Monday, April 10, 2017

Miscellaneous Vulnerable Ramblings

Builder Bashing

As I watched the most recent “my tiny house builder screwed me over” video on youtube I couldn’t help but feel thankful; thankful that I have the health, and resources, and support from my friends and loved ones, to build my own. I have a unique sense of accountability this way.  If something does not get done, or is done wrong, or is late; I have nobody to blame but myself.  My timeline is self inflicted and my material choices are my own. Yes, there is stress from this kind of build, but not having to collaborate (or doing so, on a pretty limited basis) results in “the buck stops here” level of responsibility.  Ironically, that is a calming mantra in my world. I have been on my own for so long that depending on someone else at this point in my life feels very uncomfortable, very insecure.

Mourning the Loss of 9 Square Feet

And speaking of collaboration, as we considered the fender replacement options, Mark expressed very strong feelings about using a particular type.  So I spent $100 on the fenders and then $200 to have them welded on. It wasn’t until AFTER this was done that I discovered that we had lost 6” of width off of the house. On a tiny house that is only 18 feet long,  that 9 square feet is a BIG deal!  Mark and I exchanged some heated words and he wasn’t happy that I was “blaming” him.  I wasn’t really.  I was frustrated, sure.  I hadn’t asked enough questions about the fenders to understand the implication of using them. But after a few hours of pouting and mourning and identifying the “sacrifices” my design would have to absorb, I moved on. Yes. I could have torn them off.  But, in the end, the advantages of a better roof overhang outweighed the lack of wiggle room at the end of the bed and the slightly smaller bathroom.

Like Family

Three years ago I attended my first tiny house networking event. Almost two years ago, I completed my first build. And today, I am feeling so thankful that the tiny house community has embraced me as one of them. However, I feel odd even typing this. Like I have no right to assume they feel the same.  I feel like I deserve it, for sure, and have worked hard to contribute to the movement in a positive way. But it still feels odd when I get invited to speak, or write. It’s like someone is talking to me and I am looking over my shoulder to see who else they might be complimenting. Because I am estranged from my family, a firm sense of who I am and who my “people” are has eluded me most of my life. I would love to believe that I have found “home” but my insecurities still bite at the heels of my self confidence. So, until the feeling of peace and security is second-nature, I’ll settle for feeling thankful and motivated by a strong sense of needing to earn my way into the cool kids club.

Pacing Myself

When people hear that I work a desk job 40 hours a week, AND am building a tiny house, AND I’m the Hostess for Tiny House Podcast, AND I write for Tiny House Magazine, AND I drive almost 200 miles to my build site each weekend they always ask “Do you sleep!?” The short answer is “yes” because I LOVE TO SLEEP!  My problem, however, isn’t my lack of sleep but my lack of balance in life right now.  It is an intentional choice, but one that leaves me bone tired from the go-go-go pace I have going right now.  This weekend, after attending 3 straight days of tiny house events, I drove once again to my boyfriend’s house. (aka the build site)  Of course I had a list of stuff I wanted to get done but his TO DO list was much different than mine. He had also worked a full week and his weekend consisted of spending one day doing what he loved (watching boat racing) and one day getting caught up on chores. So, in a nutshell, my build day turned into his chore day but I am totally fine with that. The strength of our relationship is that I speed him up when he’s feeling unmotivated, and he slows me down when I need it.  I got some “tool staging” done and picked up the cabinet for the tiny house bedroom, but other than that it was a totally slack day.  And one that I desperately needed but would have never scheduled for myself.  I also found an affordable tea cart on craigslist for my living room. And that reminds me, I need to text them and go get that today….

Onward and Upward!!!

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