Above: A section through the front of the house – a secondary, multi-purpose dwelling with a mezzanine level (on the left) linked to the main house by a covered, external walkway. Entry garden (centre) and staircase with a bridge to a bedroom (right).
Over the years there have been many times in my life when sayings have rung completely true…when their meanings haven’t just washed over me but sat and resonated and made perfect sense – when I first became a mum eight years ago ‘taking life one day at a time’ seemed to become my daily (sometimes, hourly!) mantra. Since embarking on our recent house building journey many conflicting thoughts and feelings have arisen but the sayings that creep persistently back into my mind are ‘patience is a virtue’ and ‘ignorance is bliss’ – the latter being the most relevant to my feelings and state of mind at the present moment.
When I first created my blog last year I made a commitment to myself to share stories with integrity and honesty…there is little point, I feel, sharing information if facts are sugar coated or omitted…as tempting as it can be at times to leave the grittier, more uncomfortable details out (because baring your soul can be confronting and challenging) – it’s usually those trickier details that enable people to connect, to understand and relate on a deeper and more human level.
So on that note, I would be lying if I said that Mark and I haven’t found the process of building a house to be difficult – it has been extremely trying – in fact, there probably hasn’t ever been a time in our lives when we have felt more deeply frustrated…we never anticipated that it would take as long as it has (patience, it seems, is a virtue we need to work on!), we never anticipated how emotionally drained we would feel and we also never foresaw how costly the exercise would be.
But, on the flip side, there has also never been a time when we have felt more invigorated, more inspired and more alive. Neither one of us have ever shied away from a challenge and to experience this together – to make decisions and suggestions and witness our dream home come to life as a team, is very, very exciting. Just last week our architects told us that building homes requires an enormous amount of belief – it is a process that requires people to take a giant leap of faith and now that we have leapt we need to muster all of our strength and focus and resilience…many unknowns and variants will arise and of course we will continue to be challenged and that’s okay. Because one thing I have learnt in life is that the things worth doing, the things that really count are never ever easy.
Next week, we will receive the tender documents from our architects and over the four weeks that follow, quotes will be gathered from multiple builders. Once a builder has been selected, a start date can then be locked in and building work can finally commence. And at this stage of the process it’s about tempering our excitement and enthusiasm with a little more patience – there is still a longish road ahead of us and no doubt it will have lots of twists and turns but once we can see physical progress…once the slab gets poured and the house starts taking shape and we can walk through the site with the kids, we will be able to experience a true and tangible sense of how our family life will unfold in our new home and I know with absolute certainty that I will never ever take it for granted.
And this is why, for me, ignorance is often bliss…not knowing everything isn’t always such a bad thing. If someone had sat us down at the beginning of the process and explained how long it would take and how costly it could be and how tedious the process could become, we probably wouldn’t have done it – we would have stayed, living comfortably in our old home and never ever taken the leap…and when I see images like the one above and below, I feel the complete opposite to regret…I feel that when we believe and commit and dream in life, wonderful and exciting things will always come…