Today’s a good day. I just bought a house! Today. Exactly a year to the date the boys and I moved out of the house they grew up in. Exactly a year to the date we moved in to this two-bedroom apartment suite that we have called home this past year.
I’m so excited! We don’t move until August, but it’s pretty exciting! And emotional too. But emotionally happy, not sad. I’ve been separated for a year now, but I have pretty much moved on.
It’s been a good day. The boys and I went out to lunch with my mother today to celebrate my middle son’s 17th birthday, which is tomorrow. We went to Red Lobster. I knew my middle son had wanted to go there for the longest time.
It’s a bad day, I heard my youngest son said. He wanted to go to Pizza Hut instead. Although I’m pretty sure that he enjoyed the hand-breaded shrimp that he ordered at Red Lobster.
Why would you say it’s a bad day? I asked. It’s a good day. We just bought a house. I think I know why he thought it’s a bad day. It’s father’s day and he and his brothers didn’t spend it with their dad. The topic at mass this morning was about fathers and father’s day and it must have upset them somehow. He hasn’t been much a part of their lives since the separation. I actually wanted him to try to have relationship with his boys, but it’s not up to me now.
But see, these three had been laughing a lot today, joking around. After a year, they have pretty much adjusted to our situation and I think they have also moved on. So, I think, overall, it’s been a pretty good day. I just bought a house!
I had been getting quite frustrated with this house hunting. I have looked at several houses. A few didn’t look as good as they looked on paper. There were about two that I wanted to buy, but I got outbid. Oh, I hate these bidding wars. But today, I was the one who had the highest bid. 🙂 It’s a good day!
I just finished reading “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. I can’t remember how many times I have read this book over the years. I love the beginning line: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I also love the different plots in the novel. I agree with Alex Trebek when he said to a Jeopardy contestant who is also a booklover that every time you read the same book, it’s a totally different experience. Sometimes you forget what a book is about after a long time, but what I couldn’t forget about this book is Sydney’s ultimate sacrifice at the end.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It seems this line applies to my life at the present. Ending a long-time relationship may sound like it could be the worst of time in someone’s life, but if it’s a bad, explosive relationship, it could mean that it could also be the best decision someone makes. But of course, when we talk about relationships, there are always emotions involved. And that’s what makes it suck big time. I had wanted to leave a long time ago and it’s not like I left on a whim. I have thought about it very carefully and I don’t have any regrets.
A few weeks ago, I was given two awards at work. Perfect Attendance and 100% Quality for the year 2010. “How did you pull that off?” asked a co-worker. I honestly don’t know. I guess instead of wallowing in self pity and despair last year, I just really tried to focus on something else – work. And I guess it worked! And I’m very proud of these achievements. But the irony of it is this. Later that same day when I received these awards, I was at my lawyer’s office finally signing my separation agreement. It has been a long process drafting that document, going back and forth with my ex’s lawyer, trying to bargain on how much I should get from the division of our conjugal assets and liabilities. In the end, I agreed to what the ex wanted, just so I could get the money in my hands already (well it will go to my bank, actually.)
“Hardworking, niceheart. Life’s not fair, eh?” My lawyer greeted me when I showed up at his office.
“Well, it’s not.”
“How do you put up with it?”
“Well, I have already accepted that that’s the way he is and this is the way it’s gonna be.”
I could have fought it in Court, but as my lawyer has explained to me, I might end up losing more in the end.
What I have learned in life, especially during the time I have spent with this person, is that you have to choose which battles to fight. Not all of them are worth fighting for. And when you think you have lost in one aspect of your life, just look at the rewards and blessings you have. That’s how you move on with your life. That’s how I move on with my life.
After mass on Sundays, our new parish priest will ask us to sit down and he’ll ask if anybody has any good news to share. Such as a birthday, anniversary, somebody recovering from a sickness, etc. Today, when he turned his head to where my sons and I were sitting, I raised my hand and I stood up when he nodded to me. I said, “My youngest son turned 13 this weekend.” “Happy birthday,” he said to the embarrassed young man beside me. This young man, who I look up to (that is because he’s now a few inches taller than I am, he he he), said “Geez” a few times. 🙂 He says that a lot to me, but I knew he was flattered by the attention especially when a couple of parishioners said Happy birthday to him on their way out.
