Thursday, April 20, 2006

What goes

Took a slow morning. The Rocket Scientist and I went out for a nice early lunch, then meandered to our respective work locations.

My textbook was waiting for me on campus, as I suspected. I have to make up a prioritized list of things to do. The first is an abstract for this Scotland conference. Tomorrow is submittal deadline. I've been working on that this past hour.

I'm quite behind on reading blogs, since I've hardly looked at any this past week. Not sure when I'll catch up. Not at the top of my priority list, though important in its own way. Blogging keeps me sane and connected to people who understand what I'm going through.

Our tax refund has finally worked its way through a big delay. We have a rather hefty tax refund this year, since we had only one income, and that for only half a year, along with quite a few expenses (paying the mortgage on a vacant house, and child care, and moving). For some reason however, it was delayed in processing, because of some red flag. It's finally made it beyond the "error checking" department, and we should be expecting that check within the next month.

That, and the house. I figured it out, and it doesn't look as bad as it had been feeling. In the end (assuming this actually goes through without a hitch) we will have realized just under 6.5% annualized growth for the 8 years we owned the place. In historical terms, that's not so bad. The sad part is that, from what other places have sold for in the past year or so, I am confident that (had we had a better agent from the start) we likely could have gotten $30,000-50,000 more for the place, and sold it last summer, when it first went on market. The under contract price is fully 18% lower than our initial asking price! Youch!

Lesson One I learned from this: don't take advice that says push the price to the upper limit, with the plan to pull back by fits and starts. Price it slightly under the market in the first place, and hope that more than one offer will push it back up. Selling it quickly for $10,000-15,000 less than hoped is far better than selling it later for much less!

Enough of that. I wish it over and done with. Back to real work. I begin to feel connected once again to my career, but still a bit wary of it. I don't have a job yet. I don't have any imminent interviews. The telephone remains silent. Those are not changed immediately by publications and conference presentations. But at least if I'm active, I'm enjoying the work, I'm receiving feedback, and I remain distracted by things I enjoy from things I'd rather not contemplate.

We'll see how things go. It is true that often good things fall in the laps of those who are looking the other way.

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