My house is finally sold. After two years, an offer, and months of waiting for completion - I am finally free of the rope around my neck.
I owned the house myself. I then met Warren and we decided to buy a new home together. My old house was quite small, and I was quite happy to move out - fresh start. Very blase and a little naive. In love and just wanting to be together - a fresh start in a new town. A home of our own.
I'll be honest, I didn't even think of the consequences. This was years of paying two mortgages. I have worked tirelessly to pay for a house that I don't live in. I thought that it would sell....just like that. But it didn't work out that way.
But that doesn't matter now. A line is drawn and our fresh start is here. Funny how things happen. If we hadn't have moved in together would we have had Alice and Rosie? Would Warren have got so far in his career? Would I have completed my degree and be so fortunate as to have a good job at the university - on the way to doing my masters and this blog - would I have started it had things been different?
None of us know.
Time changes us.
I remember the day I moved in to my house. Single parent, lugging all pots and pans in bags, full of energy and so excited at my new adventure. The removal men had literally dumped everything I had in the middle of the living room. I worked tirelessly for hours moving furniture, cleaning, arranging. I picked two-year old Emily up from nursery and we went straight to Asda and bought the essentials we didn't have; black bin liners, dustpan and brush, mop and bucket, batteries, milk and bread...
I remember that Asda run like it was yesterday. Me, on my own, just getting on. I loved the house. It was mine all mine and my own achievement. It meant everything to me - I was working to pay for mine and Em's future and it was going to be such a bright one.
When we got back to the house, most things tidied away and ready to settle down for the night, I noticed an old clock still hanging on the wall in the kitchen. Nothing special. Usual clock face with pebble-coloured rim. It had stopped, so I put a battery in it and it started ticking away. It was just on the wall above my little dining table for two - that'll do, I thought. That clock ticked there for all the time we lived there.
Just last weekend my Dad and brother had cleared most of the furniture out of my house. The place was empty and me and Warren went in to tidy round and lock up properly. As we were about to leave I saw one last item on top of one of the kitchen cupboards. The old clock. It wasn't ticking, battery dead - left lifeless for perhaps years. I picked it up and held it like my most prized possession as I said goodbye to the house that had been loved for so long and yet had caused me the most pain over the years. I turned the key in the lock for the last time, quite emotional and thoroughly drained.
How strange then, that as we got to our current (and now only) home, which is full to the brim with toys, books, records and love - we found our own kitchen clock, stranded an hour behind, just stunted, unable to be revived.
And so, as the old pebble-rimmed clock had started my fresh life in my new house with Emily all those years ago, it now comes with us on our fresh start - our new journey as a family with one home; financial burden gone, a new life, a new start.
The old clock stays with us. As an important part of our new life. Just in time for our actual fresh start.