I am not a person who expects anyone's life to be all roses regardless of what they have going for them. It's important to have perspective on where your problems fall in the grand scheme of things but also to recognize that everyone, regardless of where they are in life, has problems. Problems we create for ourselves and problems we're given, long-term problems and temporary problems. Sometimes they first feel like problems but are really just growing pains.
Owning a shore house is a tremendous blessing that has also brought a lot of added responsibility and required a lot of change: how we operate, how we spend money and time. I knew running this as an investment property would challenge me. I've been in need of a challenge. My life was running like a well oiled machine, cruising along on auto pilot, gladly entrenched on safe ground. That's one of the reasons I married someone who pushes me out of my comfort zone: to make sure I don't get stuck in neutral.
This week marked six months of shore house ownership. Part of me still can't believe we own this house. The other part of me knows we do when I look at our bank account and feel my tenuous hold on the reins of other areas of my life.
At times in this process I've found myself giving in to my old habit of worrying about things that aren't going to happen or things that are out of my control. Every time I drive away from that house I think about all manner of catastrophic events. Then there's the rental component. Will they like it? Will it be comfortable? Do they know it's a 116 year old house and that we can't change certain things about it? Will they notice its charm and not where it lacks? My logical self knows I could knock it down and build the Taj Mahal and still get complaints. Some people will complain about a picnic in heaven. My skin will get tough on that but right now I feel oddly exposed, unsure, and vulnerable like I do whenever I overthink things.
I've been operating far out of my comfort zone. I've made a lot of mistakes since October. I've realized I know jack shit about home improvement. I've wasted time, money, and energy. I've done things backwards and fucked things up. I've been reminded of the fact that I cannot have everything done the way I want it, which invariably means immediately. I've doubted myself. I've been completely at a loss more than once. I've had to ask for and accept help (best work crews ever). I've had to learn how to deal with my husband as a business partner, and how to be a reasonable business partner in return - not easy for my burn it down personality. There are a lot of things we should have known and didn't. Things we should have thought about and didn't. It's been a trial by fire but as Emerson said, our strength grows out of our weaknesses. This list is not for self flagellation or to say I didn't do well...it's to say I had to change to meet this challenge and that taking on new things means making a mess and making mistakes along the way.
Operating outside of my comfort zone makes me uh, uncomfortable. Change, even when it's a change for the better - starting a new exercise program, quitting smoking, embarking on a new career path, bringing a baby home, purchasing a house, moving in with someone, welcoming a puppy to the family - is a huge stretch. It can feel bad even when it's for something good. We are changing to meet challenges, adding facets to our personality, removing things that don't serve our purpose. We're becoming what we need to be and that process is not without its twinges.
One of my predictable life patterns is that I flounder while I'm getting my bearings after a big change. Honestly? I didn't expect to still be floundering six months later. I'm not floundering as much as I was in October, but still feel not on top of my game or like I'm watching myself manage my life from behind a sheet of glass.
Why am I telling you about it?
It feels dishonest not to, a sin of omission. I can't post a million times about time management, organizing, and cleaning and then fail to mention that at times I am also totally unsuccessful at those things. I don't always have my shit together. Sometimes it's falling out of my bag as I walk. Focusing on this, I've had to let some other stuff slide. After the weekend that was, plenty of stuff is left undone, usually on purpose so I can sit on my ass and do nothing because that's important too. I think we do each other a disservice when we act like we can do it all. We can't. I can't. And I'm okay telling you I can't.
So this is me six months later, acknowledging that it's been rewarding as hell, that I'm so grateful that I still cry about it, and also that it's been harder than I thought in ways I didn't anticipate. I'm not looking for head pats or reassurances. I just want to let the universe hear that I'm working on adapting to new routines, assimilating this into my life, learning from my mistakes... that I'm stretching and reaching for my balance again. It will get easier as time goes on and I settle into it. I'll grow from these growing pains. I just need to have patience.
Do you guys know where someone can get some patience? Asking for a friend.