Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why I've Been Missing (Marnie)

It's been months since I've blogged on this website. The few of you that still read this may have wondered, what happened to Marnie? Did she fall in love and get married? Like Marcia, Kris and now Leah? No. No I didn't. I did date someone for awhile, but it ended. I'll talk more of that in another blog.

But I did have a life altering experience that has distracted me from blogging. I moved and I've been trying to make some order in my new home. And I must admit, I've never been so preoccupied with my living space in my whole life. It's needed a fair amount of work - which has forced me to do all sorts of things I don't like doing - like asking for help, relying on others knowledge and assistance, making decisions based on what little experience and knowledge I have, and making really stupid mistakes while trying to fix the problem myself. It makes me feel completely out of my league and shoots me down to new levels of humility. I've often tried to avoid learning new things that have a very high learning curve for me - they tend to make me struggle to the point of frustration and I hate that (You should have seen the day I tried to wakeboard! DISASTER!!!). Nothing drives me more to crying than working on a home project that "should" have taken 60 minutes to do - according to the instructions – that really took 9 hours and 2 trips to Home Depot to complete and still not quite achieving the desired result.

But now that the worst of it is over, I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I took the risk - although I really didn't know what I was getting into - and I'm learning (slowly) to appreciate the journey as much as reaching the destination (a warm, inviting environment). My house isn't perfect, but then, nothing ever is. There are still lots of little things that drive me crazy, but I have gotten some things resolved and I like to focus on that.

I feel as though I married this house. The commitment level has been huge. Not only on the financial level, but I have had to put a lot of work into it. Tons. And sometimes the results are nothing what I anticipated or wanted. But I have a home that protects me from the world and keeps me warm (when I feel rich enough to turn up the heat).

I wonder if after you first get married you go through the same shock and frustration as I went through with my new home? At one point I wondered why I did it. I prayed about it and felt good about the decision and it all fell into place - but when the problems started to arise and I felt over-whelmed, I wondered why I made the plunge in the first place.

I also wondered why I missed some important realities about the condition of the place. I didn't see many of the details I should have when I visited the house those multiple times before I moved in. Once I had the place, all the flaws and problems seemed so GLARING! If I had seen them before, I would have had a better understanding of what I was up against. I wouldn't have NOT made the decision to get the place, but I would have been less surprised and disappointed with the realities.

Why was I so naive about the experience? If it I got an answer of "yes" to do it and it felt so right to do in the first place, why were there so many problems that had to be dealt with and why were they so hard to conquer? Several times I thought maybe I had made the wrong decision and I had dreamed up that good feeling before as an answer to a prayer.

I think I sabotaged myself on a regular basis because unfortunately, I always have a very good idea in my head of how things should go. Structure and order are one of the things that make me happy. And at times I felt like I was in a construction zone (I'm exaggerating of course) and had no routines. Living day to day and not really knowing what I was doing or what exactly what I needed to work on first because there seemed so much to do, left all my previous security I had felt go out the window. And when I don't feel secure, the little things like picking the right paint color seems as big as deciding whether to move to a different city or change jobs. It's almost like everything was magnified into being a bigger situation than it really was. I didn't see the eternal perspective (it's just a house for crying out loud!). It left me so discontented at times that I wished I'd never tried this new adventure in the first place. Crazy!

I wish I could say I'm in complete control now and that things are going smoothly and everything is in it's perfect place now that some time has passed. Nope. That's going to take much longer to do. But it is going much better. My patience has improved a little better - I can work on the house until 2am before I start crying from frustration as opposed to midnight. And my idea of how things “should be” has been completely shifted to "what can I live with?" Maybe this was a way for God to give me a small glimpse into how a real committed relationship is. I've never had one and no matter how many books I’ve read, experiences I’ve heard about or movies I’ve watched on people dealing with a committed relationship, nothing beats the experience.

But having this home feels good sometimes - really good. And then sometimes it's just one huge pain in the neck. Sounds a lot like a committed relationship with a man to me. Well, at least from what I’ve heard…


Leah said...

Being very recently married I really enjoyed this post. I think I did a pretty thorough job of checking out my "purchase" so no surprises (yet). But it is VERY important for me to remember the learning and journey and patient acceptance part of it all. Nothing is perfect and I'm sure those 60 minute projects may take a life time to resolve. Good to remember. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, marriage is like that. And sometimes you find a problem that won't be fixed and can't be lived with.

I enjoyed your post, but my experience has been different. I found the first years after marriage and after buying a house were hugely satisfying. But I have heard of others who had a very rough first few years. Good luck with your house, sounds discouraging, but you can make it work!!

Kleinhenz Family said...
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Meg said...

My roommate just sent me this post because I also bought a house recently and have been going through the EXACT emotional trials you have described! ( and I have been relating the whole experience to marriage.)

I would add that for the first time in my single life, I started feeling angry about being single. I had always thought I would be going through these struggles with a spouse but I found myself playing the role of husband and wife, choosing towel colors and snaking the drain, alone.

It took about three months for me to relax and I am not angry or frustrated anymore. I finally like the house and I find I even enjoy plumbing.