Thursday mid-day brought the most unhappy news of another $100 rent hike. I was so sick to my stomac. I tried very hard to fight the visceral reaction to declare that we were moving, trying to learn the lesson from last year. It turns out I was quite right to stay calm, as ours was definitely not the highest increase. My husband reminded me that we had been getting a little complacent and that we needed this push to look at our priorities and make sure we were on track.
By Friday morning I knew that the answer was not another rental in southern California. Which leaves us with three options, still. Stay and tough it out (but submit a list of maintenance demands — if we’re paying for it we’d better actually get it!), low-ball someone on a condo (I won’t pay more on my mortgage than I will on rent, but if I can get it to work out … ), move out of state. I don’t know what the answer is but I also don’t think I’ll know this month. In the meantime I feel very calm. Things will be okay. Would I rather not pay that extra $100 every month and instead use it toward my debt reduction plan? Of course. But as long as I’m babysitting Aiden we actually CAN pay that extra rent. I just won’t like it.
It has taken a great deal of effort this weekend to not go off the deep end and freak out. With stratospheric gas prices, food prices, and energy prices, but stagnant wages, it’s really hard to not feel squeezed on every side. It’s really hard to not feel like some grand power is toying with us to see how long it takes before we implode. Believe me, some days I’m pretty close to imploding. It’s not just that I’m upset that I don’t see how we can get ahead, I’m mad that for so many families it’s nearly impossible to catch up, or even just tread water.
But I have faith, and I need to remember the calm I felt. I don’t know the answers, but I know that we will. Eventually.