Speaking with a friend yesterday, I was able to clarify some goals… funny how that helped me. Just saying them aloud really made them seem more real – and not just real – more attainable.
I’m working towards a better work – life balance. I have great works and a great life – and am certainly not overworked nor underpaid (well, for the most part…). What I’m seeking is to be more organized, more willing to establish boundaries (say no more often) and turn off the ‘work brain’ when the work day is done.
I know that’s tough for a lot of people to do… work is an important part of life – but I think it’s particularly tough when you (or in this case, I) work from home. It’s entirely too easy to ‘check in on something’ or ‘fill in the blank’ say for instance when Billy is taking a shower, cutting grass (etc. ie: not in the room with me).
So I’m trying to put work into a new perspective and I’m thinking it will result in a happier, more fulfilling more leisurely life (and it’s pretty darned good right now as it is…).
Thanks for listening.
Yep, it’s me, LG, on a quiet Sunday morning. I worked yesterday so I wouldn’t have to today… but I decided to work today for tomorrow so I could attend a meeting (which will inevitably result in more work), then maybe golf tomorrow afternoon.
So, the change… well, after almost 2.5 years, we finally sold the house in TN. I will admit that from beginning to end the process was one huge, expensive, slightly stressful pain in the ass. Let me expand on that…
- I have been to TN 8 times this year. (Funny, I’m going to Nashville for a girl’s week-end next week)
- We have done countless updates and repairs. The other owner (P&J) did a lot of painting and awesome staging (she’s a designer)
- Although I sold real estate for 10 years, I felt like an idiot with regard to how it works in the states. It didn’t help that my realtor left many questions unanswered until just days before the closing (like here, each party needs their own lawyer).
- The IRS held a significant chunk of the proceeds, as I am not an American resident – although I brought up to both realtors giving P a ‘quit claim deed’ to avoid any residency tax related issues – no one answered my questions… so now it’ll be a fight to reclaim that money. Super!
There’s a whole lot I could say about the entire TN house thing… it’s the first time in 15.5 years that I have only owned 1 house… for a stretch of 1.5 years, I was part owner of 3! It’s sad, oh so sad to say good-bye… I was there when the house was being built in 1984, and have been there literally hundreds of times. The house was a major pain in the ass – I took care of everything (I’m sure neither P or my husband could name the lawn guy, the furnace guy, the plumber, etc. etc. etc.) – I really feel if those responsibilities were equally divided we wouldn’t have sold, but the fact also remains that a) We didn’t really see ourselves retiring there b) North America (and the world, really) is too big and awesome to ‘always go to TN’ c) it’s pretty expensive owning a place so far away and d) we always felt obligated to go there (‘hey do you guys want to go golfing next week-end in Michigan?’… ‘Well, if we’re going to spend $800 on a golfing week-end, we should probably go to TN and clean out the gutters while we’re there,’ – kinda thing.)
My husband and I came home from a TN vacation on July 6th, and he was back there on July 30th, and I drove separately and arrived July 31st… so we had one last great week-end there. A little stressful, a little work (going through stuff, cleaning) and some really good times.
So this is a major change in my life (talk about #firstworldproblems #isoldmyvacationhousewahwahwah)… it’ll be nice to not have those expenses (it really sucks to buy a washer and dryer, it sucks more to buy a washer and dryer that you hardly ever use!), it’ll be nice to not feel obligated to go to TN, and it doesn’t hurt that the Canadian dollar is at an 11 year low (we won’t be changing all the funds over, as we do travel to the states so much and we’d lose on exchange…).
So that, is that. Let’s look at some pics!
Bye Grandad’s piano… I left you there, but no regrets (yet, lol).
My grandmother’s/great – grandfather’s table… it’s coming home with us (it’s in PA right now…)
My favourite place to hang out.
That’s about it for now…
In general, working from home is so very awesome (tell us something new, LG). There are however a few downsides (are you whining about work again LG?).
No, just the facts…
Working at home involves a lot of email. Like, a lot.
Without any exaggeration (you gotta love that preface…) I have only met with my one client once in 2 years and spoken to them on the phone 3 times, (and one was a crank call, okay, just kidding) Oh, and FYI, he’s my favourite client. And because (I know, don’t start a sentence with a conjunction, duh) I’m fairly autonomous in what I do (because, like who cares about social media, right?) I don’t often have a lot of ‘in real life’ (IRL) communication with my clients.
