AND WE'RE IN!!
[Nov 21] - We have been living in our new home officially for the past 3 weeks and wow - what a journey it has been...!
This is a post I wrote two months ago while I was right in the thick of it all emotionally but not quite ready to share. I wanted to write it to open the conversations for others in similar situations to mine, or others who are going through big changes. You might find it helpful, or maybe you might be able to relate on another level.. either way - thanks for being here with me. xo, L
PS. these gorgeous photos were taken by Jeni Stafford in our own "morning-in-the-life" photography session. I wanted to be able to remember these days for years to come and photographs are the best way to help those memories stay vivid in our minds. It was such a pleasure to have Jeni capturing our real life antics!! These photos made me smile and I feel even more thankful for what we have now.
[Sept 6] Building a home we thoughtfully designed and watching it erect from a pile of dirt is pretty incredible. I am in awe of what we have already accomplished and I know our view of the ocean is one I will never get tired of. (I KNOW! a view!!) With the kids growing up faster than I can even process, and Riley and I managing to find new ways push each other's buttons every day...
**cough** lighting decisions?! siding colours?! who's turn to bathe the kids in the tiny shower!? Where are all the clean clothes?? **sigh**
...I'm definitely feeling the constant push and pull of life in limbo.
And it's hard.
And it's amazing.
And it's super difficult to explain how I feel day to day, but here goes.
Taking on this project for our family and our future definitely came at an emotional price and, at times it felt like a pretty hefty toll.
"What was it like?" I asked numerous wives and women who have gone through their own home building projects before me.
"How did you get a long with your partner?"
"Did you have a hard time making decisions?"
"What was the most stressful part?"
"What was the best part?"
"What would you do differently?"
"How did you manage to remain sane with the kids running around a dangerous job site??"
"How did you remain sane at all??"
I asked over and over and got a wide range of answers, from positive to negative. But mostly, they said to enjoy the process, don't sweat the little things, and to be prepared to be on my own a lot more. Which seemed all fine and good! I can do that!
What I didn't ask was...
"How did you feel when your relationships changed because you no longer had extra time and attention to put towards them?"
"How did taking on such a full time commitment effect your ability to work through disappointment from others?"
"How did you manage your own expectations of your family, friends, and work?"
"How did you feel when you had to turn down invitations for camping weekends away, or a casual barbecues on a Saturday afternoons because you had a house to build?"
"How did you work through your own feelings of doubt and, perhaps, incompetence at times?
But guess what?
There are no pre-drawn out blueprints or plans to all of this. If there was a guide on how to handle these changes and my emotions - I would've paid big bucks for it! I could've asked a million more questions but in the end, there are no right answers. Trust me, my practical brain has been quite disappointed with the lack of clear answers for anything these days!
The hardest part about building our beautiful home - has nothing to do with building our home and everything to do with the expectations I have for myself and for others in my life. I totally understand why some couples and partnerships crumble under the pressures put on each other during construction. There is an immense amount of understanding and trust needed in order to keep pushing forward every day and the mental strength that it takes to do so often feels overwhelming.
I love the days when everything falls into place effortlessly, and I wince at the days when it feels like nothing is going right and the problems just keep piling up.. But these days are short - and it won't be like this forever.
Remaining positive and being around those who lift me up has been my saving grace when I have not been able to do it myself. Maybe it was the house build? Or maybe its just the time in my life when shit like this happens? I don't know for sure.. What I do know for sure is my eyes are open and my tunnel vision has widened.
To end this post, I have to say how grateful and impressed I am with my partner in crime and his crazy attention to detail. He makes building a house seem so easy! Also, how thankful I am to have the support I have from friends and family close to us, and how privileged we are to be able to say we built this with our own two hands and with the hands of many talented tradespeople. We did it! And I believe we're better people for it.
To say I've learned a lot is kind of an understatement. Thankfully, this year especially, I began to trust in the timing of it all and realize that nothing happens by chance.
Advice to those on a similar journey, or a journey of major change - TRUST yourself, enjoy the process, allow yourself to feel the highs and lows, and remember why you started in the first place. You've got all the answers you need.