Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Signing a Contract

We did it. It has been months in the planning and months in the picking and months in the finagling and months in the budget-adjusting. We found a contractor, had plans drawn up, and we begin in about two weeks.


We were out to dinner last night with Pup's ginormous family (just a smallish chunk of them actually) and I mentioned to SIL Penny Lane that we were starting our den soon.

Penny asked me, "Why don't you guys relax and have some fun instead of always working on your house?"

At first I was bewildered. I think I actually asked her what she meant. She simply meant what she said. From her perspective, Pup and I are always working on the Chez Emerson and not enjoying life. From our perspective, we are making Chez Emerson lovely so we can enjoy our life.

Got me thinking though. What is important? Is where you live important? Is your stuff important? Is cocooning the thing you love? Is traveling the thing you love?

Penny lives a simpler life, unencumbered with stuff. So when I looked at the question from where she was sitting it made sense. But where does this leave the question?

I think for Pup and me, we are still finding our way. We've only been married a bit over a year. We had to move into his house, we had to blend our ways of living, we had to blot out reminders of his ex-wife from the house, we had to blot out any residual reminders of my wasband. I'm sure we're not doing it perfectly, but we're doing it.

For Pup, I can see how having a wife isn't always easy. He was a single guy for a while and he was used to not having to ask anyone else if they wanted to attend another Pup-family gathering. He didn't have to ask anyone else if they wanted a recliner in the living room. No one was hogging all the hot water in the shower.

For me, I'm finding I need to say yes to some family gatherings and not feel bad if I don't go to others. I need to listen to a few wants (pool table anyone?) and find joy in the decision.

So . . . the question. Why aren't Pup and I enjoying life instead of working on the Chez Emerson? I think the working and finessing and decorating and incorporating and compromising and nesting is the beginning of our enjoying our life. Our new and tender life together. We're finding our way; tiptoeing through the landmines and coming through on the other side.

How are you enjoying your life? How are you working it with your spouse/partner? Or how are you working it for you?


Karen said...

I think you have the right mindset, Deb. Your SIL is a different kind of person.. she clearly doesn't get joy from working on her living space. Many do (ahem). And doing it together is a "together" thing.

My spouse and I aren't always on the same page, we are very different people in many ways. But I can tell you the nesting part of our relationship... the tending to and design of and recreation of our home has always been something we do well together. There is definitely joy in that.

R. Jacob said...

it is the making of a house into a home.

T said...


It depends on how we define "having fun" or "joy." As was said, some interpret rennovations as "work." Others (myself included) view it as new, challenging, fun, exciting, a way to expand upon our happy place, i.e., where we spend time relaxing, eating, sleeping, living, etc.

I enjoy making where I live/work/play an extension of my personality, an expression of my personal style. Doing so definitely helps to increase my "happy quotient."


Different strokes.

Heff said...

I hear ya. I'm ALWAYS busting my ass doing something to my house.....BECAUSE IT'S MY HOUSE, LOL !!

deb-oh-rah said...

To me, the house/home is never finished. Always evolving. Like the marriage/partnership. There is always consideration/compromise for/with your mate. Keeps your life fresh/sweet.


Marnie said...

I know a lot of people who enjoy doing home reno's and decorating...nothing wrong with that at all. Let's face it, it's our home - we spend more time in it than going out on vacation. Why not have it set up the way you like it? Good for you.

Me? I'm a clean freak...to me that is more important that anything else. There are a few reno's I'd like to get done, but I'm waiting for something to "jump" out at me (I have a difficult time picking out things, but when I do, it lasts for a long time so it's worth the wait). More info that you care to know...lol!

J.J. in L.A. said...

I think the hardest thing, for a (new) couple, is to work on a project. Each wants things a certain way and compromise is key. I think working on the house IS finding your way. What you like, don't like, etc. It's a good start.

I'm still dealing with health issues so I'm not enjoying my life (yet). lol!

My man and I are very similar so it's not hard to work things out.

Deborah said...

Karen - The whole thing put into perspective for me how all of us see stuff from our branch of the tree. And that's alright with me.

RJ - Nesters vs movers and shakers hmm?

T - Totally different strokes. And yes to your home being an extension of your personality. And a wonderful creative outlet.

Heff - That's right! And you love it!

deb - You know how I love the tweaking.

Marnie - Clean is awesome IMHO. I am a lover of the swiffer and windex. Ha!

JJ - Working on a house is a great metaphor for how the relationship may pan out. Compromise and all.

Marla said...

Working on our farm and house IS a part of us enjoying our lives together. So is going to the grocery store together and showering together and paying bills together. It's the together part that makes it enjoyable.