Thursday, August 14, 2014

Time Keeps On Slippin'...Slippin'...Slippin'

During one of the several interviews we have done so far, I was asked- "You seem so on top of things, especially for a project this size. Do you ever get overwhelmed or are you always this cool and collected?"

WELL. The short answer to that is yes, we DEFINITELY get overwhelmed. A great example of that? RIGHT NOW. I'm stepping away from the usual tone of my posts because I'm not feeling my usual self. The last few weeks have been a whirl wind. I have moments where it's all I can do to just breathe calmly. The crisp cool air of the evenings and mornings has always been one of my most favorite things. A sign that my favorite season is on it's way....but this year, there is so much going on that I wish summer could last another 5 months. 


Dan recently found employment (HOORAY!), which we are both very happy about. He did such a bang up job his first week and a half that they asked him to come on full time. Considering he has been looking for quite some time, and our financial situation was getting a bit tight, we were happy for this opportunity. What I wasn't expecting however, was the inevitable backlash to our progress on the house. 

In fact, it was never made clearer to me than now. One of the biggest balancing acts of life is time versus money. This is a scale I have had trouble with for many years- always trying to make time the more valuable item, but somehow someway, money always had more heft. I can't just walk away from my bills and my debt, and I will not put them off any longer either. I am determined to reach a point in my life where time out ranks money- sooner rather than later. We are positioning ourselves with the tiny life we have chosen, but it seems, much like everything else, there is always one more major stressful squeeze before you burst out the other side. 


I have been traveling quite a bit over the last month, and when I am home, our schedule has been filled with family gatherings, weddings, showers, and other related parties. I get this feeling like all my waking hours from now until some point in the unforeseen future has already been scheduled for me. It's quite frustrating at times. 

We need to finish the dang siding on this place. We need to put our solar power system together. We need to water proof and seal the siding. We need to create gutters and some form of water shed for our roof line. We need to purchase and install a wood stove. We need to do all this before November.

Now- add getting married out of state in October to that list. Catching my drift?  



This past weekend we attended a beautiful garden wedding on Dan's side of the family. We wanted to save money and time so we drove home that night instead of staying over. We spent part of Sunday morning in recovery, then dragged ourselves out to Dan's dad's store to do more work. We needed to process more pallets. Our tools have been scattered to three different places now...and I don't like it. Some things are here at the Pod, some things are at my Dad's, and some things at the store. More than once we have gone one place only to realize the tool we need is at another. I don't recommend this. haha We wanted to give my Dad a break from seeing us constantly working in his yard, and we needed to use the table saw at the store. His dad's saw is the only one that will hold the special blade we use for ship-lapping. 


So, the only free day we had was spent sweating in the beating sun of a paved parking lot. I know I'm probably being a total whiner right now, but DAMN! It's been almost 2 years of working constantly on this place. I want it to be over! I want to return to having time to relax, be social (not just attend major family events), visit my hobbies again- I'm pretty sure I will have to learn guitar all over again. Blurg.

Oh, and the solar power system saga continues. We ordered what we needed and now have another 6 boxes of stuff waiting for us to open. We also realized that our solar panels are at the wrong angle. Joy. The semi-good news is that we did do our math right, we just flip flopped how it should have applied to the racking. We don't have to build them all over, since the angle we need is sharper. We plan to take the panels down and make the angled cuts to the posts right where they stand. That should be fun. 

Some nights I lie in bed feeling like I have the actual weight of our tiny house on my chest. I try to keep my mind on the positives. We have accomplished so much and we are making our dream a reality, but I feel I have mustered all I can muster- even from my reserve tank at this point. It's hard to be the spearhead day in and day out.  My brain begins to skip and scramble as I think about all the loose ends we still have and all that MUST get done before the cold sets in. 

I WILL come back to you all with a more chipper voice again soon. But until then, do any of you folks that have already "made it to the other side" have any advice? Maybe part of your story you can share? I could really use something to recharge my batteries. 

Thanks for reading!
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20 comments:

  1. http://tinyhousebuild.com/survival-tips-for-build/

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    1. That's a great article ....

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    2. Thanks so much, Elaine! This article really hit home today. :)

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  2. I have once piece of advice. Buy flood lights. Seriously. We did so much work after dark it was crazy. We fired up the generator, plugged in the flood lights, and kept on going. It was a lot like college. We had coffee and some snacks and we got giddy with laughter from being so overwhelmed. We drew things on the studs inside so we (or someone) could possibly find them years later. We made shadow puppets. I even got to see my dad moonwalk on our platform. Trust me Jess. It will all be over one day and you will wish you were back in those creative, inspired moments.