And that’s cool, (more poor grammar; please excuse! I’m not on the clock, it’s my blog gall darnit!)
However, at times, there’s things I need to know, ask or request.
Like for instance (wow, I’m on a poor grammar roll!)…
Subject: 1 question
LG: Hi Greg,
I hope everything is going well with you, I have 1 question…
I understand Lionel is starting July 1st. Could you possibly send me his biography within the first few days of July? I will use this as a blog article, on the ‘about us page’ and in the next eNewsletter.
Thanks so much,
(no greeting or hello… that’s cool…)
Lionel does not start until July 1st. So it only makes sense to send you his bio within the first week of July. I think this would be great to include this in the July eNewsletter.
LG (in my head)
You’re frickin brilliant. Yes! Perfect. Wow. I gotta write that shit down, as it’s such a unique and original concept to grasp. Where oh where did you come up with that idea?
That sounds great! I look forward to receiving his bio in the first week of July.
Have a great day!
Subject: 3 things
1) I’m available for a meeting online on Tuesday at 3pm as previously discussed. Are you still available to meet at that time?
2) I have prepared the report for the next steps of the marketing plan. Please review the attached document ‘Next Steps: Marketing Plan’. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know before our meeting.
3) Did you happen to attain the Giant Panda from China? If so, I’ll like to name in James in honour of my grandfather. Please let me know – thanks!
Have a great day, I look forward to hearing back from you.
(No greeting or salutation, please note the grammatical errors.)
I tart work a 10 on Mondays,
LG (in my head)
Wow, that is so informative and helpful. Let me mark that on my calendar under the the heading ‘WTF Are You Talking About? Have You Had Your ADD Tested Lately?’ (Just a joke, I fully understand that ADD is a real medical problem for millions of people.)
LG’s Real Response
Thanks for your reply. In regards to my last email, I have 3 questions… please send me your response as soon as convenient. Thanks so much for your time.
1) I’m available for a meeting on Tuesday at 3pm. Are you available to meet at that time online as previously discussed?
2) I have prepared the report for the next steps of the marketing plan. Please review the attached document ‘Next Steps: Marketing Plan’ If you have any questions or comments, please let me know before our meeting.
3) Did you happen to attain the Giant Panda from China? If so, I’ll like to name in James in honour of my grandfather. Please let me know if this works for you. Thanks so much!
I look forward to your response. Talk to you soon,
Its been a crasy week hear wow really so busy thanks for you’re email ive only just red it and so important yes the proposal Tues at 6pm is perfect and the jaguar isn’t ready for pick up although I mind some sliver and thas was awsom.
LG (in my head)
Are you frickin drunk? It’s 9am on a Monday, so wow, good for you. I sent you 3 questions nearly a week ago. My uber sneaky, ninja email software tells me you opened it 4 days ago in Delaware. Delaware? If you went to Delaware, this is something I should know. Howabout my 3 very direct, hard to misunderstand questions? Can you focus for 8 seconds and answer me so I can do my job… y’know… the thing you pay me for?
LG’s Real Response
Wow, that sounds exciting! I didn’t realize you were out of town. With regard to the 3 questions I asked you last Tuesday, if you could get back to me as soon as possible? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks so much.
Like, really? Could you imagine walking into someone’s office, and asking them, “What time is the meeting today?” and them replying, “Monkey jackass sausage brains light switch leg twitch!”
Why is email communication so lost in translation? Seriously? I’m gonna estimate I waste 10 hours a week trying to:
- Decipher poor grammar and spelling.
- Receive an answer to an email that I sent.
- Receive an answer to an email that I sent.
- Receive an answer to an email that I sent.
Of course I receive daily the ‘random thought’ emails… one of my life’s true joys. These people will send 8 emails within 4 minutes in reply to one email… each email featuring a poorly written random thought. With my super sneaky ninja email program, I can seriously see that they have not even finished reading the email completely before replying! Seriously?
Here’s my advice.
- Receive the email
- Read the email
- Take a breath if necessary
- Re-read the email if necessary
- Reply thoroughly to said email
- Get on with life
- Then drink alcohol
- Enjoy! Now knowing you have the love and etiquette email approval of LG! (Wow, 2012? Time flies.)
Oh, and of course there’s the people that just don’t bother to check their email anymore… because there’s too many of them…
It’s all just entertainment now. Like seriously… so… If someone who pays me can’t be bothered to properly reply… why should I care?
