Sunday, September 9, 2012

frustration and taking the long view

You have heard me talk about the additions and renovations to the home we just bought.  This project has been going for almost three months now, and I must be honest:  I'm tired of it.  There are a few things you should know about why:

1)  We spent up the budget we had allotted for the house about a month ago, with many more tasks left to do (I missed the memo on adding 25% to your budget for these kinds of things right off the top).  Rather than continue financing it by taking out loans or going through savings, we are doing what we can as we gather the money.  This is a stressful setback for me.

2)  We had planned to do many of the small things (mudding and sanding drywall, laying floor, staining and hanging trim, etc) ourselves to save on labor cost.  This was an unrealistic plan.  Between work, the baby, and taking care of family we find ourselves with little extra time to do these tasks.  What free time we do have we want to give to relaxation, not hard work.

3)  I am impatient by nature, and I want a nice, finished place to entertain friends and let my child run free yesterday.  It is very difficult for me to live with the continual dust, debris, clutter and chaos that this project entails. 

4)  Through the bottle fiasco, it has become clear that our house is not sitting on very solid ground, and there is some sloping on the east side.  I believe that foundation work is in the future and it is just a matter of time.

I feel pinned in at all sides.  I want it done quickly, but we don't have the money to hire the work out.  I want to save money, but I don't want to put in the time that it takes to DIY a big home project.  And in the midst of these frustrations, I begin to feel aggravated myself because all of this is so very whiny.  So I use one of my time-honored stress relieving tactics, which I call "zooming out."  Picture yourself zooming out from seconds to minutes to hours to days to weeks to months to years to decades.  In twenty years, what will I remember?  I will remember this frustration like a passing bump in the road. 

I also try taking the long view.  We want to live in this house for many years.  We have a lot of time to turn it into what we want; there is no deadline.  We want to raise Vicki Jo and whatever other children we have here.  Even if I am reappointed somewhere far off, we intend to keep this house as a Nashville home base.  We love the neighborhood.  If we are lucky enough to lottery into the magnet school two blocks away, our kids will be at amazing schools within walking distance.  We have eventual plans to add on a master suite and another bedroom and bath in the attic.  Eventually this small space will have four bedrooms and three baths!  If we ever do sell it, we are guaranteed to get much more out of it than we put into it. 

I am tired of making lists and not seeing anything get crossed off.  But I never, ever want to take for granted the level of blessing and luck that are present in our life. 

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