28 Days Later or: How living in a hotel made things clearer
I’m going to summarize this post before I actually even get a chance to write it. Living in a hotel for a month with 6 people is, in one short phrase, an experience. Good, bad or mediocre, it’s something that I’ve experienced for the last 28 days. To bring new readers up to speed, if you are wondering: “WTF are you doing living in a hotel?”, hop over to this post HERE.
Done? Okay. Now that everyone is on the same page. We arrived here at the Econolodge hoping to have a pretty fast turn over on finding a place to live. Little did I realize just how tough the rental market is here. It’s not tough as in, super strict (okay, some are) but more along the lines of there are SO many people looking to rent. Not only that, but there are a LOT of people looking for work (more on that later). One day turned into three, three into ten and so on and so forth. But the time that I’ve been here has opened my eyes to a couple of things. Actually, a lot of things.
Bullet Points of Awesome Engaged:
- I’m confident: For the past 20 years, I’ve developed certain skills (watch out Mr. Neeson) that didn’t begin to mature until the last 5 years, really. I’ve always been an extrovert. The joke between Tash and I has been that if a song that I like comes on in the grocery store, I’ll be the one dancing in the aisle as she pushes the cart quietly, yet swiftly away from my power ballad performance from the “Frozen Waffles Pavilion” (and what a performance it was). But aside from being an extrovert, I’ve progressed into being able to hold a conversation and relate to people on their level. There’s a massive difference with simply talking to someone and being able to relate to someone. Perhaps that’s what’s helped me progress my social media consulting… you need to be able to talk with people… not at them.
- I still second guess myself occasionally: Akin to lyrics from the Canadian Queen, Alanis (Jagged Little Pill is still one of my favorite albums… don’t judge me), though I’m confident, there’s a duplicitous side to that where I find myself seeing the cracks in my confident armor. I see things ahead of me, decisions I should make, gut feelings that I know I should stay the course with that end up not happening in my ideal time table. And when my internal schedule proves unreliable, that’s when I start wondering if the course that I’ve plotted is the right one. It’s not super often that his happens, but it does. But that comes down to another attribute that, again, is duplicitous (I really like that word).
- I’m Impatient: I want it to happen now. What is “It” that I want to happen? I have no clue but it needs to happen right this moment. If I had a Police Call Box, a Delorean or even Ashton Kutcher’s ability to nosebleed my way into a different time of my life, I’d be a dangerous man. Because I’d do it in a heartbeat sometimes. No one wants to stay in a hotel for this length of time. Part of me would like to be able to just find out how much longer we’d need to stay here so I can assure Tash and the kids that it’s only “x” and we’ll be out of here! But I can’t… and that’s probably a good thing. Because it’s teaching me actual patience. But in the same light…
- I’m Impatient: I hate being stagnant. I hate sitting in the same place without progress. So what does this do for my mental state? It pushes me harder. I can’t just sit here and do nothing. While I do have client work with LionLeap* that keeps me busy, my current job and housing situation is the exact opposite of where I’d like it to be so I’ve taken great lengths to change that. And I think I’m seeing momentum pick up on the daily. Lily pad hopping and long strides alike, I am getting there. Sure I’ve had some rejections, but I’ve also had some pretty heavy bites that validates (and fuels) point 1.
My wife is more amazing than I give her credit for: Tash is a very strong, passionate woman. I mean come on, she’s built Canadian tough. But honestly, what woman wants to live in a hotel, away from the comforts of her own bed, her own sheets, a kitchen that she calls her own (She is a dynamite cook), and a place to read quietly, away from the hustle of life? For the last 28 days, she hasn’t been able to. And that is a bit of an unfair hand she’s been dealt. I may not have promised an immediate turn around, but I still feel a level of guilt that it didn’t happen that way. But you know what, it doesn’t matter to her. She’s been there to back me this entire time and, though she is a person who loves her space, she’s adapted to the confines of this hotel room like she’s unlocked the Konami code (Look it up kids if you’re lost) and remembered to hit “select”, THEN start at the end to give me 30 extra lives as well.
- I need to learn from my kids: They don’t even know what the word means completely, but they unknowingly know the concept through and through. I have to tell you, my kids have shown such patience, gratitude and compassion to our situation. And what’s sad is, they’ve been through a situation like this before in the past, though it was forced (See the post linked at the beginning and read the portion about ValuePlace), they still find it to be an adventure of sorts. While they occasionally ask “Are we going into a house this weekend?”, it is quickly followed by “We have a roof over our heads” and they are genuine about it. They aren’t whining or settling. They are genuinely happy to be where we are. They admire the mountains, the cool air and the English muffins that the hotel lobby provides every morning (come on.. who wouldn’t? English Muffins, right?!). Before we moved, we had a nice sized garage sale and the kids sold some things as well. They all had their own things to sell and ended up with some spending money. They’ve all bought this or that and ended up with a little bit of money left over. Tash and I just celebrated our 12 year anniversary last weekend and my kids made individual cards for us. My 9 year old son made a special pocket in the paper card and used marker to write “41 cents” over the pocket. He had poured the rest of his money (now simply change) and said “To help us get a house”… This kid gave the last of what he had to try and contribute to the family. Aww shucks kid… stop cutting onions while I’m typing this…
Almost a month into living in a hotel with my family and I can tell you that I couldn’t have a better group of people to do it with. Tash and the kids are amazing companions in this journey. And that’s really what it is. This is a journey to make things better for all of us. Better opportunities all around, better ingredients, Papa J….sorry, it’s 1:50 a.m. while I’m typing this and that snuck in there. And I don’t even like Papa John’s.
How much longer will we be here in Casa De EconoLodge? I have no idea… but honestly, I know that it’s leading to something amazing. We have so many opportunities here. And for every email I get back saying that I was not chosen to progress to the next round of the hiring process, for every house that we’re told is already rented, reminds me that we are simply closing the wrong doors and moving towards the one that is perfect for us in this time of our lives (yes, I know that’s a riff of a Katy Perry line from “Firework” but it still holds true. Sue me…). I’m pretty sure that I’m going to need to get a job offer before we can move into a house (most everyone I’ve talked too doesn’t mind the whole “Self Employed” status but having pay stubs has a way to make people feel a bit more comfortable. Speaking of which…
Quick Update on the Job situation btw: I interviewed with an AWESOME company on Thursday and I have pretty high hopes for it. Cross your fingers now. And don’t uncross them until I tweet otherwise… Until then, share this post if you know someone that could benefit from our story. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or message me directly!
*(speaking of which, if you’re looking for some Branding, Social media consultation or assistance with your website…ahem… click here. Shameless plug over)