From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three
“Stay on target. Stay on target!”
Granted I’m taking that quote from Star Wars a bit out of context here, I can’t help but repeat it to myself from time to time, especially when I find myself with an abundance of down time at work. I’m so incredibly blessed to have a job that allows me time to piddle around on the interwebs (well, my as-needed job does anyway – not so much the FT one), but I can’t help but find myself thinking, “I could be working on the tiny house right now,” even though it’s 2:13am and pitch black outside. The point being, though, that I’d rather be at home being useful than at work trying desperately to keep my eyes open. I’d rather my hands go numb from carpal tunnel flare up while swinging a hammer than my butt go numb keeping the desk chairs from floating away (hard work, I assure you lol). Of course, I have zero valid reasons to complain because A) I have not one but 2 jobs while many have NO job at all, B) I get paid well enough to keep my husband home caring for the kiddo and attending college courses online while some can’t even pay their bills, and C) I live in a part of the world where I’m allowed to do all those things without fearing for my life every day, among about a zillion other reasons far too depressing to mention here. Nope, I have it really damn good in the grand scheme of the world, and I thank my lucky stars for that every day while hoping against hope (and doing what I can when I can, though it’s never ever enough in my opinion) to help those around me who need “it” more than I do. I have no real reason to complain about anything, and yet here I am about to do just that. Forgive me this transgression if you can.
Complain isn’t really the right word anyway, though. Really it’s more venting and refocusing via written confession, if you will, of my frustration at the pace (or lack thereof really) of the tiny house build. Brandy is doing what he can between chasing a now quite meddlesome (though still totally adorable, so we’ll keep him) three-year-old and squeezing in class time/tests/assignments online, but I’ve discovered I don’t tolerate the flip-flop from night shift to day shift nearly as well as I used to. As such, even though I had 4 days off in a row this week, I only had one useable day to do anything tiny house related. I was so exhausted after working 4 straight nights that I slept from about 11am Wednesday morning until 0730 Thursday morning and had all-day plans on Friday and Saturday (ran my first 15K actually). And worse… I could have slept another 12 hours and been all the better for it. Even just 18mo ago I would have gotten home around 8am and not crashed until about midnight that night, then been up at 7am the next day like it was nothing. Instead I muddled through Thursday and passed out on the couch around 8pm just after the kiddo went down. Friday was no better as I woke up at 5am (against my will; brain flipped on randomly… happens… at least I made it to the gym) and crashed again around 8pm, but I’ll forgive myself Saturday since I was up at 4:30am and ran 15K four hours later. I earned that 14 hours of sleep TYVM!
Anyway, I feel like all I do these days is work and sleep while our house sits outside and languishes. I make it sound far more dramatic than it is, of course, but it’s still frustrating to look out at it and know nothing has been done on it for about a week now. We did get a little prep work done here and there on Thursday while the kiddo was at school, but other than that it hasn’t been touched in quite a while. I’d hoped to have had the entire exterior completed by the end of January, and instead we still have one whole side that hasn’t got a single piece of siding on it other than the belly band (and that only got finished on Thursday!) and only the rough framing of the window bump out added to the back. I expect the inside work to drag on and on since we’ll have to be paying down our 0% cards we’ve used to finance the outside products while we slowly start chipping away inside, but to have the exterior grind to a halt like this is aggravating. Our obnoxiously wishy-washy weather hasn’t made things any easier, naturally, but I still hold our life distractions (work, school, munchkin time – all highly important) responsible for the bulk of the slow down.
On a positive note, however, one of the more minor distractors for me has been training to run my first half marathon in March with a series of 5Ks and a 15K. I was never, EVER a runner before, oh, September 2014 (really!), so to have finished a 9.3mi race on Saturday was a definitely positive accomplishment. All my bitching about having no time to work on the tiny house seems hollow when I think about how much time was used on both Friday (had to drive to Dallas for the packet pickup, which took several hours total) and Saturday (got there at 7am & left just before noon) for that race plus the wee hours of Friday I spent running at the gym (about 4 hours including drive time). Remarking on that, though, is what brings me back to the point I was attempting to make about life’s other priorities distracting from the tiny house.
My awesome 15K finisher medal. This is one “participation award” I was more than willing to accept!
I have to work and sleep. Brandy has to have time for school. Spending time with R.A.D, whether it’s daily routine stuff or driving either the “Batoatmeal” or the “Batman Tumbrrrrrrrruh” around the coffee table for the hundredth time that day complete with rumbling engine noises (and he WILL correct you if your “truck” or “tumbrrrrrrruh” sounds too much like your “race car” sounds), is probably the highlight of our lives, even with the hell of potty training in full effect these days (though I think I can safely say we’re in the home stretch on that front at least). We both have to have “self care” time, and for Brandy that means hitting his homemade squat rack while R.A.D is napping, whereas I’m either running around the park after work or driving the extra 25min to the gym to avoid the random rain/freezing winds we’ve had lately. They all require time and energy and wherewithal, and each of them distracts from the tiny house.
Somedays I wish I could convince Brandy to let any number of the awesome people we’ve been in contact with since starting our journey to tiny living come and help us with the build, but he’s insistent we do it on our own. Somedays I wish I had the guts to ask Dad for money or hit up the banks for a loan (or two) just to have a contractor come and finish it for us. Somedays I wish I could just wiggle my nose or nod my head and blink and POOF… it would all be done. I’m happy to say, however, that never once have I regretted our decision to build this tiny house, to sell off/donate/throw away 90% (and counting!) of our belongings, to drastically redesign our life’s trajectory toward one that allows lighter living and more travel, or to sell what we thought was our Dream Home (goes on the market in April) all to pursue this somewhat wild idea of cramming two adults and a rapidly growing child into a space the size of our master bathroom and calling it Home.
Six years ago when we built the Big House my exact words when deciding on which model of house to build were, “I don’t want to build a little house that we’re going to outgrow in 5 years and be stuck trying to sell.” Well, here we are now, and I couldn’t be more ready to jettison that nearly $2000/mo 30-year mortgage with the $700/yr HOA fees and the $5500/yr property taxes and the $1200/yr homeowner’s insurance on a 3200sqft house we hardly used half of while living in it. We’ll never, ever own a house that large or that expensive again, and we’re both convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’ll never, ever let ourselves be bogged down by STUFF like we have been for the last decade.
We’re SO CLOSE to finally freeing ourselves of our self-imposed shackles to quit now, not that we actually would quit. It’s just frustrating to be at a virtual standstill, especially when me moving to nightshift and Brandy just taking one class this semester was supposed to free up all this extra time to build. I just have to remind myself to stay on target and we’ll get the house built one way or another. Too bad we don’t have The Force to help us move things along. /le sigh
So, once again in the immortal words of Gold Two and Gold Five…
G5: “Stay on target.”
G2: “We’re too close.”
G5: “Stay on target!”
G2: “Loosen up!”
Oh, and let’s just skip over the part where Darth Vader blasts them and their fellow pilots to bits, shall we?! These are not the Y-wing pilots you are looking for…. 😉