We bought our home two years ago in July. We did a lot of work immediately, before we even moved in. I couldn’t live with the oak-ish floors and butter colored walls. We made as many changes as possible and then started prioritizing other updates as we could get to them. One morning, sipping my coffee in a duplex across town, I realized something profound.
I had worried myself sick about undone projects. I’d fretted constantly over how and when the rest of the updates would get done. I longed to be “finished” and have that picture perfect home I saw in my mind. In essence, I tortured myself.
You know what happened next. The house flooded and we had to rip what we had done apart and literally start over. And then, we had the opportunity (albeit it not ideal) to rebuild in a way that we’ll hopefully love. I won’t say that this flood happened to teach me a lesson, though I can definitely say I’ve learned several. I also don’t want to give you the impression that I’m happy it happened so that I could rebuild. This is by far, one of the most difficult and trying obstacles I’ve faced thus far, and even if something good does hopefully come from it, I still wouldn’t have chosen this route.
First, I need to understand that everything happens in due time. My lack of patience wants everything done yesterday. I’m not great at planning things for the long term and often get frustrated when things don’t happen right away. I suddenly realized that I need to just have faith and understand that every single dream, idea, or plan will unfold eventually. There’s no point in fretting over it. I wrote something similar about just being patient before. However, I was not using that strategy in our home renovation.
Second, I need to spend more time appreciating what I have. Don’t get me wrong, I always operate under a sense of gratitude. However, I wasn’t focusing on that at home. I started out with a grateful mind despite my wishlist and then lost site of that somewhere down the line. And then suddenly, when it’s all ripped away from you, you realize what you had. And what you lost. When we were crashing with friends, or living in a camper, or not actually knowing where we’d live next, I would have given anything to have that home back, imperfections and all. Who cares that I hated that seashell sink and that the bathroom was a little small. Who cares that the living room layout bugged me a bit and that the cabinets looked like they battled in World War 2. I just wanted to be back home. Suddenly none of those imperfections mattered. I didn’t care how many updates or projects were still needed. I just wanted to be home.
It’s rather silly that I lived in a state of stress and worry over getting that home finished. I simply lost site of the here and now and instead of enjoying what I had and how far we’d come, I, like so many others wanted more. This experience has definitely been a lesson in patience and appreciation. I’m thankful for a place to call home. I’m thankful for the shelter it provides and for its benefits, as well as it’s imperfections. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to change my mindset. When we finish rebuilding, it still might not be perfect. Our next home might not be perfect. Nonetheless, I’ll always be grateful for a place to call home. A place to rejuvenate and relax and make memories, regardless of the type of counter tops it has.