Has it really been over a whole year since I last updated the blog?
I'll hit the highlights of what everyone assumes happens when you go radio silent for over a year.
Not pregnant. No baby. Still happily married. Still have the houses. Still renovating one house and have not given up. Not hiding out in a cave wearing a tinfoil hat and completely freaked out about the direction this world is headed in (yet).
Please let me know if I missed another reason.
I stopped writing for one important reason and one silly reason.
Silly reason is: I didn't feel like I was good enough to write a blog and that I should give up. That maybe people were only tuning in to read my horrific grammer and laugh at my excessive comma usage. And that somewhere out there is an ex or frienimy who is saying "I knew Eva was a moron, but man, she's really dumb." I'd hit one of those really introspective points of my life where I examined everything about who I was and what I was potraying to the outside world. And that maybe, it was me and I was the problem. With my excitment, natural enthusiasm (for everything), self centered nature, and tendancy to talk first, think later. So I spent the better part of 2012 hiding from others because I felt like I was so annoying that who would possibly want to hang out with me. My friends slowly stopped getting emails and phone calls. And in turn, the blog suffered. I felt like I couldn't be honest on here because it would just be used for fodder against me and confirming that I was indeed a giant idiot.
It also seemed like other bloggers were just so much better and more than I could ever be. They could craft a long post and have it flow effortlessly along. Their blogs were carefully designed and certainly didn't rely on the standard blogger background. Most importantly, they knew what their style was and I still couldn't pick my style out of a line up. I felt like an imposter.
Important reason: The last half of 2011 was rough house wise. We'd been balancing everything- the primary house, the wee house, building the garage, the beach rental and the college rental for years, and it was getting hard. That was never our plan. We were going to sell the house we live in, use the profit to fix up and then pay down the wee house. The college rents were going to go up with every new set of tenants and the property was going to go up in value as the college accepted more students. Eventually we'd sell and use that profit to pay off our now complete Wee house. Except that pesky little thing called the real estate bubble burst wide open and recession spewed everywhere.
Suddenly we couldn't sell our house for a profit. Or at all.
The rents dropped at our college rental and we had trouble finding renters. All when the town raised our taxes to almost double what were paying before. Our new tenants were the worst we'd ever had, by far.
Construction on the garage was taking longer than we expected, in part because of six months of crappy weather in early 2011. In part because building a garage in your spare time on the weekends, 100% DIY as a husband and wife team, takes time.
Our beach house was hemorrhaging value.
And then I got a raging case of 'I can't keep doing this anymore'. All these houses weren't investments, they were anchors driving us down, doing the very opposite of what they were intended to do. Keeping us from being able to enjoy our lives, building stability early on so we maybe didn't have it as hard later in life. I began to really resent the houses. It got worse after my second nephew was born in June. We were elbows deep into fixing up the college rental and I took a half day off of work to see him the day after he was born. I couldn't even spare the time to go up and see him on a weekend to help my sister and cuddle this new little guy, as Pete and I were spending 14 hour days fixing up the college rental each weekend because we had a hard and fast deadline approaching for the new tenants and their move in date. Every smash of a hammer was just a reminder of what the houses were denying me. Time with my family, time with my husband, and weekends that didn't slip away in a blur of dirt and hard work. Most importantly they kept us from feeling stable. Everything was so strenuous that we knew if one more fly landed, the whole apple cart would tip over and we could lose it all.
That was when, in September of 2011, I lost my shit. Tired of holding it all in and telling myself that things would get better if I just kept at everything, I blew up at Pete. I just couldn't keep going feeling like we were running backwards to catch up. We needed new goals now, since the old ones got ruined by the economy and it was getting more apparent as time went on that things were never going to be the same. Except at the time I don't think I got that across so, uh, clearly. It was mostly high pitched screaming coming from me and then me crying out of frustration. Sometimes you have a fight as a married couple and come out of it feeling productive. We don't fight really, and rarely to that magnitude, but I think this one was cathartic and allowed us to get it all out there. A lot of what I was holding onto was let go, and I felt like we could finally more forward again if we were both on the same page.
So, in summary. The houses were killing us. I'd lost my motivation. 2011 was hard. I gained weight.
2012 dawned after hours of slamming cheap champagne and dancing. It was a new year, and I had a new attitude to go along with it. Because in addition to the dancing and champagne, we went outside and talked for a good long while about our goals for the year, and then us, as a couple and our future. It was heartening. And gave me the motivation I needed for the time yet to come.