Internet Explorer users may need to widen their browser windows to span all three columns. Or download Firefox.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website,


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.

Labels: ,


Blogger Vicky said...

I've been through something similar. Not a foreclosure, but money troubles bad enough that measures had to be taken. I've stood with my husband outside of the Trustee's office contemplating whether we should just both get a 2nd job and slowly fix it ourselves or go into that damned office and sign the papers already. We signed. We hid it as best we could from friends. We suffered. But we came out on the other side battered but not beaten. And years later I can finally look back and think that it may have been one of the best things to happen to us. It taught us a lot and has made us better with both money and life. I wish you the best, whatever happens.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

I have nothing to add to the well wishes of your other readers except to say that if you can sell ad space here, you really should. That way, faithful readers have even more incentive to check back often--not to read the ads, but put a few pennies in your pocket.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

I've signed on with Blogher ads. It takes a little while to process, but you'll being seeing them soon. Sorry to sell you guys out, but.... :-)

6:01 PM  
Blogger patsyrose said...

It's a bit difficult to accept but sometimes things happen for a purpose...we come to a fork in the road and are forced to make a choice. Most often, in hindsight, the change in direction was the best thing that could have happened to us.

I know circumstances are hard to handle right now but you'll get through this tough time. And hopefully look back on it as only a blip in your otherwise wonderful life.

Family love and health will give you all the strength you need.

8:47 PM  
Blogger AliBlahBlah said...

There are so many people out there right now (us included) that are going through this, so your candour on the subject is refreshing and comforting. I wish I could tell you it's going to be OK, but I can tell you that your site could be 5% content and 95% ads and I would still read it.

I hope you have a peaceful Thanksgiving. If it's any help at all my husband and I have an agreement that we are NOT to discuss any finances after 6pm, and that goes for worrying about them in the middle of the night too. If you try and make it a personal rule - I will deal with this thought, but not right now, it is a little easier I swear.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Thank you for sharing this part of your life. You are an amazing writer; do not feel bad about taking ads. Your writing is worth so much more than money, but you deserve to be paid for your wonderful work.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Jen K-C said...

I am never sure if you are interested in others experiences but I wanted to tell you that several years ago we were in a similar predicament. Self employment is emotionally and financially exhausting. We were a haircut away from bankruptcy. Today things are better, I just came back from a trip to the States with my children. I thought for awhile I was going to be living under a bridge, I didn't necessarily see the hope but I did know we had options, as you have said. As to writing about it on your blog I would think of it as a cheap form of therapy! I have read several things and I want to call you and say lets go for coffee but I know you have plenty of support in your real life so just hang in there.

I also want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and an even happier birthday!


9:21 AM  
Blogger Kyran said...

jen, I am always interested, and the sharing by others of similar experiences has been really touching and helpful. when something I've written moves others to respond out of their own experience, to see their own life as a story...well, it doesn't get much better than that for me.

I wish we could grab that coffee.


9:46 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Thank you for your honesty and for sharing this part of your life. I love the metaphor about birth--I think it is true--that sometimes we are forced out of a situation that once felt comfy but can no longer sustain--its painful, difficult but if you survive it is a path of growth and beautiful new beginnings. When my husband left me and I was financially a mess, let alone emotionally I wondered how this could be a birth not death. I had no idea the marvels that awaited me on this journey--I couldn't even imagine what I would find. From the other side I can see how it was a birth, magnificent and joyful. Thank you for this and all your posts. I know deep in my heart that all will be well...all will very well indeed. Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart and life journey. May peace be with you this holiday.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Minivan Bohemian said...

The ads won't bother me a bit! I look forward to reading your blog. Someday, I hope to be buying your book...until then, I feel lucky to read the blog entries (ads or no ads.)
thank you for sharing your life with us.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

When we have a foreclosure come through our office (or, even more poignantly, a seller desperately trying to complete a sale before the foreclosure actually takes place, which is MUCH harder than you'd think, once the process has been set in motion), I always, always think of those people, the actual people behind the transaction, with sadness. It's good that we don't have a lot of "flippers" in our area, or I'd be depressed a lot. You just never know what "the story" is. More often than not, it's astronomical medical bills. Someone had to choose health over home. Sometimes it's irresponsible borrowing, sometimes it's irresponsible lending. Sometimes it's not understanding the terms of a subprime mortgage. Sometimes it's just plain misfortune.

But when it comes down to it, aside from the possibility that the event can be a learning experience (is there any other kind of experience?), the "why" doesn't really matter. What matters is what happens next, and that's always what makes me sad in these cases, because I can never know. I just want everyone to be all right.

And you're right--it WILL all be well for you. With your attitude, and your family's love, it can't not be.

3:43 AM  
Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

if you did nothing more in your life than to elicite these beautiful sentiments from your readers, it would be enough. your courage and honesty resonate with people. you bring out our fearlessness. i love you !

6:48 AM  
Blogger cce said...

I wish you some peace in the financial sector this holiday season. We too are being swallowed alive by our house, its mortgage, its maintenance demands. I think that X-mas only exacerbates our feelings of woeful indebtedness. Also, my son has that same owl pictured here in your post. It sits in the window of his room which overlooks our maple tree with it's swing and yellowed leaves that fall by the bunch now that December approaches.

6:15 PM  

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

<< Home