Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | May 8, 2010

A Soundtrack of My Life, Part I

Hi, all.

It turns out, I’m still alive.

[“So Alive” — Love & Rockets, from Love and Rockets
“I’m Alive” — Electric Light Orchestra, from the Xanadu soundtrack]

One of the advantages of having way too much to do and much too little time in which to do it is that you don’t have as much time to dwell upon the things that bring you down as you once did. You also, alas, don’t have as much time to do anything about it, either.

As in: the bank told us that they are not going to offer us a loan mitigation because we do not currently show enough income. Yes, of course, reduction in income was why we had to apply for mitigation, but never mind. The point is, because I am now in the odd situation of being over-employed (full time, albeit temporary gig, during the day; database contracting work at night; and our business is picking up, which Penny is therefore running and we are now able to draw some money out of it again), I don’t have the time to file the new paperwork for a new loan mitigation application. But I need to, in order to forestall foreclosure.

[“Once in a Lifetime” — Talking Heads, from Stop Making Sense]

But here’s a question: should I just let the bank foreclose, and take the money that otherwise would be spent on trying to keep the house and apply it toward paying down other marital debts? If I were to try to keep the house (Penny would then have to move out, of course), a great deal of my current income would go toward keeping the house, and then if this temporary job should, in fact, end, then I run the risk of losing the house, anyway. Whereas, if I keep the cash and take the credit hit (and lose the house), I have a safety net should the temp job go away.

Of course, there’s the complication that even if the bank forecloses, and both the house and the mortgage go away, the HELOC on the house (which is a very sizable loan) doesn’t go away, and Penny and I remain on the hook for paying that back. Grrr.

[“Least Complicated” — Indigo Girls, from Swamp Ophelia]

And no, I haven’t had time to file the divorce paperwork, either. But that’s still going to happen this summer. Then again, a great many things are going to happen this summer.

For example, even though it means taking a week unpaid away from my daytime database gig, I’ve decided to head back to my alma mater for reunion and to visit friends and family back East.

[“Get Out the Map” — Indigo Girls, from Shaming of the Sun
“Bright College Days” — Tom Lehrer]

I look forward to reconnecting with some good friends…

[“With a Little Help From My Friends” — The Beatles]

…indulging in a little nostalgia…

[“Old College Avenue” — Harry Chapin]

…and definitely sharing a laugh or two with both new friends and old. You can bet I’ll be visiting the radio station where I used to spend so many hours.

[“I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio” — Monty Python]

There will be at least one other trip this summer (a quick one) to the Chicago/Wisconsin area that involves me delivering our oldest son to visit his paternal grandparents (who don’t live there). Long story. But it further complicates the timing of my other plans, which involve:

Knee surgery.

[Do you know any songs about knee surgery? Neither do I.
And I know a lot of songs.]

I’m not sure how I’m going to move all my crap into a new place (if the bank forecloses) while I’m recovering from knee surgery, but I suppose I’ll just have to figure it out.

Here’s the deal: it turns out that my ACL is almost completely severed. There’s a little tiny strand that’s just barely holding on. I need to have it rebuilt before the cartilage in my knee starts to go. As it is, I’m in pretty much constant (albeit low-grade, achy) pain, and when I try to walk without a limp, I end up with this slow, John Wayne-esque swagger that really doesn’t become me.

So there it is. Work like a dog to get as much money as I can, take a quick holiday to go to my college reunion, have surgery, possibly move and/or possibly file paperwork to try to keep the house, definitely get a divorce, fly my kid out for a visit with my parents. All while trying to help with raising my three sons…

[“My Three Sons Theme Song”]

That doesn’t seem to leave much time to get in my writing, either here on my blog or on my novel-in-progress, but I’m increasingly anxious to get back to both.

