two steps FORWARD, one step back

*Last week our build stalled and my writing stalled too as there wasn’t much to tell.  This week, while we are still on hold, I thought I would write about what I am learning while we wait.

Many of us might agree that uncertainty is mostly unwelcome. We are used to the way things are, comfortable with the status quo, settled into what is, rather than what might be.

Our home is starting to take shape, one that we are certain of, designed with intention and supported by architectural drawings; we expect to see on the land what we currently see on paper.   

The building process, however, is much less certain.  Like life, we are learning that we cannot expect things to happen the way we imagine, or have events necessarily turn out the way we hope.  We are discovering a real need to go with the flow and to accept what is, rather than trying to force our will on the outcome. Each challenge is an opportunity to entertain a new idea, to explore a different way, and perhaps even a better way.  

We are still in the early stages of our build and already there have been some hard lessons; building is not for the faint of heart. We’ve watched more than 100 owner/builder shows online and only one in 100 said they would build again, all having started with enthusiasm, passion, and admittedly, some naiveté. And we are no different; the learning curve has been steep to say the least.  We are attempting to do something we have never done before and no amount of YouTube videos can prepare you for the boulder that is in the way of excavating, the extra meters of cable you didn’t anticipate, the overtime your skilled workers spent, the rain that holds you up, the mistakes that get you down, the costs you forgot to include in the budget.  Time waits for no man, until it just waits, held up because suppliers are delayed, schedules don’t line up, or the materials are on back order.

What we have discovered along the way, and what’s been really interesting to me, is that the results of our challenges have sometimes been better than if things had gone more smoothly.  It has given us time to pause, to regroup and to do more research, resulting in creative solutions.  We have had to make hard choices and compromise, which in turn has helped us focus on what matters most, what we are willing to spend more money on, and to surrender to what we don’t understand, and to what others might. Not all progress moves in a forward direction, and so we have waited and watched, and now with renewed enthusiasm and far less trepidation, we are ready to begin again, certain that there may be more setbacks along the way, but more certain than ever, that we can handle them.

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Creating an intentional community by sharing more, taking less, all while being led back to the land and to each other.