I’ve heard it said and read that we humans want all sorts of things but that we only need food, clothing, and shelter. It does not matter what you call the shelter, but rather, I think it matters how you feel about it…Having a roof over your head is perhaps a necessity, although in some parts of the world this may not be the case, but I would venture to guess that in every culture, in every species, there is a need for a space in which to live, to nest. Whether or not it brings you joy or upset, or comfort or unease, is totally up to you.
Five years ago today I got my C.O. and began the process of moving into my new space. It was issued one year and one day after the building permit, and it’s truly AMAZING what can happen in 366 days! I have lived in much smaller spaces than I live now, and I have lived in much bigger spaces than this house, but much like Goldilocks finding porridge of a perfect temperature, and a chair of a perfect size, and a bed of the perfect softness, this space is the one that feels just right for me.
Building a house is very different from buying one. To be clear, it takes a lot of work to move, regardless of the circumstance, but the experience of drawing plans and taking a place of acres of empty woods and turning it into a home, is overwhelmingly wonderful, and unbelievably hard work…I hired a lot of different sub-contractors to help me build this house; roofer, plumber, electrician, framer, sheet-rocker, et al., but the fact remains that I physically worked here on it, in some way night after night, weekend after weekend, morning after morning…because it is what you have to do if you want to get it done…I silently thank my parents every single time I pull onto my driveway, for how much they helped me to make this happen, and how much they still do for me to keep it all together.
I still have the notebook, page one dated January 2008 when I got the piece of property…and every note thereafter from getting the variance, to the building permit, to the certificate of occupancy…it’s all in this notebook, which I kept much more like a journal, and there are pages where the ink is washed out because I was upset and crying while I wrote, much like in a journal, where I listed EVERY SINGLE CENT I spent and was able to total, down to the penny, how much it cost me to build this house…I opened it this morning, just at random to see what page I turned to, and here is what I opened to: February 23rd 2009 “Well, I’m over budget, but not terribly.” It gave me my first laugh of the day! The notebook’s filled with appliance dimensions and item numbers, window sizes, phone numbers, sofa names, doodles of floor plans, ideas for furniture placement, and paint color numbers, and I treasure this notebook, honestly as much as I treasure my child’s note filled baby book!
If where you live does not make you feel at peace and comforted and happy, then perhaps it is time to think about moving to a different space. I know not everyone feels such a connection as I do to their abode, and I understand that to some I am rather weird about how deeply I love mine, and how sensitive and protective I feel about it…not a whole lot different than how one might be protective of a child, in fact, I am pretty sure that I was more upset when my walnut floor was first dinged & dented by a dropped can of soup than I was when my child fell off a swing and broke her wrist!! When I get into one of my cleaning frenzy modes, or reorganizing my pantries or painting my trim, or freshening up my walls or ANYthing related to caring for my space, it is done with as much thought and effort as I’ve ever cared for any person…maybe not everybody should love their house in the way that I do, but I really do think it matters, to love where you live…