[“Unwritten” — Natasha Bedingfield]

It’s been an odd couple of weeks. When I sat down to my computer tonight, my intention was to try to capture it all — the frenetic activity, the frustrations at work and at home, the simultaneous joy of finally finding some traction and discouragement that there’s still so far to go, the pain in my knee, the sheer silliness of trying to deal with my doctor, the weird weather we’ve been having, the questions I’m pondering, the overwhelm, the happy anticipation. I want to tell you about what happened to the person we laid off at my business, and about the absolute worst Mother’s Day that ever happened to me. And discovering Natalie on Facebook. (No, I shall not be extending her a friend request.)

Oh, and on top of all that: the effect my iPod has been having on me at work. How I notice my interest in music is shifting again, and how interesting it is to me to discover I’m skipping certain songs and dwelling on certain others.

But all that will have to all wait for other posts, I suppose. This one is what it is.

For all the weirdness, the dull pain, the anticipation, both nervous and eager, I am… I’m… feeling okay.

[“I Feel Lucky” — Mary Chapin Carpenter]



  1. [Cue: “I Feel Lucky” –Mary Chapin Carpenter– cos I actually have this song on my playlist!]

    I guess if foreclosure is what you have to do to live within your means, then that’s what you have to do (in my opinion). You are going to need some wiggle room whether you keep this job or not- there is always something to go wrong and if you don’t have the flexibility in your budget then you will only end up back where you are. That’s just my two cents. Foreclose and find an apartment or something just big enough for you and the kids. Good luck 🙂

  2. I tend to agree with IntrigueMe (surprising, I know, hehe) – you need to look out for you and the kids right now and if that means losing the house, then so be it. And, seriously, ouch on the knee surgery, that sucks, but hopefully after, you’ll be good as new 🙂

  3. I don’t know. If you are still going to be on the hook for the loan I’m not sure foreclosure is the right way to go. That plus the credit hit seem to be very huge negatives in this case. Do you have a financial advisor you can talk to?

    Sorry you have so much going on. It sucks. However, you are right. It helps to keep you busy and not dwelling on what is happening to your marriage and family. It did for me. I had so much going on this fall/winter that I stopped dwelling on my divorce. Granted, some of the sad feelings come out now, but they aren’t all-consuming anymore. Now I’m looking to keep busy with things I like and enjoy. Focus on your kids. That REALLY helped me. A LOT!

    Hang in there. Just keep reminding yourself that by next year things will be calm and you’ll be on the road to a new life. I’ve been telling myself that for the last year and a half, and it really does help put it into perspective; reminding myself that this situation isn’t permanent. It’s short term and when I look back at this time of my life, I suspect it will seem very short in the grand scheme of things.

    You are doing great!

  4. I know this doesn’t help at ALL….but:
    As I read this, all I could think abut was how nice it would be if Penny was in love with you, wanted to make love to you (often), and the two of you could be a team.

    Hey, I told you it wouldn’t help…

  5. Do what you have to do. We are still here for you!

  6. I’m sorry you’re going through such rough times, but it sounds like you have some sort of plan in action…think in a year how different your life will be..

  7. oof. my dad had a foreclosure once, back in 1990. i have no idea what the mechanics of it were – i was 9 at the time, so i wasn’t really in on the whole thing. but the way he talks about it now, it seems like it was probably best in the long run. if you’ve got access to a financial advisor, that sounds like a good idea.

    as for the knee surgery, oh, you’ll feel SO much better! my dad also had an ACL tear repaired on the wednesday before the super bowl, and though he was on his butt for a solid week, and he’s still not quite 100%, he says he already feels just tons and tons better.

    and i’m aware that i use my daddy as a reference point more than most almost-30-year-olds probably do. i don’t care. 🙂

  8. Great songs! I still wish I was part of the tour. Some other time? Can’t wait to hear all about your trip.

  9. […] love, work | Leave a Comment  Borrowing a theme from one of INRIS‘ recent blog posts, I feel compelled to “blog out” the soundtrack of my life today, an idea that popped […]

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