I have to admit as I write this I am in a bit of a funk. The house sale is not going well. I feel directionless at work. I am really starting to realize what I will miss about Wisconsin.
Since you have been reading this, you know that my family has lived in the same house for 25 years. It has been a wonderful home. We raised two great children, and made a lot of memories. I’m old enough to know that selling a home is not personal. Just because my family loves the house, is certainly no reason for others to. That being said. I am learning to hate the real estate term “Lived In”. I think this code for worn out. In a lot of areas an older home sells quickly. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Greenville, WI. There are new homes going up every day, and with the price point on my house, buyers are realizing that for $20,000 more they can get a brand new house. It doesn’t make sense to me, because that is just the house price, by the time you put in your driveway, yard, etc…. You are probably looking at an extra $40K or more. But after dropping the price $30,000 I am at least finally getting people to come and look, but every comment has been, “The house is lived in….” Not sure what I can do about that other than sinking thousands more into re painting every room, new siding on the side, and rebuilding the driveway and entry walk.
I am quickly coming to the conclusion that the emphasis on owning a home as a way to wealth is wrong. By the time I finally get the house sold and pay the realtor fees, I will be very lucky to break even with what my wife and I put into the house. I know you have to live somewhere, so at least I will get some cash out of the deal, but overall part of me is thinking we would have been better off finding a house to rent and not worry about the home ownership. Sure I got tax credits and those kind of things, but basically even the tax credits I got over the last 25 years have been cut substantially, because of the things we did to try and sell the place. Realistically what has me down, is that everyone I talked to thought that the house would sell within a couple of weeks of hitting the market. Now it looks like I will have to delay my reunion with my wife because I have to stay back here until the sale goes through.
Work is also dragging. I know why this is. For the first time since I became the Director of Technology. I don’t have any irons in the fire to be excited for the next school year. Every year it is something. It might be simply working on a training plan for teachers concerning data privacy, or bringing in some new technology so I am learning how to use it myself while I am also developing training plans for teachers and students. This year, I working on training my replacement. Going through all the management tools, explaining what they are used for, and watching someone else learn how they work. It simply feels so strange to not have a goal right now. I can’t even help the “new guy” with anything. He has ideas, but before he can even start implementing them, he needs to learn how to keep things running after 30 August. I have learned to hate the month of August over the past few years. It seems like 9 months worth of work get compacted into one, but this year feels different. I think I will hate August, because each day means I am one day closer to ending something I have been very passionate about and “patting myself on the back” pretty damn good at doing.
The last 25 years I have embraced living in Wisconsin. I started hunting, ice fishing, camping, and a whole lot of other activities. The weekend before the 4th I was lucky enough to spend an entire weekend fishing on Lake Michigan.
I spent Friday with two good Wisconsin friends, and then Saturday drove down to Indiana to meet up with some fraternity brothers. On a side note, fraternities get a bad reputation these days, but most of that is overblown due to a very few stupid 19 – 20 year old men. My experience and my son’s experience are completely different. This weekend was no exception. Some of the men in this picture were freshmen and sophomores when I was a Senior at Indiana. Yet, within 5 minutes of getting reacquainted it was just like 32 years ago and we quickly reconnected. A few of the men I had never met in person until we were fishing. We still had a bond, and I know that if I find myself in their area after one quick phone call I have someone that will help.
Anyway, this is just an example of something I will miss about Wisconsin, sure I can fish, but it will probably take a long time to make the kind of friendships I have here. The other thing that hit me this week is that I will really miss hunting. A normal year would find me spending 30 minutes to an hour in my back yard practicing with my bow. Hunting season starts mid September, and bow hunting is all about muscle memory. You need to make sure you do the exact same thing every time to make sure the shot goes where you intend. This summer, however, the bow is sitting in a storage unit blocked off until I come back in 2022.
Sorry for the long and rambling post today. Next week, I promise to have a more education related post.