Things I won’t give up

As we start to make our move from this fabulous home my husband built, I look around and decide that there are a few things that will not be staying here, even if I have to throw a temper tantrum for a week straight. You see, I hand-picked everything… I love everything about this house… I want to keep everything in this house… if I could, I’d just pick it up and move it to our new land and be done with it! When people come to visit, I brag about the healthy meals I’m able to create with a kitchen like this one. I tell them how happy we are to live here, comparing the house to the places we used to live in. I get a sense of fulfillment when showing friends and family new items I’ve added, and use words like “juxtaposition” and “contemporary” as if I attended design school. But then something happened. A close friend began to ask me questions like, “were you not healthy, happy and fulfilled before?” “Did this house really change things for the better?” The look on her face gave her away; this was an intervention. “Uh… thinking…”

The truth is, it was more headache and heartache than it was worth. We honestly had no business trying to build in such an expensive county. We probably shouldn’t have moved here at all. In looking back, we spent all of our time and money just trying to finish the house. It started out fun for us: My husband bought a skid steer and excavator for doing the ground work. He hired friends for framing and some of the finishing. And then he did all the rest himself. We thought we were saving money and made a lot of good choices. It was a great experience considering he’s a general contractor, since he learned a lot. And yes, I am so very proud of the work he can do – with his bare hands no less. I had a blast shopping for everything from windows to light switch covers. And the idea of seeing something in your head and comparing it to the end result – well it just doesn’t compare at all! “But… still thinking…” At this point I am second-guessing everything.

This trench starts at the well at one end of the property below the house, and runs all the way up the hillside to the other end above the house. Pipes were installed and a massive pump took water from the well all the way up to the water tank at the other end. This is so we could use gravity to feed the house, and not have to buy another pump. The hubby did a lot of work indeed.

So as you can see right from the start, it took a lot of time and money. And yes, now it feels like wasted time and money. We finally realized we were completely off track from our original goals. We just couldn’t see it until we were knee-deep into it. All turned out okay though. Almost as soon as we had our little epiphany, something else wonderful happened. A neighbor down the street sold their home. No, it isn’t that we didn’t like them, it has to do with the price they received for it – above the current real estate market pricing. More than we ever thought someone would get in this economy. Which raised the question, “where do we sign?” I mean, if people are still willing to buy in our area, then what are waiting for? And so here we are, ready to chuck it all to find the land we really want.

BUT, wait. What about that fabulous chandelier I found online?

And the lantern-style house lights?

And my island! My huge, wonderful, teak top island? What about that?!!

I started second-guessing the second-guesses, and asked myself, “why am I leaving?” But I answered it before the last word in that question came out. Because deep down inside I know I can do without things. They are just things. I may have hand-picked it all, but these things can’t keep me in good health. I might love their design, but it doesn’t make me a happier person for it. I may really want it bad, but buying a lot of things is only a false sense of fulfillment. Whoever made them with their own hands is the accomplished one. I just own them.

Take our entry door for instance. It’s a one of a kind, original art piece made by a close friend and everyone that walks up to it has something wonderful to say about it. An amazing reflection of his talent. Not a reflection of my worth or accomplishments… his. I tell ya that I am finally ready to use my own hands to be accomplished at something just as beautiful.

What I am feeling right now… that is what I won’t give up.