Building a house is a wonderful experience and a great challenge. As with anything in life, we can take from it what we choose. The lessons we learn from any given situation are purely up to us. To our attitude. And our aptitude for change.
Seasons change for a reason. Winds shift their direction. Waters rise and fall. Mother Nature is a most unpredictable lady. Tis true with building a house, as well. Like life, you can plan and plan aannndd plan…til the universe waves its flag mockingly, with the words, The best laid plans, emblazoned across it.
In accordance, we pause, we look, we listen, and we try our best to learn.
We can’t stop the seasons from changing, the winds from shifting, or the waters from rising and falling. But we can change our direction by embracing change and the messages that come with it. We are creatures of habit. And as a rule, we don’t take kindly to change. But if we become still, long enough, we can learn from the messages written in the universal winds of change.
We’ve purposely changed a lot of things with this house. Happy, life affirming changes. It represents our new forever. Our life together has been a progression of changes. The typical and the not so typical. In this new amazing chapter, we’ve enjoyed mixing it up and embracing our new life that awaits us…just around the corner.
Almost ready for my happy dance, but until then, here’s what we’ve learned while building our Not So Empty Nest.
Lessons from a House
When designing our third house we referred back to our other homes to remind us what we loved and what didn’t work so well for us.
LESSON: learn from your mistakes
Choosing colors was fun for me. But due to the vast selection, I second guessed myself on occasion. After hours of looking at other colors, I always went back to the original choice.
LESSON: go with your gut (intuition), it never lies
In dealing with various people throughout the build we met many different “characters” and became astute at reading people.
LESSON: when someone shows you who they are, believe them
Mother Nature wasn’t kind to us. “She” delayed our move by at least a month. We were frustrated initially. But then settled in for a long, wet and cold ride.
LESSON: learn to accept the things you cannot change
The art of war. There were many, “I want this” and “No, I want that,” moments. Throughout it all, we were respectful to each other’s needs.
LESSON: pick your battles
On certain days so many things went wrong that we just wanted to scream. At the end of the day we retreated to the rental, poured a glass of wine and watched a comedy.
LESSON: laughter (and a glass of wine) really is the best medicine
Our house blueprint was our reference – always. But elements that looked good on paper often needed to be adjusted as we built.
LESSON: sometimes the best thing you can do is go back to the drawing board
During both the planning and building phases, compromises had to be made in order to achieve both of our visions and stay within the budget.
LESSON: know what you’re NOT willing to compromise – no matter what
We did a lot of research before building our house…it paid off.
LESSON: always do your homework
At times I’m sure we appeared to be obsessing over the little details of our house.
LESSON: pay attention to detail – the smallest detail can make the biggest difference
Whether Sam and I were putting out fires or jumping for joy with excitement, we did it together. 100 percent. All in. We put our heart and soul into this house and gave it everything we had – with great excitement and passion.
LESSON: that’s the most important lesson of all
“I do not doubt that whatever I know at any given time, there awaits for me more which I do not know.” Walt Whitman
2 thoughts on “LESSONS FROM A HOUSE”
Karen, your blog is extremely well written, full of valuable information, and very enjoyable to read. My husband, Paul and I are building a new home. We’re in the house planning stage, or phase one. Your article certainly hit home for us and one I’ll print out and carry with me for reminders and references. Please know I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you for sharing your insight with me. I’m sure it will help me/us along our journey.
Barbara Martin Shockey
Barb, thank you ever so much for your kind words. The biggest reward for this writer is to know that my words meant something to someone. Thank you, my dear.
If you and Paul need any sage advice, do NOT hesitate to give us a call. We’d be more than happy to help. Drop by if you’re in the area. Good Luck!!!!!!