Goodbye 2016

I hate to say it but I am so glad Christmas is over! This year nothing came together the way I’d hoped and I felt so guilty over not doing anything besides putting up the tree and countdown calendar.

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I had so many ideas for making the holidays more special but with my mind elsewhere, it didn’t happen so I am grateful now to move on to New Years, to focus on what I want in the future. Earlier this year, I shared this and while most of that still rings true, my main priority right now, with apologies to anyone here only for natural parenting tips, is definitely still working on purging my home of everything we don’t need, anything I can let go of, send on to its new life, to give my children a better one of their own.

I have tried to keep the common areas of our home, those places guests would see upon visiting, cleaned for months, figuring that I would actually invite people over if it didn’t need much effort to be presentable. That hasn’t happened though, and slowly it’s creeped its way out of the “hotspots” (as flylady would call them), and is interfering with our ability to live a better life, so it’s time to put out the fire. I have read more books and tried more methods than I care to admit but now it’s time for me to figure this out once and for all, so that I can move on to those things I *want* to be priorities in my life vs those that *need* to be.

For the past couple years, I have been trying to find a new rental property to move to, I’ve been looking preferably for a mobile home or some small single family, but there aren’t even apartments for what my rental assistance will cover anymore and I have been so depressed about not moving anytime soon that I stopped doing the moving boxes inventory. I finally decided though that finding a rental is never going to work, Portland’s jacked their prices so high that they have screwed the rest of us. Rent’s in Auburn that were in the 6-700 range, that I could even see as reasonably being 750/800, are now being listed for 900+ with titles like “Don’t pay Portland prices, 30 minute commute from Auburn!” so we’ve missed our chance… but I am finally okay with staying here until we find a place of our own, whenever that happens. That leaves our only option being to continue working on repairing our credit, followed by somehow saving enough to buy land and get started, or a down payment if we can find some way to get an unconventional loan to cover land, a kit house that may or may not be connected to the grid, and all the stuff to get it running; solar panels, geothermal supplies, the trees & bushes and supplies for an underground greenhouse to grow food all year round; and everything in between, if that type of loan even exists. If not, we’ll have to somehow come up with the $50-100K that I believe we could accomplish enough to move there and likely to finish it exactly the way I’ve dreamed.

Building our self-sustainable (both environmentally and in regards to our finances) home in time for it to still be “home” to Shawn is now my life’s goal. Considering I can’t even get a Walmart credit card though, I started focusing on clearing my credit report about a year and a half ago or so. I raised my credit score from below 420 to about 600! I have a few thousand dollars in debt and about a grand in student loans that I am trying to have forgiven through TPD and then we can start saving money instead of paying off debt.

I was extremely skeptical of Credit Karma when I first started seeing the commercials a few years back but I figured, my credit can’t get any worse so I signed up. Giving an app information like my birthdate and social security number was ridiculously anxiety provoking but now, I am beyond thrilled to have pushed through. Being able to see everything laid out, with tips and resources to decide on a next step and even recommendations for ways to help, like opening a secured credit card, have proven invaluable in this process.

Looking at the big picture, seeing everything that needs to be accomplished before we could ever start shopping for a home/land causes such overwhelming feelings, like it will never happen, my kids will never have something as simple as a backyard to play in. Certainly not remotely the image I had in my mind when contemplating my life as a child, even in high school, but a lot of my life is not the way I imagined and everything happens for a reason. A house is a once in a lifetime purchase so I have chosen to believe that if I had somehow had a life in which we had owned a home before this point, we would have lost it, or maybe we wouldn’t still be together or have been blessed with Rohan, or one of a million other scenarios. Our dream home is meant to be and somehow, we will make it there, I have to believe that.

Breaking down “minimize our belongings” into manageable steps, has been next to impossible thus far, but now I believe it’s because I’ve always tried to do it the “right” way instead of my own way, a way that makes sense to me, even if it doesn’t to anyone else. Therefore, I’ve decided that my first goal is going to be the living room. Derek cleaned out Aerowyn’s tank a few nights ago, after Shawn cleaned off the tote that holds our holiday decorations so I can get them put away, but I haven’t yet so it kinda looks like a bomb went off in there on Christmas since the tree is still up and there are presents everywhere. However, since step by step planning is most definitely not my strong suit, instead of writing out what I plan to do, here is a before picture.

livingroombefore

I was going to wait until I had an “after” shot but in reality my home is always a work in progress at the moment so if I don’t share it now, I may not ever share it at all. I won’t be finished by tomorrow but I can promise an update. I also will be adding one previous post as soon as it is finished that I have been working on this week but I realized I am doing it again, overthinking things and then feeling guilty about promising things here so I’m not going to have that “post every single day” thing hanging over my head. I will be here but not necessarily every day, except tomorrow, I will update tomorrow, promise 😉

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