Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Growing Pains


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. 

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24 comments:

  1. I love this. Thanks for being brave enough to share your vulnerabilities!

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  2. Steph, I'm not ready to take your Superwoman membership card away from you just yet. I still think you deserve Superwoman status. Even if you don't always have your shit together, you seem to be doing a damn fine job...mistakes and all.

    Please remember this. Renting the place will most definitely open you up to criticism. People post reviews, and half the time, I swear, they don't even think about the fact that they are discussing real people, real businesses, real livelihoods, etc. The are keyboard warriors that sit behind the computer screen and say whatever shit they want at the time. Those people suck. Others will be conscientious, helpful, thoughtful, and honest. Those people are awesome.

    Thanks for sharing this side of you!

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  3. Change is hard, but you guys are embracing it like champs!! Reviews are tough - especially when you put so much into something, but take it all with a grain of salt, unless it is something that can be fixed lol! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. We are so similar in this thinking. Stretching is painful and difficult and in the middle of it you feel like giving up or "burning it down" (which I totally get that!!) but then after it's wonderful. It's rewarding to be able to look back and see how far you've come. Hang in there and take it (literally) one day or one task at a time. You've got this!

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  5. I thank the universe all the time for this dream come true shore house! It's a huge responsibility as well as a huge blessing. You are learning as you go! Continued Goddess speed. Love. Your. Momma.

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  6. I really loved this! Thank you for being open and honest and being so willing to be vulnerable and share even though it can be scary or uncomfortable to put yourself out there.
    Change is hard, but it's through the stretching and everything that you grow.
    Also, if you find where to get the patience...let me know...I could use a little splash (or a huge one)

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  7. Aw Steph, don't ever feel like you're the only one who struggles with these things because you're not at all! According to all my friends and family I'm one of the most organized people you'll ever meet, but my house right now-disaster zone! Seriously. I think it's hard to have everything together all of the time, in fact I think it's impossible. You're doing a great job, girl and I really admire your honesty and genuineness as a person.

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  8. If you find a place where patience is in abundance please let me know.

    As for the rental aspect of your house and hoping renters appreciate it, why not write up a short history of the house and put it someplace in the rental unit where people can read it. Being a reader and being interested in history I'd be much more likely to appreciate the houses quirks if I knew it's story.

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  9. I so appreciate your honestly! I think we all have those areas that we always have stress & worry & feel like we're not doing it totally right... but I dont think people like to admit it - which is stupid - because these things happen to everyone - in all different areas of life.
    You're doing great - even in the mistakes & learning experience... & down the road, you'll be giving advice to others starting this adventure. It's all about living & learning! :)

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  10. This is something I needed to read today, because I'm already worrying about the next six months with our trip and our move. We see so many people out there doing big things and looking perfect which can plant a seed of doubt in the brains of others when things don't go right. I think it's incredibly brave of you to share this post and to stretch yourself and get uncomfortable. The more I think about it the more I'm scared of a stagnant life than taking a chance. Thank you for helping me feel better today.

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  11. Oohh, I like Kelli's idea above! I also love the expression that there are people who will complain about a picnic in heaven - is that a thing or a Steph original? Regardless, I am using it the next time someone complains to me at work about the quality of the coffee.

    I'm craving change but I'm also hesitant because of what you mentioned above. Thanks for always posting things that I'm thinking without realizing it. And the shore house looks awesome - excited for you to have your first visitors (when you're ready, of course!) and to get some feedback for all of your hard work.

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  12. thank you for sharing this! i agree about doing a disservice when we act like we can do it all. i mean everyone has a different opinion of what 'all' is anyway. i'm sorry you're still floundering but i am of course super happy that you know, you're shore house owners and all that jazz because yay for doing things that challenge you. also, i LOVE kelli's idea about writing up a history of the house. especially because it's so old! or maybe like cute little signs throughout the house about it being small and old. i don't know haha. i love the love grows best in small houses poem thing that i always see a lot, and i know it's not a small house where people will be living or wanting their love to grow, but it always makes me smile and remind me that i don't need a big house.. if that makes sense. good luck with the patience!

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  13. Big cyber thumbs up, Snotty!

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  14. This might be one of my favorite posts of yours to date! So many good takeaways that I know will stick with me long after today. You're right about any change -even when it's good- being something that can feel uncomfortable and that WILL stretch you. I think that is easily lost or pushed aside when it doesn't need to be.

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  15. Sending you lots of hugs and patience! I love that you guys jumped out of your comfort zone, and took the jump into an investment property. It will be such a rewarding experience, and so so worth it :)

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  16. Tell your friend she doesn't always have to have patience or have everything together!
    Looking forward to your further adventures - good and bad. HUGS!!!!

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  17. If you happen to stumble across where to find patience, can you let me in on the secret?! I loved that you shared this. As organized or prepared for a life change as we can be, unknowns or unthinkables will surely pop up and it is all about how you deal with those that will shape you. I love how you said that even when it is something good, it can be a challenge and will stretch you.

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  18. Shit falling out of your bag or not, I just love you, and read your blog as I would take advice from an older sister - I admire you greatly and look to where you are now as to where I would like to someday be in the future. With that being said, thanks for being so honest with this post. None of us have it together all of the time. I love reading your adventures.

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  19. I'm still looking for the patience store, but I totally feel your pain and I really appreciate your honesty. I changed jobs 6 months ago and I'm still trying to adjust in a lot of ways. I never realized how set I was in my work schedule until I went and messed with it! Now I'm really struggling to find time for other things I want to do in life, like exercise or, I don't know.... actually relax? Not that I was amazing about that before, but working at home 2 days a week (which I don't get to do anymore) certainly had its advantages -- I could watch Scandal over my lunch break, for example!

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  20. My best growing and joy has come from what I initially perceived as disaster.

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  21. I love, love, love that you shared this-- and the overall journey of getting everything together. I'm someone that definitely dreams of having a vacation home, but I definitely have this unrealistic HGTV style image of everything just being perfect & easy without any problems even though I know that's never real life.

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  22. A fantastic reminder to us all. I also can't believe it's been 6 months since we've followed you along on this journey!

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  23. I love your honesty! It's easy to share the highlights, but damnit it's real life and life isn't always highlights & cropped photos. Thanks for always keeping real.
    XOXO
    www.mrsaokaworkinprogress.com

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  24. This is awesome! I have never done well with changes in my life. Ever. My parents still tease me about it. I'm better now that I'm older and more settled and have some big milestones out of the way, but I still feel it for the little things. I've been in the sidelines with Jacob while he owned a restaurant for a few years and a gym for five, but he had business partners and managers, so I can't imagine taking on something so huge alone. You guys are amazing. It's all a learning curve and I think you're handling it very well!

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