Sunday, January 7, 2024

Happy 2024: My 2023 Recap (Part One)


Oooh wee! It's cold indeed. Hello to all. Hope that your 2024 is off to a great start.

You may have wondered why it has taken me so long to post my 2023 recap.

If I am to be frank, there were many reasons.

For one, I got the thing that kind of rhymes with morbid (if you know, you know), the Friday before Christmas. Truthfully, I thought that the excessive coughing, sinus pressure, and sore throat were the makings of a nasty infection since I am prone to (sinus, throat, ear) infections regularly. I had planned on going to Urgent Care Saturday morning, but Friday after work, I picked up the in-home test, and it came up positive.

To my benefit, I worked from home on Friday and the office was closed on Monday. The fifth day of quarantine landed on Tuesday.

Since my employer only pays out if I go to urgent care or a doctor's office for the test result, I had to use my sick time. I wasn't aware of the update (since I've never had it before now), but since my sick time rolled over (and I had some left), I was okay with that.

Plus, I had a short day on Wednesday and was off for the remainder of the year, New Year's Day (the office was closed), and the day after New Year's Day.

Overall, I didn't miss much work. I suppose if I had to get it, this would have been the time. 🤷🏾‍♀️

My second reason was that I wanted to get my thoughts together in a way that made sense ... whether that was by month, by category, etc. With the holidays, sickness, and recovery, at times, it just hurt to think. The symptom that has dragged out the most has been fatigue. Being patient with myself has had its ups and downs.

Okay, now that the Public Service Announcement has been made, 

January - April 2023: The Quarter of Transition

Back in 2022, the original owner of the house we ("We" meaning my best friend and I) were renting sold it to a new owner. We hadn't found a new residence to our liking, and it was such short notice, that we would not have had time to relocate anyway. We weren't sure if the new owner wanted us out or if we would be able to stay longer. However, because he was "one of us" (if you know, you know), we decided to give him a chance, provided that the things we discussed were put into play.

Did we expect the problems to be fixed overnight? No.

Did we expect there to be a general timeline? Yes.

Did we expect respect for our time and boundaries when people were supposed to come by the house to do installation and repairs? Yes.

Did we want at least 24 hours' notice? Yes.

Did we trust that these people would be vetted by the landlord to be safe, reliable, and professional? Yes.

Needless to say, the last four were not adhered to. I'm not going to go into details here, but I do have all the receipts of the broken promises and violations of the agreement.

With that said, we began to look for a new location.

My best friend had things she wanted. I had things I wanted. I came into the hunt knowing that we would have to spend more money. We may not get all of our wants met. We would be sacrificing space, maybe even a room to stay within the price point we were willing to spend. We hoped to do that while keeping Tyrion the cat.

More on that last point later.

While the search was on, I had already started (as early as Fall of 2022) scheduling pick-up appointments with the VVA to collect donations.

It was a lot of work.

My best friend was going through medical procedures and wasn't able to do any lifting during that time. Some of the procedures also fell into the timeframe when we finally found a place that put the lion's share of the load on me to get everything packed and labeled ... you get the picture.

The property that we all liked included most of what we were looking for. Sure, I would have preferred there to be a proper garage, so that the vehicles wouldn't experience the force of the elements, but at least there would be a place to put them without having to worry about someone blocking our driveway due to illegal street parking. We would have to pay for lawn maintenance, which we did at the other place anyway ... some local guy would do it for cheap. Also, because it was more of a ranch-style house and did not have multiple stories, we would have to into other challenges associated with being lower to the ground. 

Unfortunately, the place did not accept pets.

We checked other locations that could give us most of our specs and the security we wanted, but they weren't feasible.

We had to make the difficult decision to put Tyrion up for adoption. Luckily, he got adopted out, so I'm very happy about that. His presence is missed, and I do have pictures of him up in the living room to make him feel like it's there.

Interesting tidbit: The place we are at currently I initially walked away from. 

Our lease at the old place was not up until the end of April. However, we hadn't signed the new lease with the landlord, and he never gave us a lease for 2022-2023; we were still operating under the one we had under the previous landlord.

The owner of the place we were the most interested in wanted us to move there in February. We told the real estate agent showing us the property about our situation with our lease, so we continued to look at more properties that would be more flexible with our moveout date.

There were repairs that the landlord was making to the property that bordered on making it liveable and much less peaceful. There was work being done on the roof which we weren't notified about. The work trucks blocked our driveway and they stayed there until well past the evening. At that point, I had my fill and asked professionals familiar with tenant/landlord agreements if one could move out early, and I cited all of the reasons with receipts. I was advised that under the circumstances if we found a place we liked, then we could.

Although we saw other places, our minds went back to the ranch-style house. My best friend reached out to see if one would be willing to do it sooner, not in February but in mid-March, maybe April. The real estate agent said it was doable. However, once I saw that there was a request for the security deposit, plus two months' rent, I told my best friend to let the real estate agent and the owner know that we were walking away. Because we didn't have money to pay the old landlord during our final month, the security deposit, and two months' worth of rent to the new landlord.

In my mind, if we were meant to rent the house, a way would be made, but I would continue looking.

As soon as my best friend let them know we changed our mind, then they wanted to start re-negotiating the terms and conditions. We went back and forth for a couple of weeks before finally signing on the dotted line.

Moving is a stressful thing. I don't want to do it anymore until it's time to retire (fingers crossed). However, I was happy that I took the time to do a huge downsize because it meant that there was less for the moving people to transfer, which saved us money in the end. Also, it allowed the installation of new energy via new furniture.

What I like about the place the most is that there is a clear separation of my space from the rest. I have my own bathroom and don't have to share it with anyone. If I want to get a handful of items, the grocery store is within walking distance, and I have done that in the warmer months. The bank I use is also within walking distance.

Overall, the best choice was made.

I think I will stop here for the moment. Part Two is to come later.

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