Monday, January 25, 2010

Working Toward a Better Me ... I Think...

Over the past year, my stress load has been extremely high, with our 2 moves, kids’ school, my workload, the holidays, etc. I've had to take my pain killers more often & my eating & sleeping habits have gotten pretty bad.

In talking with a couple of friends, and their coercion to get myself better, I took on a bit of a challenge. Well, I suppose I’ve made it a challenge, perhaps because just the right person who for some strange reason, I feel competitive toward (you know who you are *wink*), suggested I workout with her. Her idea was to workout with our Wiis together… except, since the move, I can’t find my Wii. Trust me, I’m still looking. However, until then, my friend suggested that I walk instead. She said, “You only need 20-30 minutes to start.” Since I already knew this, I figured, in my tiny little brain, that she was still challenging me and that the excuse of not finding my Wii wasn’t going to work. Damn! Ok, fine, you win my friend. I accept your challenge!

Today marks my first day of walking for 20-30 minutes before I begin my day. I'm skeptical about this commitment. It means I have to exercise! Ugh! I hate exercise… but admittedly, I hate feeling like a slug, being overweight, and being in pain even more.

So, what then do I write? Should I share where I walked? Or how far I walked? Or perhaps, how miserable or thrilled I was to walk? How about why am I choosing to do something I loathe so much? Hmm… there are some possibilities.

As stated, I’m not one to exercise. If a walk takes me to a destination, like from my truck to the store door, then fine, I'll walk; but to walk just because? I don't do 'just because'... I have too much on my plate to take time out to walk. Or do I?

First off, I've learned something… You are the one that makes your own schedule. No one else can. I’m not very good at this, I'm what you would call, 'organizationally challenged'. Yeah, that’s it! I’ll probably find that either family, friends, or even clients may become upset that I have trouble juggling my time. However, I have that problem already and the only way to correct this problem is to figure out another way to organize myself. The only way to learn to better one’s self, is to try. So, this is me trying.

Here are some goals I have:
  1. Create a more positive me
  2. Lose weight
  3. Get out of pain
  4. Relieve stress
  5. Unpack my home
  6. Get lots of work done & get caught up
My list seems short, but it isn't really. Each point has sub points that I won't bore you with, yet. Nevertheless, in order to accomplish these goals, I have to create a schedule that works. I used to have one and somehow, I became derailed. I let other things get me distracted. Well, here's me putting my derailed self back on track.

Let's begin with a schedule. This schedule is not yet in stone, so there's no reason to become upset at myself if I fall off course. I tell myself this, but in reality, I get very negative and upset with myself if I don't keep up. There is a way around this negative part, but first, here's my schedule.
  1. Get up by 8 a.m.
  2. Walk 20-30 minutes in the morning.
  3. Hit the shower! Eat! Get coffee! (The 3-musts to get my brain functioning.)
  4. Take time for me. (This is my quiet time for my devotions.)
  5. Make sure boys are on track for their school. (By now, they should have had breakfast and should be ready to conquer their day. (This could take all of 10 minutes or a couple hours, depending on what they need.)
  6. Begin with work.
Well, so far today, I am off schedule.
  1. I woke THIS morning at 10 a.m.
  2. However, the first thing I did once up was go for my walk. I walked 45 minutes, not 30.
  3. I did hit the shower, I ate & I consumed coffee.
  4. My 'me' time wasn't what I wanted it to be, however, I used it to write this post which I felt, was important to help me with my goal of creating a more positive me.
  5. I checked in with my boys and found they had their social studies underway and they were writing their required assignments.
Therefore, I am currently at a juncture. Now, I must focus on work. So, for now, I will finish this post so that I might begin to organize my work routine.

I'm not much with challenges, but if you would like to work with me and challenge yourself to get into shape, or perhaps you just want to encourage me, post a comment.

I'll post again with my progress later.

Here's to good health!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Life As I Know It

October marked the time when life, my life that is, turned upside down. Well, o.k. not really upside down, but it sounded good in my head. Can't you hear the symphony in the background? Music is swelling... *looks around* You can't? Oh dear... Well, turn your volume up! ... still can't hear it... er... it must be in my head then. Oh GAWD!

Ok, actually let's step back in time just a little tiny bit more. We had a BIG, MONSTROUS move back in December of 2008. We moved, or were moved, from Idaho to Arizona by my husband's new company. I must admit the move package was awesome! They packed us, moved us, and unpacked some of us. We figured the home we were renting would be very temporary so we only unpacked what we thought to be essential.

There are pros and cons to this method of moving. First, if you don't unpack everything, then when its time to move again, you don't have so much to pack. However, if you don't unpack, you end up either buying what you need, even though you know that somewhere in one of the hundreds of boxes, you own said item, OR you end up digging through said boxes trying to find that one item... and then another item... and another. Ok, I think you get the point.

