I have had trouble thinking of what to write tonight. I focused on things like “Rememberances of Bathrooms Past” and other similar frivilous things that also hold some insight if we look hard enough. As I started to write I realized that today’s story is really about being tired.
My spouse had come home from a full day of work. I continued at the computer, asking him not to talk to me since what I was doing was hard and I could easily lose my way in the details of the documents and my assignments from our architect.
After a while I gave up on the technical documents about contracts and agreements and invoicing. I was too tired to record what I had learned. My mind just could not do it. I went to the easier part of the final jobs for the day and found them hard too. I was assigned figuring out the minimum length of bathroom vanities, the location of windows in the office and whether or not a three foot walkway in the pantry was large enough when everything else in the house has a 4 ft hall. I was also left with furniture placement between a place to sit and the monitor for watching movies and group surfing, photo watching, etc. We had taken on this task once before but I was so tired and muddled that day I could not get it in my mind. We even moved furniture around trying to figure out the minimum viewing distance. We came up with something like 8 or 9. We have 7. I give up. Seven it shall be. I am too tired to make another decision.
I looked at my spouse, tears welling in my eyes and and quietly wailed, “I want my house back, this is too much work.” While it it might seem that I am grieving the loss of our house and possessions I am not. That is part of it but the largest part is not loss but addition. It is the addition of layers upon layers of trying to live a normal life when you are rebuilding your normal at the same time. Living two lives is hard. In reality, we have three levels: (1) Normal life with family and work and friend, (2) living in temporary housing limbo in a space that cannot become home and (3) trying to rebuild a normal life.
As we rebuild we think of things like they were not how they are. We make room in the plans for book cases because we always have books. At last count we had over 2000 books and hundreds of scholarly journals. All of those are gone. We need book shelves but may never really have many books to put on them. We think we have tons of kitchen stuff but you can keep it in just a few cabinets, including the food.
How do you plan?
We look back at our journey from there to here and wonder why it is taking so long. We were ready to go with plan ideas and a survey by the beginning of August. We were just going to buy a kit log house, which is what we had, and call it good. There were many reasons why that was far less than ideal but now looking back it is worth asking the question of the correctness of waiting. Is it the right thing to take 6 months of agonizing angst trying to figure out how to rebuild with a home that it fits you now rather than 15 years ago? Or, is it better to cut the cruel pain of reconstructing your dwelling and your life and just learn to live with what you got. Thankfully I cannot answer that question because if I could there is the possibility that I would have made the wrong choice.
When the time comes that we are actually in the new house we will look back and think it was good to wait. Looking forward now when we are not in the actual house I cannot tell for the tiredness of the whole thing. Perhaps the stress of the ongoing over-extension of obligations to paperwork, people, and processes have a protective factor.
In real life you know, but usually don’t attention to, how hard it is to get from one decision to the next. Recalling a life reassures you that the decision making and exhaustion of recovering from the fire is not much different than life with a healthy dose of hot sauce.