In Xanadu did Kublah Khan a stately pleasure dome decree

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Day 2016

Like other things with Napoleon, this one proved a blind alley and resulted in another unpleasant interaction. Still, it was a useful exercise, giving Me opportunity to picture other paths forward, re-opening My mind to the reality that waking up each day in My bed in this house is an affirmative choice. I am CEO of My life. I run it, it does not run on its own. It's handy to be reminded of My agency in financial matters occasionally. Not much of a silver lining but it's there.

Now I am visiting My best-friend-forever (BFF) and her two daughters, one of whom is My god-daughter and special needs. I had tasked boy t with providing a wakeup call at 4:15 to ensure I did not miss My 6am flight to get here on, what else, a non-refundable ticket. When the phone roused Me from an light and unsatisfying sleep, he seemed bizarrely alert for the hour and I soon learned why. Fearing he would fail in his mission, he chose to forego sleep entirely and had stayed up through the night. That, friends, is what we in the M/s community call the slave heart. I was very touched by the depth of his commitment to My needs. M/s circles talk about alignment of the /s with Master, and he certain works hard to keep himself in alignment with My goals. It's not flashy of course, but it is really a privilege to receive such service, to have someone who believes Me worthy of that level of dedication. It inspires Me to ensure I indeed am worthy.

So with that as backdrop, I just cleaned My BFF's kitchen, including the stove. She is a single mom and works heroically on many fronts, I thought she would enjoy waking up to some Mary Poppins action, things magically in their place, which otherwise never happens. So My slave got Me here... so I could do someone else's dishes. 

Makes Me chuckle.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Anything Can Happen, Sometimes Does

I had a wonderful trip visiting john and Madame. Bliss. Idyll. Flawless. A small mountain was hiked. A lovely B&B was inhabited. Fine food and drink and laughs and of course orgasmic fun times were had (not always at top volume). A ferry was taken, and island was explored. Naked photos were staged, beaches combed, shells collected. It was fucking delightful. And I came home feeling for the first time that I can picture a life for Myself elsewhere. Twenty years I have lived in this city and always said I couldn't think of anywhere else I could see Myself. Until now.

The logistics of Elsewhere are a worthy challenge. I own a house. I am still working the Get Out Of Debt ("Good") job to pay off student loans. I made a 10 year plan five years ago to get the damned things paid off before I turn 53 (yes... fifty three) and there's five years to go. But there are days I don't know if I will survive the remaining five. The personal toll of the GOOD job is terribly high some days.

Back in August I had a wicked problem with the neighbor on My downhill side in our block of rowhouses. He hired a questionable waterproofing contractor, and they sought a building permit to dig out his dirt crawlspace to become a man cave. The city put a note on the permit application saying that before the permit could proceed through the process, they needed My written and notarized consent -- mind you, not merely written notarized consent to proceed with the project, but My consent as to all of the design, engineering and implementation specifics. Why? Because their plan was to dig under our shared structual foundation wall and chimney (digging about 6" over the property line into My property), and undercut the existing 2' foundation on dirt to build an additional 8' foundation wall beneath it. I reviewed the extremely sketchy, conceptual, and un-official plans with a lawyer friend and an architect friend, and obviously, said no. The neighbor - let's call him Napoleon - then didn't speak to Me for two months, and when he did, near shouted at Me the following accusation: "It's your fault I have to buy an $800,000 house!". It went downhill from there and we had a very tense talk over the fence for half an hour, in which he told Me I was the worst neighbor ever, a bad person generally (so controlling!), he was done with Me, and I should no long speak to him as he certainly won't be replying. Napoleon ominously wished Me good luck getting along with the future renters. After departing, I felt inspired to text him and say that if he really doesn't want to live next Me, I could be persuaded to sell for the right price. He replied that would not be necessary, and for a time there were signs he might be fixing the joint up to rent.  Yet today several weeks later, he unexpectedly texted to inquire what my sale price might be.

So now suddenly My mind is whirling with pros and cons, hopes, risk calculations, math. I need to come up with a good number to open the negotiation with and get clear about My negotiation floor. I need to grapple with the emotions around possibly leaving My wonderful sturdy sheltering home before I feel ready, before the planned date some years hence, before it ever got finished.  I love this place, My snug foothold in the world. It means so much to Me. At the same time, it was always meant to give Me financial freedom, get Me out from under the student loans. If...if... this actually worked, I could be free within weeks rather than 5 years from now. That's extremely enticing. I need to grapple with selling a house, about which I know ZERO, figure out the FSBO thing, and the wackiness around him paying Me well above appraisal as an inducement to move (mid-winter!), which likely will make it impossible to get a mortgage so the inducement might need to be a separate side agreement. Oh, and the tax implications of all of the above.

Part of Me wants to push for the biggest number I can get, since I would be foregoing the benefit of the very smart decision to buy in this place at this time for the price I paid. That was a near genius move it's not likely one could repeat on demand. Part of Me is ready to be done with the downsides of homeownership, but not the joys. I love My land, My garden, My lawn chairs, My garden. Part of Me wants to blow up My life and move to the delightful land I recently visited, total reinvention of mythic Phoenix scale. Part of Me could be happy with just killing the student loans and working the same job for a while, without the psychic burden of having to. Each of those pieces is a different part of Me and manifests a slightly different, conflicting philosophy of life.

The poet David Whyte speaks about the compassion of the universe and how it will not let us get too comfortable, just when one's home is done, the finishing touches barely completed, the Universe gives us the boot. I can attest to a feeling lately of being nudged, even pushed, out of My current configuration of life, My comfortably uncomfortable zone. The election results are a factor but by no means the whole story. There are moments it feels like I'm dying, which is scary, and I must work at reminding Myself to think of that metaphorically, to think chrysalis and butterflies. It's sort of an intuition, it's sort of like being able to look at the sky and know that snow will come soon. It's a seeing of things not visible except through My eyes. It's an uneasy feeling and one I haven't often trusted, but the older I get I trust it more. I both don't want to sell the house and feel compelled, I don't know how exactly the mechanics of the transaction might happen, but there's a level on which it has already happened. Very quantum.

I have a number for Napoleon. It's big and roundish and scary, and he will hate it. He will kick and scream. He will be unpleasant and tell Me I'm bad. I don't care about that really. Whether he can make the number, I seriously doubt. Whether I would come down, and how much, I do not yet know. But there iis a number floating like a ghostly apparition about 6 feet off the floor in front of Me now as I walk around the house. It's not as big as some have suggested it should be. It's not as much as I would ideally like. But it is, I think, viable. Time to sleep on it and commence research.