it's about life, my life, quilts, midwifery, and whatever else occurs to me.

06 May 2013

Uncertainty is life

Where has the time gone? As of January, we've been in the Treehouse for 4 years, and as of last month, in Oz for 4 1/2. That means that our first 5 years in Oz are rapidly coming to a close. And let me tell you there's nothing like the impending end of an employment contract to get you thinking about, well, pretty much everything.

Now that I'm no longer a student, I have the opportunity to look for a job. But where should I look? In pursuit of a return to the US, Phil's job hunting back there, but nothing has come up on that front yet. UQ would like him to stay, and that's looking likely at least for another year. So then, look here. But what if a US job comes through for Phil? So then, wait.

Further in pursuit of a return to the US, we've put the Treehouse on the market. Now, the Treehouse isn't your ordinary house. It will not appeal to the average person. You need to be a bit adventurous to live here, and not mind spiders or geckos. You need to appreciate the quirks and not mind the upkeep too much. Knowing this, we decided to sell up as soon as we can, after which we'll either move our stuff and ourselves back to the US, or move to a more modestly-sized rental in Brisbane for however much longer we're here. After a month on the market and 4 open houses, accompanied first by online and now by print advertising ($$$$!), we've had exactly 0 serious interest. At least we can say that we correctly anticipated a tough sell. 3 more open houses and we go to auction on the 25th of May, and see what happens.

But even this is fraught. What if a buyer wants to close quickly? What will we do with all our stuff, which now fills 11 rooms and the storage space under the house, and only some of which we need to have to hand? Rent storage (an action I vowed never to take)? Engage a mover now for storage until we actually do leave? Clearly triaging of possessions will be required and these will include some that were not mine originally and that I didn't want to bring here in the first place. Fireworks will ensue, I have no doubt.

So supposing we stay: what sort of job should I look for? I haven't practiced midwifery in nearly 5 years but I have no immediate prospects for practice here. No one's hiring except one midwifery education program; they want a full-time person, and I don't want to work full-time. I just helped my physio PhD advisor write a grant that includes a 0.8 FTE research assistant position, and I might be a candidate for that position, IF she gets the grant and IF it's funded. Did I get a PhD to be a research assistant? 

Here are my big worries: What if 6 months go by and the house hasn't sold? What if Phil finds a job in the US and the house hasn't sold? What if we can't sell it for enough to at least get our down payment back after we pay off the mortgage and the real estate agent's fee and still have enough left to fund the move back?

And, not so big but a factor nonetheless: we could be leaving before I've had a chance to see Perth, and Darwin, and Singapore, and Thailand and NZ, and some of those islands in the S. Pacific. It's a long and expensive way to come on a holiday from the US. If that weren't the case, we would have had more visitors here at the Treehouse. So, as much as I want to go back and be Marmee, I also want to stay and see more of this part of the world while it's a shorter and cheaper trip to do so.

So, there it all is, but I have to stop thinking about it before my head explodes. Channeling Scarlett O'Hara - I'll think about it tomorrow.

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