We've really learned a lot throughout the course of this renovation, and I can only imagine that we will learn plenty more by the time this is all done ( if it ever does end). Here is brief summary of some things that we have learned and deem pretty important. YHL inspired us to supplement this blog post with photos of the third member of our renovation team, Madelyn.
1. We learned really quickly not to underestimate our skills. Entering into this we felt pretty uncertain about how much of it we were going to be able to do on our own. Even though admittedly not much of is was done truly "on our own", because we have amazing friends and family who dedicated tons of time to helping us. We really were surprised by how much of the labour we were able to do ourselves, and even though it sometimes comes out flawed or takes a couple times to get it right, we do possess some ability. Who knew. So first lesson, don't put yourself in a box.
2. This was a hard taught lesson, but throughout this process we have learned to live in a state of chaos. This was especially hard for me because I am a total neat freak. But the reason why this ended up being one of the more important lessons that stood out to us is that by taking our time and living patiently in the mess we not only enjoyed the process of some projects more but we also gave ourselves more time to make sound decisions. In month number one we made a lot of snap decisions in order to avoid living in chaos that we look back on now and realize that we weren't choosing things that we really loved. And essentially that is what this home project is about for us, is building a home that we love not one that was built in one day. So lesson 2, learn to embrace and be comfortable in the mess, it will pass.
3. This one seems simple and pretty obvious, but in the beginning of our renovation it was overlooked. It is easy to get all consumed in the house projects, the ideas surrounding the house project and all the to-do lists. But it really doesn't do any good to go drowning yourself in the project because you'll end up wearing a life vest of resentment (metaphor maniac? you bet). Seriously, it is easy to go to bed thinking about the house, and wake up thinking about the house and when that happens it is time to take a step back and realize "okay, this isn't normal!" So lesson numero 3, take time out to participate in everyday life and to enjoy good company.