Going ... nowhere. Fast.


Have you ever found yourself working incredibly hard for something that feels very real and yet isn’t real at all? Something that’s this close to being totally concrete, but in reality is just a fantasy?

This, in a nutshell, is my life right now. A life in total turmoil, a life in flux, and yet....nothing has actually changed or is definitely changing. It’s strange, to say the least. The phrase “spinning my wheels” came to mind several times this weekend, as we touched up paint and washed baseboards and cleaned out cluttered closets and boxed a whole lot of our possessions, piling those boxes in the garage until we move to our new home.

Which does not yet exist.

What does exist is this house, the one we’re killing ourselves sprucing up (God in heaven we watch way too much “Designed to Sell” on HGTV), the one that I took one look at two years ago and said, “This is my dream house. I’m buying it and living here forever.”

Two years later, there are boxes marked “Master Bedroom” and “Misc. Kitchen” in the garage, and a pile of old clothes and furniture ready for a garage sale.

So, what happened?

I don’t know. George W. Bush happened, with his God forsaken War to Nowhere that has tanked the economy and ultimately put my husband’s job in jeopardy. And Kostyn happened, which made our long-standing yet not overly serious goal of “moving closer to family” much more, um, serious.

Layoffs have begun at the company Chris works for, and although he’s given them nearly 10 years of time, talent, passion and persistence, he sees the writing on the wall. At some of the company’s other newspapers, his position has been eliminated. We're betting there are more layoffs to come. And with him being the main income (and health insurance) provider, we can’t afford to wait around and hope for the best.

So here we are, thinking this must be the nudge we need to make that move north. And so we begin to plan. Except, oh yeah, he doesn’t have a new job to go to yet, nor do we know when, or even if, he’ll get the ax at work. Plus, in today’s economy, as you may be aware, it is tough to sell a house. So there’s that.

But sell we must, as nobody will pay in rent even close to what our mortgage payment is. So we clean, and we paint, and we de-clutter. We talk to a local Realtor about our options, and we gulp at the commission we have to pay her, and gulp harder when we find out that our neighborhood’s developers have felt the economic crunch too, so much so that they’ve dropped the price of new construction homes. So we paid more for the home we bought used (built in 2004...purchased by us in 2006) than it would cost a new buyer to have built brand new today. Oh, and the average home is sitting on the market for 120 days.

Super.

So, the plan is to get the house on the market, pronto. Find a buyer. Pray to break even. Unload the mortgage, and, thus, the monetary ties to this state. If Chris is still working and the house sells, we’ll rent, save money, and wait. Wait for God to show us where we’re supposed to go.

The obvious fear, of course, is that his job is in fact safe, and that this little fact will be made clear to us, tragically, after we sell my dream house. But the thing is — and I can see my atheist friends shaking their heads at this — I have total faith that it will all work out. God has placed us exactly where we were supposed to be, every step of the way. And he’ll do it again. It might be tight. Great sacrifice might be on the horizon — crimping of styles and tightening of wallets and all of that.

But oh, the daydreams I’ve been having. Of living in a state where one can enjoy the month of August (and June and July and September, for that matter). Of visiting my sisters more than once or twice a year. Of Kostyn growing up with his cousins. Of tailgating with my Penn State family — and their growing families — every single year, more than once a year! Of escaping for an entire weekend to Saratoga to veg on Sheila’s couch, to drink wine and laugh and reminisce, and not have to hop a flight to do it.

Of course, I’ll miss my Lowcountry friends dearly. And I’ll miss the fall here. And the way the drive up Bay Street into downtown Beaufort still makes me sigh with wonder at the beauty of this place.

But we’ll be back. To visit, definitely. Hell, maybe we’ll end up retiring here.
Or, perhaps we won’t leave at all.

Spin, spin, spin.

5 comments:

Mir said...

Hi Robyn,

It's been a long, long time! Kostyn is beyond adorable, and we're glad to see you, Chris and Kostyn are doing well.

Just wanted to let you know that we feel your pain, and we're spinning right alongside you. Chris was laid off last October in the first wave of layoffs here. Completely unexpected and we were blind-sided. What communications/media company eliminates their entire corporate communications department?!

Seven months later, he has started his career outside of journalism, and while we love the mental freedom that comes with job stability, we are spinning and rushing to sell a house we adore in a tough market, move away from friends we will sorely miss, and adjust our kids to life away from everything they know.

It's a sad time to be a journalist, and a hard time to be a parent in the journalism field. Kudos to you guys for getting the jump on that writing on the wall, and we are saddened to hear that life at the Gazette is tantamount to the rest of the industry.

Maybe we'll be able to drop by on our visits to the ADK. :-)

Sheila said...

Amidst all the spinning wheels and confusion and emotional turmoil please know there's at least one person sitting on her couch in Saratoga smiling at the prospect that you may be coming home :) Wishing you guys luck and sending you prayers. It does, somehow, always just end up working out.

Heather said...

I am with you Robyn. You're exactly where God wants you. No matter where you go ... I love ya!

Ian Leslie said...

Amen

Kim said...

Jer-zee! Jer-zee!