So yeah, he’s officially a teen-ager now. I said officially because it felt like he’s been a teen-ager already these past couple of years. We’ve had our ups and downs. I think the downs have been caused mostly by how hard it has been for me to let him go. He used to be my sweet little boy. Well, he’s still a sweet boy, not so little anymore. But he doesn’t want me to hug him or kiss him anymore. If I do, he either pushes me away or gives me that deadly look. Or both. Then I feel hurt and rejected. And then maybe I’ll get snappy at him. But most of the time we’re good. He still tells me about his day at school, not always, but most of the time. And I’ll take that. Kaya lang ayaw na nya kong bunutan ng puting buhok. 😦 Those times had been great bonding times for us.
But you know what, I’m so proud of him. He has been through a lot this past year. We have all been through a lot. I know it has not been easy for him and his brothers, especially him being only 12 when all the big changes in our life happened. But he had been strong and he was able to stay grounded. He was able to keep focused on his studies. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spring. He received the Overall Achievement Award when he graduated from Elementary School in June. He’s my inspiration and I look up to him. And that’s not just because he’s now taller than I am. 🙂
Note: This was originally written on February 13, 2011
My three sons and I have been living in an apartment for the last seven months. It is a two-bedroom apartment. I think it’s a pretty decent size, but a lot smaller than the place where we used to live. Our rent has increased since we moved here, and we already have a notice that it will increase again in the fall. We have been talking about looking for a house. It doesn’t have to be as big as the one we used to live in, but I’m thinking maybe a bungalow with two bedrooms and a finished basement. That will be a good enough size for us, and probably something we could afford especially now that we’re only a single income family.
I met with a realtor last week and he also invited a mortgage specialist from the bank connected with the real estate agency. I’m not ready to buy a house yet, since I don’t have any money in my bank, yet. But I’m getting some money from the property settlement from the house I used to share with the ex.
Yeah, I’m separated now. Single. Single mom. It has been a roller coaster of emotions these past few months. Feelings of pain, hurt, anger, resentments, guilt. And at times, feelings of excitement, freedom, sense of relief. But don’t worry about me and the kids. We’re doing fine. I think we’ve been through the worst. Things are looking brighter. We’re happier. And one reason I am blogging again is because my head is a lot clearer now than it has been. Well, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way. Let’s go back to the topic on hand.
My meeting with the realtor and mortgage specialist has been very informative. I told the realtor that I’m looking for a house in the same area where I live now. My two younger boys who are in high school and junior high didn’t want to switch schools and we want to find something close. We’ve also learned to love this area. After all, we have lived here in the past 16 years.
One of the first questions the mortgage specialist asked me is how much is my price range. Well, I haven’t really thought about that yet. We bought our first house here in Winnipeg 16 years ago, and that was such a long time ago, I forgot about the little things and details we had to deal with when we bought the house. How much are you comfortable paying? Oops, looks like I have some homework to do. He also pointed out that how much I get approved by the bank and how much I’m comfortable paying are two different things. I do understand that. I could get approved for this amount of money, but of course, there are bills, utilities, and other different things that I have to pay for. So there’s a lot of things to consider.
He took some information from me. My income, how often I get paid, any extra income (I do have a second income – a part time job), how much money I’m expecting from my property settlement, how much I’m willing to put in as downpayment, etc. He did some calculations and he came up with a price range that I might get approved by the bank. He also made a me a tabulation with different options of rates and length of mortgage term (3-year, 4-year, 5-year). So now I have a better idea of how much money I have to spend when I do decide to buy a house.
Also, the mortgage specialist assured me that he won’t start checking my credit rating until I give him my consent. Some homebuyers go to different realtors and mortgage specialists and don’t realize that their credit rating will be checked by the different specialists that they see. He said that everytime somebody checks your credit rating, your credit scores go down. Now, that’s one more thing I didn’t know. Within the last year, I have applied for an apartment twice, one time on behalf of a friend who came here from the Philippines, and the second time, for myself. So my credit rating has been checked twice just in the past year. I just hope that didn’t do a lot of damage to my credit score.
Wow! It’s been a year since my last post. And I’ve written only 3 posts last year. 2010 had been a very tough year for me. I’ve been really very busy that I never had the time to blog. Not only did I lack in time, but I also lacked in inspiration.
But that was last year and this is a new one. And things are starting to look better.
WordPress sent me an email at the start of this new year. They said that my blog did great in 2010. Yes, even though I only wrote 3 posts. Some of my most-viewed posts were written before 2010. “Your writing has staying power!” Well, that’s inspiration enough for me. 🙂
So I thought, I’d start writing again.
I thought of starting over. In my personal life, I did. I thought of starting a new blog, but that means letting this one go. But how can I, when this blog is still getting a lot of views and I still get feedback from readers that they get inspiration from my posts.
