Lessons in Patience

Lessons in Patience

Last year about this time my partner, Peter, and I decided we were ready to move forward on the remodel we’ve been wanting to do to our house since we moved in years ago. The roof has leaked for too long, the bathroom floors are rotting away from water damage and my pink laminate counter tops have lost their cool. We started our dreaming and drawing; and since I’m an artist and he’s a contractor, we decided we’d be doing most of this ourselves- including drawing up the plans.

We envisioned the summer of 2018 with no walls, no roof and life in turmoil. We knew the turmoil would be worth it because we’d be moving towards the exciting goal of having an updated house, with more light, a waterproof roof, and a kitchen from this century- all the things one wants out of a house. Yet here we are in October and we’ve not even broken ground, nor are we ready to any time soon. This is because the plans aren’t complete and the rainy season has started again.

Once I get an idea and inspiration, I’m ready to take action and see it come to life. I usually run with it, and make it happen and learn along the way. Yet with this project- the scope being so big, and I won’t have a home-I’ve not been in my normal mode of quick starting. When I look at all the moving parts, I get frozen. In addition to designing the floor plan, the countertops, the bathroom layout, I’ve also got to find a place for us to live, plus I’m in charge of coordinating the painters and electricians and plumbers and so on. I’ve come to a halt. I’m frozen for so many reasons- lots of it is being scared of tearing up my house- even though I know it’ll be better once it’s finished. Some is just avoiding the headache of packing up everything and finding a place to store all this stuff we’ve collected in the 10 years here, and some is being overwhelmed by so many decisions. I still want to do this and I still want us to do it ourselves, so I’ve had to accept that when you “do it yourself”, it takes longer and that has been a lesson in patience.

I could blame Peter for not doing this part of it or that- he is the plan drawer, but I also know that I’ve dropped the ball around all the decisions I’ve got to make and actions I need to take. I stopped clearing out the house so we could store less stuff, I stopped looking at Pinterest for ideas, I stopped working on our kitchen design. Now I’m ready to move forward, to get unstuck and that means being patient with myself and the process in the midst of making HUGE life changes. I’m trying to balance excitement and action without getting ahead of the progress. I’m trying to stay motivated to make lots of decisions; to go look at bathtubs, and windows and faucets and……..

I’m learning to be patient, as this is the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken. It’s going to be the most disruption my life has seen since childhood, and I hadn’t realized how scary that is. So wish me luck in being patient while still taking little steps along the way. Because that’s the goal, the hard part- staying in a forward motion when one little step doesn’t feel like it’s getting any where. I want to be patient with little wins towards a huge goal, to feel satisfied and motivated because this is a marathon not a sprint. Like all of the biggest, most important things we do in life- parenting, running our business, gardening, bringing our magic out into the world- it takes many small actions to see the dreams come to fruition, and that takes patience.

I know I’ll be challenged to keep making this happen – but maybe as the rain starts pouring through the roof again this year, I can be patient AND active as I work towards breaking ground in the spring.