The barn renovation project limps on. We have been set back by yet more problems with the floor and remain in limbo while we continue to assess the situation. Meanwhile, we are trying to get as much work as possible completed before everyone involved moves on. We have been really lucky in that most of the trades who have worked on the barn have been nice guys who genuinely want to do a good job and to leave us with a well built home to enjoy. However, having decided to take things a little more into my own hands, and consequently having more direct communication with the tradesmen, it has left me questioning why it is that I find it so hard to tell people exactly what I would like them to do, and why I feel apologetic in doing so?
The answer seems to lie somewhere between embarrassment and guilt. Embarrassed by the fact that we fortunate enough to be able to pursue a dream like this and guilt that I am not slaving away in an office to justify it. Why is it that I am not able to simply enjoy the fact that Mike and I have made choices over the last 20 years that have brought us to where we are today? We consciously decided when expecting our first child that I would stay at home with children while they were small, and that we would base our financial decisions on his income which makes me feel like a dinosaur but in reality this has worked very happily for us both for the most part. The flexibility this allowed us, along with the willingness to change and adapt, has been a large contributory factor in the success of Mike’s career (oh, and the long, long days and 24/7 connectivity now required!)
It’s fair to say that I have not had a conventional ‘career’ and this has been due to a combination of factors including our slightly itinerant life. In many ways it has probably suited me as I have been able to ‘scratch the itch’ for constant change that resides within me, but in itself has probably meant that I have never given much consideration to what it is that causes the itch. This is not to say that I have have not worked hard too in a variety of different roles and I have always strived to be purposeful and productive if not hugely profitable!
Somehow the approaching completion of the barn feels like some sort of watershed. It is time to stop feeling guilty about my lack of established career and to enjoy running The Simpson Sisters, to be proud of our success, of what we have worked and saved for, and excited and happy about how it will shape our future. It will be our family’s special place, one where we will make many happy memories together, and where we can enjoy the creative pleasures of building a home and garden together.
I recently came across this quote from the author AS Byatt who wrote “I think of writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. Much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes these things. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all these people.” This quote really struck a chord and has made me reassess, I think it’s time to stop worrying about what other people think and to allow myself time to enjoy ‘making stuff’ which gives me such pleasure, makes me a nicer person and perhaps it will even ‘scratch my itch’ more permanently!