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    1. I just got a little teary eyed! I'm feeling better already! Thanks for the perspective and the tip! I also need to remind myself to stop and goof off once in a while- it's necessary. :)

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  3. *Virtual hug* You guys have done so much and have inspired me to build a tiny home. I won't be doing it for a few years, but I'm looking forward to all of it. Hearing everything, ups and downs, frustrations and triumphs, have been just what I needed. We're all human. We all have emotions, breaking points, etc. (And I really like what "anotherkindofdrew" said.) You've accomplished A TON! You've grown as a person too. Smile. You'll get through it and be so proud of yourself!

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    1. Hearing that we inspired someone else to build- even with all the ups and downs- is just what I NEEDED to hear! Thanks so much for sharing and reminding me of the great parts about this adventure, the sense of community and inspiring others to go for their dreams too! Thank you! Thank you!

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    2. You're welcome! :) but thank YOU for sharing your adventure with all of us!

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  4. I can totally relate, it's not whinning, it's real. This process is crazy stressful and you need space to just feel that, I know I do. Our build has to be finished by Novemeber, we plan to live in it by snow fall. So I hear ya, it is so consuming and overwhelming. But, you are doing! I had a fellow tiny houser tell me to not focus on finishing projects but focus on finishing each day instead, which has helped me, especially when we are behind "schedule". Wishing you all the luck with your build!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words and relating. It's good to know that we aren't the only ones struggling and that how we feel isn't unfounded. Good luck to you on your build! I'm sure you will have it done in time! We did something similar where we finished our lease in October of last year and needed to push hard to have it move in ready. It's amazing what kind of a pace you can keep up when you know you're going to be booted from your current place! haha And thanks for the tip on finishing each day. I like that approach and I'm going to try going with that. We really appreciate your support! :)

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  5. as someone with a lot of projects on my mind and on the table and as well someone who travels a lot with work.i can feel your frustration.i know with as far as you have come along you see the whole project needing completion.i think you need to go back to setting smaller challenges goals.for instance with the siding we have seen the tremendous amount of work that goes into breaking them down getting them to size and thickness and getting them up. try making your goals just about one task at a time and don't worry about the bigger picture it will come.it will be beautiful.but don't let the stress and the worry cloud your amazing journey. don't take shortcuts and take pride in your work...as we all have seen you clearly do.you are a inspiration to many on the journey to tiny house living and we all wish you the best and want to see you reach your goals.
    oh and sorry about the anonymous it don't like my google password for some reason

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    1. Wow! Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement. It means a lot to know that people have been following along and drawing inspiration from us. I still feel like when we first started- we had maybe 4 readers and they were my family! Haha It feels really good to know we have such a great community now. We are going to try and focus on small steps once again. I need to be reminded once in a while- even thought many of my first posts were about taking things one step at a time! How quickly we forget when we are in the thick of things. Thank you so much! <3

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  6. I am so excited every time you add an entry into your blog that I LOVE. My life is very hectic with 5 teenagers, sports, big house, big debit. I am interested maybe in our retirement to build a tiny house. I think you guys are doing a great job!!! You will get this done and it will be something you will be so proud of!!! Jeep up the Great Work!!!
    Beth from Ohio!!! Sorry it's says Anonymous!

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    1. Awww! Thanks Beth! I can't imagine having five teenagers! Never a dull or free moment for you I'm sure! Thanks so much for the kind words, the encouragement and the complements! It's so cool to know that people around the globe are following our story and rooting for us! Thanks so much for reaching out and giving us a little boost when we needed it. :) Best of luck to you in your future endeavors with tiny houses! I think tiny houses are the WAY TO GO when retiring! I'm sure we will move into a more traditional type house when we begin a family, but I have a feeling we will return to this way of living when all the little birdies are gone from the nest! :)

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  7. You will finish this house, Jess! I liked the comment at the top about buying floodlights to work during the evening. It's cooler at that time and it shouldn't be that strenious when the sun isn't bearing down on you. I'd also double check if things are being done right so you won't have to do over it again, such as what happened with the solar panels. Solar's the way to go, and once everything's finished, you'd be glad you had those put up! Good luck!

    Deanna Walsh @ Solar Concierge

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    1. Thanks so much Deanna! We are keeping our eyes on doing one thing at a time, which has helped! Staring at the entire picture and expecting to solve every last problem at once certainly wasn't making things any easier. Thanks so much for the encouragement and the tips! :)

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  8. If you guys want an extra hand, I can drive down (from Maine) tomorrow morning and lend a helping hand. Just send me an email with the address and time you'll be getting started: (myfirstnameLastname)@gmail.com

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    1. Chris! I can't believe your generosity! Wow! Thanks so much for offering to help us out! We were busy working all weekend, so I didn't see this in time, but the gesture is amazing. Thank you SO much for the offer! THe support we have received has been wonderful- thank you for being a part of that!

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