.  I can reward myself later with some mess-making crafting.  For now I have to concentrate on culling and de-cluttering, sorting and organising. Not nearly as much fun, but definitely necessary for my sanity and state of mind.

Sorry for this boring post – just didn’t want to be neglecting my blogging duties altogether.  Have a happy weekend and Happy Anzac Day (tomorrow) to my fellow Aussies and Kiwis!  Lest We Forget x