(Thing is though… I do)
(…end scene… fade to black)
Only 3 short days until (partial) work freedom! So close, I can almost taste it!
I’ll be down to only 3 contracts for 1 month. Yay!
Although two of the three are my busiest contracts… and the last one is a new, challenging contract… still! It’ll be great. Summer of LG 2015.
During this time, I’m going to:
- Redo MomG’s front garden bed
- Go to Port Stanley with the girls for a week-end
- Go to TN with William for more than a week (yay!)
- Work around the yard, lounge in the sun, READ BOOKS (haven’t read a book in 2 months – a sad record for me!)
- Golf and work on my golf game (took a lesson last week… first time since I was 12!)
Last night William and I saw the new Jurassic Park movie and had a nice dinner out… today golf and steak night date night in… tomorrow, my mom’s b-day pool party… Tuesday my nephew graduates from college (he’s valedictorian of his small class)… busy, fun times. Life’s good.
Random pic time… the back of our house from 2006… I’ll post an updated pic soon…
Just a little look back to when I was 25ish…
I was living a great life, although poor… I mean below poverty level poor. I had a lot… friends, family, a place to live, a car and occasionally food to eat – but it was hard times.
What I didn’t have was heat for a few months of the year, a phone (I had to ride my bike about 3/4 of a km, and if they were closed – like after 4pm – I had to ride my bike about 1.5 kms and stand outside a phone booth, often in not so great weather! Sometimes I had to change pennies in to get a quarter…), gas money to get anywhere, not to mention money for fun stuff, a gym membership, clothes or the like. I was lucky to have my mom’s pantry to ‘shop’ at… occasionally loading up on canned soup, (I recall one time having a can of beets for dinner, yum!), and friends and a sister who would sometimes bring me Pepsi and a Subway sub. My grocery budget was $16 a week. $16 can actually buy a lot of Chef Boy-R-D.
I had a boyfriend who did pay for my bowling league ($11 a week) – my one consistently ‘fun’ night out – with the pre-requisite that I pick him up and drive him home after, so he could have a few drinks (I couldn’t afford a few drinks, and sometimes I didn’t have the gas to get around). I also had a great friend who let me live in his attic in the winter, and in exchange I worked for him on and off and occasionally he’d pay me, so I didn’t have the personal shame of moving back home.
I was still starting off in a new career, one that is most successful when backed by a large network or friends and family – which I had, but not particularly within the demographic necessary to any significant or consistent income… especially when one realizes that my father was dying at the time, and me living close to him, and not having a typical 9-5 job – some more responsibility feel on me, taking time away from my career ambitions and ultimately income.
Would I change a thing? Not really, not a whole lot. If I could go back, I’d spend even more time with my father of course. I might have sucked it up and moved back home to not burden my generous friends. I might not have created additional financial strain for myself by purchasing a house I could never live in. Hmm… I guess I would have changed my ‘actions’, and not so much my ‘things’ or lifestyle. Interesting.
The bottom line is that it was (and still is) my life and I made the best choices (or so I thought) at that time. When you’re 25 (feel free to insert any age, really), you think you know everything… and in my opinion (hey, it’s my blog!), it’s difficult to understand that life will never be ‘fair’. Trust me, I wanted what some of my peers had back then… but life is all about the daily choices we make and indeed, sacrifices and perseverance. Who knows? Maybe my friends admired my independence and ability to live without a lot.
Bottom line numero deux – I took responsibility for my life and choices.
Yep, within a few short years I met my husband, and yes, many of my financial problems disappeared, but I wouldn’t trade those lean years for anything. Maybe he wouldn’t have loved my personality if I hadn’t experienced what I did. Maybe I wouldn’t have seen something so special within him if I didn’t have those life events… who knows? But we are only our past experiences, what we’re doing today to better ourselves with a dash of hope for the future.
I learned so much about real life and true friendship during that time, and I’m glad I had those experiences.
Life is good. Yes, even blissful.
Love – it’s my MIL’s birthday, and she’s pretty awesome! We celebrated last night so William wouldn’t miss his golf league tonight… hmm…
Love – the song! Ode to Billy Joe.
Hate – the fact that I CAN’T STOP SINGING THE SONG!
And trust me, I know every word.
Oh, and while I’m here… if you’re looking for a warm, fuzzy, redeeming story… check this out.
Random pic time! 2014 Essex County Masters tourney… Look at that (terrible! Where’s the upper body rotation?) form!