So, I’ll keep them there in the archives and just start writing new posts. My goal this time is to write just short posts. How often? Only time will tell.
When I arrived at work on Tuesday morning, I opened my bag to get my water bottle. It wasn’t there and I thought that I‘d have to go downstairs to buy a water bottle at the Dollar Store. When I closed my drawer, there I found my water bottle on top of my desk where I have placed it just a few moments earlier.
On Wednesday afternoon, I heard the two ladies sitting next to me at work talking about falling asleep on the bus. “Have you ever missed your stop because you’ve fallen asleep?” asked Lady Number 1. “Yeah,” replied Lady Number 2. “Sometimes I fall asleep, head lolling from side to side.” “I do that, too,” I interjected. “I mean, missed my stop.” And then I continued, “I remember this one time. I dropped the book that I was reading on the floor. I fell asleep. I looked at the guy sitting across from me to find out if he saw that. It didn’t look like he did. But it was kind of embarrassing.” Lady Number 3 who was listening to our conversation said, “Oh that’s funny.”
When I woke up my youngest son on Thursday morning before I went to work, I told him, “Ryland, don’t forget to make your sandwich for lunch. You forgot to do it last night.” He said, “No, I didn’t.” What? I didn’t see his sandwich when I took out the juice boxes and my water bottle out of the fridge and put them on the kitchen table. And then I started to rattle my brain. Oh yeah, of course, I took his sandwich and juice box and put them on the table. And then I went back to the fridge to get my lunch and water bottle and I forgot that his sandwich was there and I thought that he forgot to do it the previous night.
On Friday night I was trying to watch one of the TV shows that I taped earlier. I have fallen asleep a few times while watching the one hour show and I kept rewinding the tape and finally I just gave up and went to bed.
I was scrubbing the shower at around 5:00 this afternoon and I felt so tired and sleepy. Like I was about ready to go to bed. Good thing I didn’t fall asleep in the shower.
And here I am at 10:30 on this Sunday night still blogging when I should really just go to bed early and bank some sleep time for another busy week ahead of me.
I was looking at the newspaper after breakfast when my 11-year old son, Ryland said, “Oh, I know her.”
“That’s Storm from X-Men,” I said.
“Oh, no, wait. She looks different,” he said.
“She changes her hair a lot,” I said. “Sometimes it’s long, sometimes it’s short. I don’t like her white hair when she’s Storm.”
“She looks old?”
“Eh, it just doesn’t look good on her.”
I told him what the newspaper article I was reading is about. The title, “Cop feels Berry special, helps her jump queue.”
Me: Halle Berry was at a Canadian airport and she got ahead of a long line. She got special treatment just because she’s a celebrity. That’s not fair. Right?
Him: Where was she going?
Me: You see, she’s married to this French guy. He’s Canadian. Maybe they were visiting family. It says here they were at a Montreal Airport. She’s American, see. Maybe they’re going back to the U.S.
I continued reading the article.
Me: Oh, let’s see. It says here that it was an hour long line. If I was in that line I’d probably get mad if they got ahead of me.
Him: But that’s just one person.
Me: I know, but let’s say there’s about a hundred people in that line that has been waiting for an hour, and then here they come and they get to the front of the line. That’s not fair.
Him: Yeah, but that’s just one person you have to let in.
I was thinking, my son isn’t getting this? How am I going to explain this to him?
Me: You know how at Superstore when there’s a long line and I have to wait? Oh, remember that one time at Sears? I was waiting in line for a long time, and then there was this lady who tried to cut in front of me? Well, she didn’t know where the line started. But I felt that wasn’t fair. Well, I didn’t really get mad that time because she was an old lady. But you know what I mean?
Him: Wait, were they paying at the airport?
Me: No, but at the airport, they have to check your passports and your identification and your papers and all these stuff.
Him: Oh, now you tell me this. (Lightbulb moment, finally) Were they saying anything bad about them?
Me: Well, not exactly, it just says here that people saw them get ahead to the front of the line.
Him: Were the people waiting in line mad at them?
Me: Well, no. But if I was one of those people, I think I might be mad?
Him: If it was Michael Jackson, would you be mad?
I started to laugh out loud.
Me: Ha ha ha. That’s a good one, Ryland. You got me there. No, I don’t think I’d me mad. I’d probably be too excited to get mad. I might even take his pictures.
Him: But he’s dead now.
I’m shaking my head now.
Me: That’s a good one Ryland. No, I don’t think I’d be shouting unfair if I was there and if it was Michael Jackson or some other famous celebrity. You got a good point there Ryland.
How about that? He got me really good there.