I’ve always had high expectations. Generally this lofty, out-of-reach mentality results in disappointment, frustration and angst. It’s something I’ve never been able to outgrow: somehow in my mind’s eye, everything looks so much simpler and clean-cut.
Purchasing a home and then moving into it shortly after the holidays is not exactly ideal.
It’s as if the rest of the world ramps up the notion of New Year, New You…which funnels into a pile of emails in your inbox, meetings and travel piling on in a short amount of time.
But we did it. We bought a house. And as wonderful as it is to call a place home for the next several years, I felt this urgency to fix everything fast. Wake up, Sam. That’s just not reality.
Expectation: We move into our new home seamlessly, with minimal back and forth trips from the old home to the new one. Everything gets unpacked and put away neatly before the week is over.
Reality: It’s a nightmare. A move that stretches out over the course of two weeks. Box after box, shoved into closets, under beds, hiding in the basement. Boxes. Everywhere. And I can’t find things. Essential things.
Expectation: Rooms are renovated, painted, and the furniture neatly arranged. Quickly of course. The whole house looks like something off of Fixer Upper or Pinterest.
Reality: Ask me in three months if both of our bathrooms are functional yet.
Expectation: Cute dinners sitting around a newly constructed booth and table in the eat-in section of the kitchen.
Reality: Grabbing two forks out of the utensil drawer and crowding around the pot of freshly-made, off-brand mac-n-cheese, starved.
Expectation: Coming home from a 9+ hour work day to a clean home, laundry done, new projects completed, and the dogs properly exercised.
Reality: You and your partner look at each other and ask, “Would it be lame to get into bed at 7:30pm and try to accomplish more tomorrow?”
This has been the most exhausting project we’ve taken on. It’s set my expectations lower (even if it took a week to readjust) and helped me to be OK with the unorganized parts of my life. I’ve allowed myself to say “No” to obligations, duties, responsibilities to sleep a little extra, read a book, or just breathe.
We are excited to pull this house together, one day at a time. In the end, it will all be worth the inconvenience and frustration, but for today it’s enough to have a roof over our heads, and a mattress [still sitting on the floor] beneath us at the end of the day.
It’s an important lesson for me to keep learning: slow and steady wins the race.