We’re almost there – just waiting for the concrete guy to come back to polish the floors one last time, and for the tile guy to seal the grout in the showers. A year ago we started with high hopes – our custom design was perfect and we had the best contractor in the area, who told us we would be in by the fall – of last year. After months of waiting for subcontractors to show up, worrying over details (“the wood stains don’t match!”) and lamenting the lack of communication with our general contractor, we have moved beyond frustrated to complete mental exhaustion. But we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We have been incredibly blessed and fortunate. Soon, we’ll be moving in to our new house.
We should be really excited about this. But we’re approaching the move-in with not a little anxiety. What if our design is seriously flawed? Will we stay warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer? Will we still like our cupboards/windows/floor/whatever in 10 years or 20? Should we have made this room bigger? Should have put in more windows? People say you should build two houses, the second one to fix all the mistakes you made the first time.
But our uneasiness may have deeper sources. It is too easy to fall into the habit of thinking the new house will fix all our foibles – we’ll be better organized, we’ll clean up after ourselves, we’ll exercise more and eat and drink less. The new house will bring out our creative selves, make us better gardeners, better cooks, better hosts. I’ll write more. We’ll make a strong effort to be the people we ought to be, but the reality is we will no longer have the lack of storage space or sunlight or outlets or counter space as excuses for being lazy slobs.
We have a mountain and several foothills of stuff in our pole shed and more in off-site storage. We know it won’t all fit. We are reluctant to get started – not the least because the job will be more like an excavation than an orderly move. As the year went on, stuff got heaped on stuff, stuff was pulled out early, from the bottom of piles, causing avalanches of stuff. We started packing over a year ago, before Emmaville was sold. We knew just where everything would go and had a brilliant plan to keep it all organized. Now we can’t remember what we have where. Just as the building process had peaks and valleys, we anticipate the moving process will have moments of joy (“Oh, I forgot we had this! This will look perfect.”) and moments of exasperation (“Why did we keep this. What the hell are we going to do with it?”).
Hopefully in another year, we’ll find ourselves relaxing on our patio after a great day spent tending the garden or creating something beautiful and will realize we are content. Even if there is a sink full of two-day old dishes, a basket of unmatched socks on the couch and boxes in every room still waiting to be unpacked.