Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Seem to Be Getting Ahead of Myself

By many, many miles. I've lost perspective. We got into this house after a long period of waiting, and I was so excited, so relieved to finally be here. In my mind I've envisioned the place the way I want it to be. I've been making lists. Every weekend I stack the deck with tasks for myself, trying to get it ever closer to "perfect".

And then, nothing happens. Well, not nothing, but all the wrong things. Things still need to be moved from the old house. I get a bunch of boxes cleared, and more show up. Things break. It's over 100 degrees every day for weeks, so no work gets done between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. I still have to do my job. Money is tight from the move. My husband suffers an injury. All the wrong things. My list keeps growing and never shrinking, and every time I look around, all I can see are things not done. All the things I want to do here I want to do NOW.

Yesterday a friend was kind enough to supply me with a boot to the head. She confessed that she's been in her place for two years and is only now starting on many of her "to do" projects. They are still hauling off loads of junk that they inherited with the place. Some reflection on that made me realize something - I need to sit on my hands and let things happen. It's one thing to have drive and a sense of urgency, but there are just some things you can't force. I can't change the weather. I can't make compost happen any faster than it wants to. Water will flow where it will. Even more important than that, I realized that it's probably not a good idea to finish all my projects right away, even if I could. It takes the long, slow wearing of time to transform a house into a home, and a patch of land into an oasis. They need to be broken in, develop some history with you, get to know you. If I finished everything on my list tomorrow, what on earth would I do then?


  1. What a brilliant friend you have :)

    May you enjoy the act of making your home yours.

  2. If I ever find a genie who only grants self-improvement wishes, I'll have to ask for patience. It's a regular battle for me and I'm sure there's an underlay of cultural bs there, too (do, do, do, don't be!). Good luck to you on your path to enlightenment. Your last paragraph was so beautifully zen!

  3. Breathe and enjoy the time it will take to make this what you and Jerry really want.


  4. lewru, I think you're right. I also think part of it is that as much as I rebel against consumerism, I still have "instant gratification" sort of hard-wired into me, as does nearly everyone of my generation.

  5. Is Jerry okay?

    You're preaching to the choir on this one but you're also teaching me to slow down too.

    You saw my blog the other day with my lists. We've been working on our home for 17 months and we're no where near done but we've also come along way.

    Together we can remind each other that nothing happens over night and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Take pictures too! Even of crap you don't think you should, so when it changes you can be reminded of how much you've actually done. It helps.

  6. Haha, I just found your blog, and what a great post. It's hard to take things slow sometimes, you want to get all your projects done, but life, weather, time, and injuries apparently can get in the way and make that impossible.

    But I agree with your friend, take your time, enjoy yourself, and seriously, be careful!

  7. To everything, turn, turn, turn....

    I don't see how you get anything done down there for 9 months out of the year. Too hot. ;)