Reflecting on goals and achievements.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I am in my life.
Most of my thoughts these days center around my new home, still under construction. It was nearly three years ago, in the spring of 2012, that I first laid eyes on the land I’d later buy to build my home. Back then, I had an inkling of an idea — a simple summer home where I could escape Arizona’s heat with my helicopter parked onsite for my cherry season work. In those days, I had a man I thought was my life partner and I honestly thought I’d make that summer home with him. But things don’t always turn out the way you expect and I wound up moving forward on my own, rebuilding my life as I built my year-round home.
It’s that home that I’ve been thinking about most lately. What started as a vague idea moved on to a series of sketches that were fine-tuned along the way with input by friends and contractors with more experience than I had as a builder. Some suggestions were good and changed my plans; other suggestions did not meet my needs or ideas and were discarded.
Emotional and financial challenges delayed the purchase of the land to July 2013. More of the same delayed the start of construction to April 2014. But all the time I kept working my ideas and fine-tuning my plans. Even as the shell of my building started to go up in May 2014, I was fine-tuning floor plans for my living space and resizing my deck.
But what I find most amazing — and what I’ve been thinking most about recently — is how something that came out of my head materialized over time on my land. I drew the building I wanted and did all the ground work to line up the people to build it. They built exactly what I designed. And they said it was good — not because they built it but because it was something they liked, something they understood would meet a need. I didn’t compromise and it showed.
And it is good. It meets my needs entirely: a place to store the things I’ve accumulated and need to get my work done and enjoy my life. Yes, I do have three cars — but I use all of them and I’m thrilled to have them all under one roof. Yes, I do have a boat and a motorcycle and an RV — but I use all of them to stay active and enjoy time with friends or on the road and I love having them secure at my home. Yes, I do have a helicopter — but I use it to earn a living and you can’t imagine how happy I am to have it under my own roof.
Now, as I work with contractors and friends to finish my living space, I’m reminded over and over about how that inkling of an idea for a summer home germinated and grew into a structure of my design for a year-round residence. As I run wire in my kitchen, I think about the microwave or coffee maker that’ll plug into the outlet I placed exactly where I wanted it to be. As I order cabinets and countertops, I think of how I’ll store my plates and glasses and silverware and how I’ll prepare meals and chat with visitors at my breakfast bar. As I buy appliances and bathroom fixtures, I think about doing laundry and baking cookies and soaking in my tub in front of the big bathroom window. As I stand at the door to my deck and gaze out at the world around me, I think about the afternoons I’ll sit out on the deck with friends, sipping wine and chatting about life as we take in the magnificent view.
Yes, I’m still dreaming, but bit by bit those dreams are becoming a reality.
And it’s my hard work that is making this happen.
I spent nearly every day of the past two weeks up in my future living space, running wires to electrical outlets. My fingers are sore and my cuticles are cracked. I broke my toe by stubbing it, nearly broke a finger by crushing it with a twisting drill, and have cut myself more times than I care to count. I’ve gone to bed exhausted and have woken up stiff and sore.
To pay for the materials and the work provided by others, I’ve made numerous lifestyle sacrifices, the most significant of which is living in an RV since I left my Arizona home for good in May 2013. While my RV isn’t exactly uncomfortable, it isn’t nearly as comfortable as a rented apartment or house would be. But why pay $1,500 a month or more on rent when that money can be used to buy appliances or pay a plumber for my own home? And besides, I worry that getting too comfortable in a temporary home might take away the urgency I feel about getting my new home done.
The reward for my hard work and sacrifices is seeing my dreams come true.
I cannot express the immense feeling of satisfaction and joy I get when I look at my new home and remind myself that it came from me. I designed it, I did what it took to get it built, I made all the decisions and paid all the bills.
And that feeling of joy is pumped up every single time someone comes by and says “This is going to be a great place when it’s done.” Do you know how often I hear that? Almost every time someone comes up to visit or work on my place. Over and over — they all say the same thing. From the UPS delivery guy to the guy who runs the pole building construction company. Inspectors, plumbers, drywall guys — they all tell me how much they’d love to live at my place. Can you imagine how that makes me feel?
I know I got it right — but I have so many people confirming it.
And as weird as this might sound, I have to thank my wasband and his girlfriend for making this all possible. If it wasn’t for him pulling the plug on our marriage and her convincing him to make me an enemy by going after my business assets, I never would have had the freedom to finally move forward with my life. Years of stagnation, living half of every year in a rut he’d dug, waiting for the man I loved to get his head and life together and fulfill his promises to me finally ended. Although the ending wasn’t the way I would have chosen, I know now, in hindsight, that it was the best way. A clean break is the best break. No more grief, no more frustration.
And now I’m moving forward again, rebuilding my life as a better life, making my dreams happen.
I love where I am in my life: happy, healthy, free, surrounded by friends, living in a beautiful place. Seeing the results of my hard work materialize before my eyes.
What else is there?