A blog in two parts: Tuesday Evening and Wednesday Evening
They said yes! Evidently they liked what I’ve done enough. I asked my two biggest clients (NRM & HCLE) if they’d double my hours. Yes. And in one case, they even suggested I increase my hours even more, and gave me a raise. With those two increases I’ll make enough to pay the mortgage – that is, if the mortgage servicer agrees to work with me just a little longer. There’s a bit of a timing issue. Money isn’t everything, but you already know that.
Normally I post Wednesday and Saturday mornings. The idea was to post halfway through the stock market’s week, and then again at the close. The stock market seemed to be the only aspect of my book (Dream. Invest. Live.) that had a regular schedule, so the market decided my timing. As I type, it is Tuesday night. Wednesday morning’s schedule has only one item: the mediation meeting about the mortgage. Blog before? Blog after? I decided to do both. Habits have to change; and this story is told, and lived, over two days.
The meeting is a mystery to me. I’ve never been through mediation. I don’t know what to expect from the mortgage servicer or even who else will be there. Very little of the process has followed the kind of logic I’m familiar with from business, finance, or almost any normal interaction. Maybe logic will suddenly arise, just as it did when I met with the Fannie Mae representative at the end of May. Back then, the Fannie Mae representative listened to my story and surprisingly agreed with me that the main thing I needed was more time. It looks like I need a little bit more.
HCLE (History of Computing in Learning and Education) and NRM (New Road Map) were both agreeable to my increase in hours. There’s more than enough work to be done, and with a squeeze the money is available; especially, if I spend the extra hours looking for funding. (Anyone want to help fund a Virtual Museum about how teachers pioneered the entrance of computers into the classroom? How about supporting the effort to spread a more rational perspective on personal finance based on values-based financial literacy?) Put the two efforts together and 39 hours of my work week are accounted for. Very good. Put those two incomes together and I can probably pay all of my bills, even back bills and ideally a reduced mortgage.
Ah, but the mortgage servicer expected a payment at the end of September, well, every month since I bought the house. They made a modification offer that I couldn’t accept because I didn’t have the income. Tomorrow is October 2nd. Maybe I can accept an offer, but I can’t write a check for more than a month. My increased workload started today, yeah, but I don’t get paid until November. So, will they be willing to slide the timing two more months? I don’t know.
What I do know is that my life is changing. As I’ve said before, getting a job that asks for more hours makes work easier. When the workday is comprised of twelve disparate projects my mental gear changes wear out my mental transmission. Each project becomes a sprint with a great percentage of the time spent engaging and disengaging, making sure the right accounts are open, that the facebook account for one is not feeding the twitter account of the previous. Each project has its own pace and schedule, which means shifting perspectives and speeds a few times per hour.
With more time devoted to two large projects my mind can settle into a rhythm, can establish more of an endurance pace than an unsustainable sprint. With more time devoted to those projects, my other projects will have to find other times. So will this blog. Evenings and weekends, that I’ve been working anyway, will now be when my art business operates and when I’ll teach my classes – and when the blog gets written and published. I’ll even find more spare time because much of my days has been spent investigating other possibilities, applying for jobs, and putting energy into anything that makes any money whether or not it is core to my consulting and management business.
What I don’t know is where I’ll be doing the work. If they remove the threat of foreclosure, I can work from my house again, saving me commuting time (some of which I’ve enjoyed by bicycling), and greatly relaxing me as my house regains a sense of security. If the foreclosure proceeds, I guess I’ll be bicycling into work regularly in the winter, and then wondering where I’ll live next.
Timing. Months ago, losing my house would have meant being homeless (not that my friends would let that happen). Now, even if I lose my home, I’ll be able to afford housing – as of some time in November. That is a great relief.
Despite the good news, anxiety remains. A week ago I doubted that I could keep my house. Now it is possible. Will I or won’t I? Will they let me, or won’t they? A lot is at risk in one meeting; though, because of the timing, it is actually less than before. I wish I knew. Given time, I will.
Well, that didn’t go according to plan. I arrived at the building just in time; despite bouncing my truck against the ferry ramp, getting lost in a city where I lived 30 years ago, finding a building that pointed to another building that pointed back to a different door at the first building, but I made it. Not the sort of morning to calm the nerves. Not the emotional state to walk into a mediation negotiation meeting. But at least I wasn’t the last one there. My counselor showed up right behind me. We hit the doorbell, waited for our entrance – and then found that the mediator and everyone else was scheduled for 2pm, not 9am. I’ve got work to do. I’ve got work to do to make the money that will mean I can walk into such a meeting and confidently and reliably state that I can may a modified mortgage, if it is like the previous offers. Some rescheduling was necessary.
Weird thing #1
It was suggested that by my not being on time for the 2PM meeting I might be considered to be not acting in good faith, even though I showed up on time as I was told to. Would the other parties be considered to not be acting in good faith because they didn’t attend when I was told to be there?
Weird thing #2
Rescheduling might take months. That would actually work to my benefit, as the foreclosure proceedings can’t proceed while mediation is in progress. But it is understandable that they wouldn’t want to delay much more.
Weird thing #3
Holding the meeting at the original time could work if I could just call in. That was deemed unacceptable, even though other parties call in when they can’t attend in person. So, different criteria apply to them than to me. So much for equal footing.
Weird thing #4
Even if the meeting takes place, I still haven’t received a letter telling me how much a new payment would be. I can’t responsibly write out a check and leave off the amount.
It’s been a weird day. It’s been a bizarre process. The process continues.
The good news from Tuesday night remains. Every day the good news improves because every day I am making more than enough to live, and if this delays long enough, I’ll finally have the bank account to show for it.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to adjust, change those habits built for a different circumstance, and look forward to good timing and good times.
And you’ll get to see these posts coming on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. Some adaptation is required, and it is all for good reasons.