It’s official!

A picture of the Auraria campus in Denver, CO
Auraria Campus – 08/01/2019

I never would have thought I would be starting college from scratch in my late 30’s. I am officially enrolled at Community College of Denver as a AA Business major! This program guarantees admission at Colorado University as a part of the “admissions promise” program that Colorado offers. I start classes at the Community College of Denver and then, after I receive my AA, the program 100% transfers to a 4 year program with CU Denver.

Early in life I had to put supporting myself first and then quickly fell in love with entrepreneurship. As my career matured and I fell more and more in love with community as a profession when I began looking for senior positions it quickly became clear I needed to make a larger overall commitment to my career and enter a degree program.

Today I went down to the Auraria campus to speak with my academic advisor and ensure that the classes I registered for were correct. I also was able to get my student ID!

Guys, it’s official! I’M A COLLEGE STUDENT!

Honolulu , Hawaii

We spent a blissful week in Honolulu in March this year. Ian and I have taken many trips together over the years but we’ve never enjoyed a legitimate vacation thousands of miles from home and surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery – and beaches – one can have the pleasure to visit. After a challenging day at the office, tonight, I am dreaming of Oahu.

A home in Denver Pt 1

My avatar in Second Life

Ian and I bought our first house just a few months after getting married in 2006. The house was beautiful – and huge. Just the two of us in a 2100 sq ft house. It was new construction so there wasn’t a lot of upkeep and I loved working on improving the lawn + gardening. We closed in January of 2006 and got caught up in the housing bubble that happened 2006 – 2007. Seven years later, when we were ready to sell, the market still hadn’t recovered in the rural area we were in.

We were able to eventually sell the house but at a loss which left us with a bitter taste in our mouth in regards to home ownership.

We moved to Denver in 2012 – one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. After renting for about 5 yrs I started to get the itch for a place to call “home”. All of our residences since moving to Colorado have been rentals – I never felt a connection with any of them. The decision mostly evolved around whatever was the most affordable place to live at the time. We were bounced out of two properties in two years because the owners wanted to capitalize on the significant inflation of the Denver market. I don’t blame them, it just sucked to have to move so often.

Once I started to get the house itch I took a serious look at our credit. It wasn’t great. I knew it would take 12 – 18 months to work on the areas we needed to improve in order to get a better rate on a mortgage. I also started pursuing better jobs because buying a home in Denver is nothing at all like the market in Texas. You simply can’t get as much here as you can for your dollar so that meant we would have to get serious about saving. Generally, the fastest way to increase your income is to move positions and possibly organizations.

There were lots of ups and downs, and of course, the IRS cropped up every few months with something or another to take a bite out of the wallet. I landed my dream job and was able to speed up the savings process. In late 2017 I started to really look at the housing that was available in Denver and surrounding areas. We prepped ourselves to consider the worst case scenario for this market which was a condo with no garage or covered parking. I started looking into the other possibilities, primarily town homes and expanded my search area to include everything from Castle Rock to Longmont.

I searched for months… the outlook was grim. We have four dogs and three cars, so a yard or access to one was non-negotiable. Also of importance was a garage or at least covered parking for our vehicles. As you can imagine there aren’t many condos that offer both of these things which meant the most affordable housing option wasn’t going really an option at all. Next, I began looking into town homes which turned up results that were much more palatable including one community that had new construction town homes with a very affordable (for Denver) 2 bedroom floor plan.

It was during the town home research I found out about paired homes. This wasn’t a common style of housing in Texas so I hadn’t ever heard of it. The basic description would be a duplex but paired houses are a bit different from duplexes in the way they’re constructed to offer more security and privacy for the homeowners. We looked at quite a few of these and came close to making a decision but in the end, the timing wasn’t right and we decided to put the research into buying a home on hold for another year.

Fast forward to March 2018 – the itch was back and more intense than ever. We had been saving and getting our credit in order and felt ready to make a decision. We revisited the 2 bedroom town home we had seen before, the builder didn’t have one available so we looked into their other floor plans and housing.

There’s much more to our journey to home ownership. Part 2 we’ll explore the decision we made and the process of building our new home.

Apologies to those who were looking forward to more Destiny Grimoire reading today. Our power was out for 4 hours this evening and I simply didn’t have a chance to record before this entry needed to be published.

It’s about the challenge

Serialized content is difficult for me. Most likely because I don’t know what I will be inspired by on any given day and it’s very difficult for me to write about any topic if I’m not feeling it in the moment. 

In the spirit of planning week I really want to attempt to plot out a trajectory for the month that makes sense. In part to push myself to think about topics outside of “being in the moment” so that there is an actual sense of progression through #Blaugust2019 – and hopefully development for my writing. If I can’t learn to push through the “blocked” mental state I feel when attempting to write about something I’m not “in the moment” with then how am I ever to finish a paper, or a book?

One idea, the short readings from the Destiny Grimoire, has been implemented and I am dedicated to finding time to record it on a daily basis. Given that this week is devoted to the planning aspect of Blaugust let’s keep true to the spirit of this week and outline how I see this month going. 

Peeping the calendar for inspiration I realize that entire weeks are dedicated to topics I would typically smush into one day each. Understanding I would typically rush through sections that have entire weeks dedicated to them means I need to make sure my workflow reinforces a methodical approach to my topics. I want to ensure my mindset is on the marathon, not the sprint. I also understand that despite my best intentions my brain is wired this way, and it will be difficult for me to focus on planning for entire week.

With pacing in mind I’ve created a google calendar with my topics for the upcoming month so that I have better pacing and focus. Adulting can be tough, so I need to avoid procrastinating until after work to write. Let’s face it, sometimes I’m not in the best head space when I get home from an emotionally exhausting day at work. When I get home finding time to write a daily blog and record the daily audio from the Grimoire simply can’t compete with preparing dinner, spending time with Ian, gaming, etc.

Planning ahead and using the Google calendar (aha, planning) combined with clipping points of interest and roughing out a draft in evernote during the day will ensure I have prepared and don’t need to commit hours to writing one entry.

I’ve never worked in a kitchen environment before, but I watch ALOT of Gordon Ramsey programming so I’ll think of it like prep before dinner service! 

Me

Thanks for coming on this journey with me.

And, of course, Day 2 of Dark Mirror for your enjoyment.

The Beginning 0:1

The allure of possibility.

Thus begins planning week. As a major Type A personality planning is practically a kink. I have quite a few ideas to bring together this month, hopefully these will provide entertainment to those reading, and listening…

In the spirit of new beginnings let’s kick off the multimedia section for the month with the reading of Dark Mirror. Short, daily readings from the Destiny Grimore. If you have any feedback please do leave a comment. Welcome to #Blaugust2019 friends.

Day One : Black Mirror