Renovating the 100 year old farm house my mom grew up in – making it a place for us to grow old in.

Learning to cope and deal with setbacks during a renovation is, sometimes, easier said then done. The north wind picked up on Monday and our dog days of summer promptly ended and the-already-panic-stricken-part-of-me-that’s-been-freaking-out since April went into absolute over drive which, of course, accomplishes nothing but making sleep difficult and me a total bitch to be around. Setback, perhaps, is not quite the right term here as we have not exactly run into real setbacks, just time problems. My brother, my driving force for getting the garage and the plumbing done, has been bombarded with work in his home inspection business… which is totally awesome in every way! (I say through grit teeth and total and complete panic). I took yesterday off from work and just sat in the house and breathed for a little while. I haven’t been over there much during the day alone (I have a day job) and there was something calming about it. I got the basement framing completely and finally finished and started sistering in some extra 2x4s across the roof to support the ones that look rough. It was quiet and lovely and it helped me breathe a little bit through the panic as I was able to work at my own pace without being rushed by anyone joining me, or yelling at me to hurry (as we are always out of time now). It was the first time, in a long time, that I was able to take my time and I let myself take my time, it was nice and it helped me remember that this is actually not a chore and certainly doesn’t need to be. This is work that I enjoy, it is in my blood, and being able to keep and make this house beautiful again is an actual joy. Easily forgotten in the “during-hell” when all I want to yell at the top of my lungs is, “Calm the f*ck down!”

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In the end I came to realize that not only does this not need to feel like a chore I have no interest in this being a miserable experience for the next two months even if it does mean getting to live in it two weeks sooner. Seriously, two weeks is nothing in the scheme of our lives. I also do not work well at a run and have stumbled a couple of times as this is not something I have done very much of in the past and, when I rush like most people, I miss things and I screw up. I am going to breathe, take a little more time and do things better, there is one shot at this and no renovation needs to be a miserable or horrible experience. A labor, oh yes, but this is a labor of love for me and I have my grandpa in the back of my head telling me all the time, “Take your time. Measure twice – cut once.” We’re here right now, there is no reason not to get it right – whether it be where the windows go or what siding to choose. Right now is my chance to do it all right and I need to start rejoicing in the fact as I am only going to do this once as, when its over, it really is over and, at twenty eight years old, I’ll be moving into my forever home.

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Deep breaths, let the wind blow and blow and blow, it doesn’t matter how cold it gets, I can put on more clothes when I work on the house. It doesn’t matter how panic stricken the people around me become, that will not get the house done any faster and the more I screw up because I’m hurrying the more that needs to be redone and thus, will take longer to complete. I will say it again and, perhaps, I might even write it on the wall in the house, this will not be a miserable experience, I will take more time as I never get to do this again. And, we are almost done. I am about to start electrical and that is something to celebrate, we are literally days from completing the garage and starting plumbing as soon as my brother is able. We are close, no need to panic now, or ever, we will never be homeless and, this beautiful house, will be our home so very soon.

 

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