Saturday, December 11, 2004

A Huge Dose of Motivation!

I'm on a mission to accomplish my little mini-challenge... and today, I got a huge dose of motivation! After reading Mike Litman's latest email, this couldn't have been more timely.

First, I'll have to let you in on a few details: I date The Pool Man. Yes, that's right - "single work-at-home-mom" doesnt mean "single woman". I've been seeing Albert for just over a year now, 14 months I think. He's tall, handsome, thoughtful and funny... and he's my best friend in the world.

Our first year was a tough one. And I dont say that lightly. Imagine a single, independent "barely 30" mother of two. Maybe a little too independent after almost 5 years alone, and definitely career-driven and very highly motivated. Throw in the fact that she's completely homebound with a 92yo Grandmother to care for full-time, and two children that have been her whole world for years.

That's me.

In walks The Pool Man. Easy going, very little responsibility, flexible work hours... and raised in a small town where most women - well, aren't like me. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not placing blame on either of us... I'm just saying that the first year was a *huge* adjustment for us both.

Through it all, though, we were absolutely mad about each other. And after finally giving up and throwing in the towel just before our first anniversary... we went out to celebrate anyway, and ended up having the time of our lives every single minute for two straight months afterwards.

Which brings us to today.

Albert invited me out to go measure a swimming pool with him. It's in the mid-30's here today with a light drizzle (brrr!), but the estimate was for a real estate company that needed a new liner put in the pool before they could sell the house.

I threw on some old jeans and a sweatshirt, and off we went. It wasn't far - maybe 10 minutes from town - but it was outside of town on a back road, and sitting on 4 acres.

After we got the measurements, I decided to take a look around. It was cold, but the location was fabulous... and I just couldn't help myself. It was a log home, and really reminded me of "lincoln logs" - green trim and all.

It was obvious they were doing some work on the outside. The lattice in the front needed to be replaced (one or two bad spots), and there was a fire burning out on the other side of the driveway... so they must have been doing some clean-up (not to mention the new liner for the pool).

The basement door was open, so I decided to take a peek inside... Nice garage. Also a bedroom added on to the ground floor (with 3 closets), and what appeared to be an office - complete with a built-in book case along one whole wall.


Up the stairs... which led to the main floor. Through the door and to the left was a living room with a high-ceiling. Beautiful light fixture. Hard wood floors... a fireplace. Gorgeous. Absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous.

I did a complete walk-through, taking in all of the features and counting the bedrooms and bathrooms in my mind as I went. The kitchen was somewhat small, but very nice - lots of cabinets... and a bar facing the dining room. In the dining room was a bay window overlooking the pool, and french doors that led out to the wrap-around porch.

Two bedrooms on the main floor - both were nice. One larger than the other. And then I went on up to the 3rd floor... which is where I fell IN LOVE with the place. Upstairs was one master bedroom, with a huge walk-in closet (complete with built-in shoe racks and shelving!)... and a bath with double sinks and a jacuzzi tub :)

There was also a small "loft room" with modem connections upstairs - obviously a private little spot for a small desk and personal computer.

Through the whole walk-through, I could envision living in that house - seeing my children in the pool from my kitchen. A big cushy couch in front of the fireplace in that living room... setting up my computers in the huge office downstairs with the built-in bookcases (and fireplace, too, I should add)...

{sigh} It was Incredible!

I told Albert to get a price on the place - before they finished fixing it up. All of the work is being done on the outside, and I imagine it would really inflate the price. So he made the call when we returned, to get an "as is" price.

Unfortunately, they didnt have the price yet - they were still waiting on the deal to go through on their end. But she did take his number, and assured him it would be "considerably less than $200k" :)

Even if it's not this house, there are plenty of others... and the seed has definitely been planted in my mind. I'm 31, going on 32, and I'm ready to buy my own house and "settle down". I'd like to settle into a home that I can work from, raise my children in, and know that it's the place I'll be staying. For as long as I want to be there.

All of this just got me more motivated to work on things here at home! While it would be easy to up and move and "start fresh" in a new home - and as tempting and exciting as that would be - I am (and always have been) of the mindset that "you can't have *more* until you take care of what you have *now*".

I feel very strongly about this, and this is how I've raised my children. You can't have new toys if you can't take care of the toys you already have. It just makes sense.

So I'm setting out to "prove myself worthy" of a new home. My own house. First... I have to get this one in good shape - organized, fixed up... you name it. Next, I have to set aside some money. Enough for a good downpayment - which is going to take some saving.

And I'm going to want new furniture, of course - furniture that matches a beautiful new home :) Who wouldn't?!

So this means a step-up in my income, and a serious saving plan. On top of a more organized home, with less clutter and with everything in it's place. It's time to streamline, automate, outsource... and work hard.

I can see myself in this home. I can feel it. And this is definitely giving me that "sense of urgency" from which to work. Having a goal this big - a reward this rewarding - dangling in front of my nose really motivates me!

So this is it. I am going to ATTACK all of my mini-goals and put myself in a position to buy my own home in 2005. Period.

I can do this. I feel good about this. And I absolutely cant wait to make that move!

(and if the opportunity comes up for me to get into this particular house - sooner than expected - I will bust my ass to MAKE it happen!)