A 6-month rental turned into more & more. Finally, in September of 2009, our house in Idaho sold! Yay! We lost money overall in that sale, but we were able to pay the loan off with enough money to buy a cup of coffee when all was said & done. Ok, ok... Coffee is not that expensive! However, the amount of change we received was not enough to put a down payment on another house. So, I tucked it away for another day.

Now, we roll into October 2009. My Realtor here in Arizona takes me through about 5 different homes to chose from here, encouraging me every step of the way... assuring me that she is confident that even though we have NO DOWN PAYMENT, we can still buy a home. *Yeah, right* What are you smokin' Wendy?! Ha!

I found 2 homes I thought were nice enough & inexpensive enough, so I showed my husband. He felt the same way ... but he looked anyway. He liked my choices & after a very short articulation between the two of us *the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep* we'd made our decision. The following morning, my Realtor got the ball rolling to purchase a house.

Everything went so smoothly. The sellers were desperate to sell so they agreed to EVERYTHING, including repairing every little thing we asked to be fixed. I have NEVER had a deal go so fast & without SNAFUs from the seller (or buyer). This must be a gift from God, right?

My Realtor contacts the lender & tells him about our serious lack of finances. He in turn says, "HEY, NO PROBLEM! In fact, they'll end up getting change back when all is said & done." *oh boy, oh boy!*

Lender sets us up with a "Rural" loan & sends our paperwork to the underwriter of the first investor. We get turned down. Wanna know why? The company's move package put us earning too much! Yeah... I'm deflated now. My lender pats us on the shoulder & assures us that he will continue to press because he feels they are considering the package as continual income when it is only a one time thing. We press on.

In very short order, the lender sends our paperwork to a second investor. Again, the extra finances are the issue and were turned down again. At this point, we're doing the *Midas shrug*... Two down, what's left? Our lender informs us that come the first of December, his company will be licensed to do this kind of loan & he's certain he can work miracles for us at that time.

So, we all agreed, sellers & buyers, let's see what happens. So we wait for Thanksgiving to pass. December rolls in...The paperwork is processed... Yep, you guessed it... income is again the issue. But this time, the underwriter listens to my lender and agrees that the said move package should not be included. Yay! But wait... my husband just received TONS of OT at work and hey look, he's also received a bonus from his company for spending more time at work than at home.

Our lender sat in the underwriter's office explaining every penny of our "added" income. The underwriter finally agreed with my lender so, my lender sent all files to underwriter to sign. Ok... so WTH was she still not signing? WTH did we miss our closing date? Apparently, closing dates don't mean anything here. We missed our closing date! Yep... So the lender contacted seller to let them know more of what's going on! Seller, although I'm sure very uptight at this point, agrees to hang just a bit longer. I mean, what are they going to do, put the house on the market again? Sheesh!

The day before Christmas Eve, we receive an email! The underwriter has signed off, now we send to the Rural loan people to get your money! Yay?!?! Can they still reject us? Yes, they can!

Christmas was very stressful. Not only are we waiting to finalize our house, but my parents were here the whole week before Christmas. So we were trying to be hospitable as well. We waited to hear, but we were told we wouldn't hear until after Christmas. *obviously*

On December 28, 2009, we were contacted at 3 pm in the afternoon. "Get your butts up to the title company! If you sign today it will record tomorrow..." Both my husband & I take off from our separate locations to race to the title company before they close. It took 45 minutes to drive there, but of course, I'm out of gas... Ugh! I finally arrive shortly after hubby, its now about 4:15 pm... But we get in, & find they are waiting for us. Even the receptionist looks at us & says, "You must be the ..." we nod, sheepishly!

Rural loans have a lot of extra paperwork that you have to go through. It took an hour to sign all papers.

You'd think that the "recording" part would be fast... right? Maybe we'd get the keys by noon?? HELL NO! We almost didn't get the keys that next day. But my Realtor & our Lender both did a lot of pushing! By 3 pm, December 29th, my Realtor calls me... "Are you home?"

"Yes..." are respond, "of course where else would I be... I want my keys."

"I've been knocking at your door & you're not answering," she says.

OH CRIPES! I run downstairs & she's standing at the door holding my house keys up in front of me with a giant grin on her face!

We are now proud owners of this beautiful home!

4-Bedroom, 3-Full Bathrooms, about 2300 sq ft!

We are so excited to FINALLY be done with this very stressful chapter of our lives. However, this has imposed other stressors too. My business has had to take a back burner because so much was unknown. We weren't sure when we would be moving. All projects had to be delayed. So, my clients are not too happy for those delays. Thank you! Now my clients are all thrilled that I now have a new house... but they wish the move would hurry up so we can focus. I can't blame them! So, I want to thank all who have been patiently waiting on my life to settle down. We're almost there!