Be present. Live in the now. Don't go future-tripping. Enjoy where you are. Be content. So many cliches all intended to help us stay in and appreciate our current moment in life. It's a hard balance though. It's nearly impossible to not plan for the future a little. It's good to have a dream or two or three. Something to aim for. A piggy bank to fill for a vacation, a remodel, a new car.
But then we assign timelines to our dreams and they become goals, a bit more tied down and possible. Goals are good too, right? Ah-ha, here is where the problem begins. Your dream is going to become a reality by a certain date. You are heading in that direction, working hard to achieve that dream, through one obstacle after another. Sometimes, an obstacle is too big or requires much more time or money to get past. You return to the lesson of living "in the now". That dream is on hold, just out of reach at this moment. If only you had kept your feet grounded more, your heart wouldn't be crumbling with disappointment.
We had the dream of building a home. So many obstacles and hurdles have come up since that dream began that I question if we should've abandoned it long ago. The most major advancement towards making this dream come true came in the form of downsizing to live in a travel trailer. The plan was to live in it for two years and then start the build, making it a full three years in our camper. With two small children. Who have loads of energy. In a rainy environment. You get it. It has been really hard.
Just last week, as we were ready to finalize our loan and start the build, our final contractor bid came in and we had to face a very difficult reality. The numbers were simply more than we could afford and much higher than originally quoted. Since building in our area has to revolve around snow, we knew that bailing on this builder would mean bailing on building this year and waiting to start until next spring.
This means two more years in the trailer. One year to save and secure a new builder, and another year for the build. Two more years of laundromats. Two more years of laying silently in the dark while the littles fall asleep. Two more years of hating cooking because of cramped kitchen space. Two more years of having to keep everything tidy all of the time because otherwise there is no room. Immediate dishes. Clean clothes put away right off. Beds made first thing. Two more years of searching for things in the disastrous storage unit. Two more years of trying to figure out what to do with two children inside for 9 rainy months. Two more years of forcing said children outside in all kinds of weather because they are crazy with cabin fever and don't know it. Two more years of trying to not engage in conflict with one another "in front" of the kids, because, well, everywhere is "in front" of them in our home. Two more years of wishing for a couch to sit on to watch TV (instead of our bed).
I'm sure I could go on with my list of complaints. Being honest, this is my "now", my "present". I will try to flip it for the positive in a few days, but right now I want to grieve the crushing disappointment of this delay. I have been flipping the situation for the positive for much of the two years we've been in the travel trailer. It's going to be a hard sale to convince myself of the benefits of this reality for another two years. It seems to me that sometimes life is just hard and ugly and frustrating, no matter how you look at it, but you get through it and find yourself in another stage. So I will be in my present, appreciating it as much as possible and trying not to think about how long but, I will allow myself to envision the end of this stage at the same time.