I woke up very early after a restless night (punctuated by thoughts of, "Oh my God, did I really tell the whole internet about it?"). I got up, made coffee, and picked the paper off the front porch.
Though Linda's orders last night were not to think about it all too much until we could all sit down for a strategy session next week, I needed to face my fears. I opened to the classifieds, to see what the rental housing market looks like (if we sell we will need to let our credit repair for a while before we buy something new). There were plenty of houses in nice neighbourhoods within our budget.
I thought how nice it would be to be completely debt-free, and unencumbered by the past. I thought how sad I would be to see other people's children playing in our yard, climbing in our maple tree. I wondered if it would feel okay to put dress up clothes on everyday, go to an office job. I thought about the years I did that, with never anything left over at the end of the day for writing. I thought about all the good people who are proud to do it their whole lives. I thought about all the little ways this house has been withdrawing its energy from us; burned out lightbulbs, the new downstairs water heater that won't stay lit, the finicky ignition on the gas range. I thought about something I heard Christiane Northrup say on a PBS special once: that every so many years we go through a rebirth of sorts, and that it is heralded in the same way literal birth is. The placenta, or support system, or whatever it was that housed and nourished you, begins to shut down, forcing you out into the birth canal.
I let all these thoughts swirl around the bottom of my coffee mug. I turned over the paper, and saw the long list of Foreclosure notices in tiny print. I've never really looked at them before. Buried deep in the legalese were names. Names of real people. People like us, I thought.
It's extremely unlikely that it will be us. We have a range of choices still before us. More possibilities emerging by the hour. But from here, I can see how it happens. I can see how families tip past the point of being able to right themselves again.
This will be my last update on this situation for a while. I'll let you know from the other side of it that all is well. All will be well. In the meantime, I've got a long running list of things I want to write about, and money isn't anywhere on it.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, or just a great day. If you find yourself in the position to reach out and help a family out who is less fortunate than we are, I hope you will.