Oh JoyOh Joy

my first major meltdown in the home build process...

Oh Joy Builds a House: My First Major Meltdown

I have something to admit. Building a house has given me a LOT of stress and anxiety lately. I have been hesitant to talk about it because I feel so very grateful to be able to even do this project and to be able to share it with all of you. But after cry sessions in front of my husband, kids, and life coach recently, I realized there are things here that I wanted to share. So, here's the deal...

Building a house is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes I think I might be emotionally too weak to handle this. I already have a very busy full-time job, a team to lead, children to raise into good humans, and a personal life which I'm trying to maintain on some level with friends and family.

Building a house requires flexibility. So many things change in this process. There are unexpected costs that pop up, and the people you work with over the course of this long project may come and go as they change jobs and someone new is assigned to your project.

Building a house requires money. Oh, just that little tiny detail called money. The financial part of this has seriously been the hardest part for me. We have a construction loan (which I will get into the details of how that works very soon). But man, as much as people say you will always go over budget and you don't think that will be you, it happens. It happens for reasons out of your control sometimes. Costs of materials go up, cost of labor goes up, dirt that needs to be exported from your site expands so much that more trucks are needed to take it away than anyone expected.

Just as I was on the brink of a major slump and a ton of anxiety about this house, my life coach asked me...

"What does this house mean to you?"

I think most people might say that having a house means they are a grown-up or that they've made it in some way. But I never really cared about the idea of owning a home. I don't think owning a house makes you officially a grown-up, and I don't care if anyone thinks I have "made it". I have been a happy renter my whole adult life and have only been mildly annoyed that when you rent, you can't change or fix things in your home the way you can when you own it.

I told her that the house we are building is a place for my kids to grow up and make memories. It's a yard for them to play in. It's a place to have our friends and family over for meals and play dates and for last-minute catch-up sessions. Some of my best memories with friends is when we're at each others' houses catching up on life, crying about tough things, giving each other advice, or simply laughing up a storm. Those are the memories that I want to create in my future home, both for my husband and I and for our kids.

She then asked, "So what's the best thing that could come out of having this house?" And I replied, "The connections that are made with the people in my life when we have this home for them to come over, hang out, have dinner, and play."

And that's when I realized what this house means to me. Sure, I can't wait to design it and have my favorite fixtures and finishes. But truly, it's about having a home to create and strengthen connections in my life. And that's when I added this to the above list...

Building a house requires you to keep your eye on the prize.

So that's not to say I won't have another panic attack or cry a few more tears every time I get a new bill that I don't expect. But the reminder that this home is a conduit for connection with people who matter to me is what keeps me going and uplifted during the stress or tough times I have and will endure.

{Photo by Lily Glass}