This Saturday marks the end of our second week renovating our new home! I will often refer to it as "The Farm." I believe it has also been dubbed the "Square America Ranch." So I may throw that one in here and there as well.
We took ownership of The Farm on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - one of the best days of our lives!
Buying our first home was exciting, but we started as renters before we decided to buy it. At the time, it was more of an (amazing) opportunity for us to purchase a house for a price we could afford. We purchased it to put ourselves in a good financial position vs. purchasing it because it was our dream home. But over the years, we made it so, and I've said many times that I wish I could transport our current home to our new plot of land. It will always hold a very special place in our hearts. I'll also be forever indebted to my grandparents that made renovations to our current home before we moved in as renters (so it wasn't a big yellow box inside) and for allowing us to purchase the home for a price we could manage. We wouldn't be where we are today without their generosity.
The excitement of purchasing The Farm carries with it a different tone than that of our first home for several reasons:
We've been happy, sad, inspired, and anxious over the past couple of weeks - but it's all been worth it. When they say on those HGTV renovation shows that renovations are hard - they mean it. And it's the type of hard that you'll never understand unless you've been through it. It's a multi-dimensional type of hard. But at the end of each (very long) day that we work, work on the house, sleep, work, work on the house, sleep - we have the end product in mind. The dreams we've talked about and been waiting for. They're coming true. Not everyone gets that chance. And we are SO grateful.
"Connection" is not my strongest trait. I'm a loner by nature, completely content being by myself most all of the time. A "need" for connection just doesn't reside within me. My head is so full of chatter and ideas and to-do lists, that there's hardly room for me to think about making time to connect with other human beings. I think my lack of "need" for constant connection to others has been detrimental to me, wait, I know it has been detrimental to me. I know people have felt like I'm a bad friend, a bad family member, and maybe even just a bad or cold person in general. But that is absolutely not the case.
I feel a lot of anxiety leading up to "connecting." Because, to be honest, I am just a very anxious person, and also because I'm just not used to doing it. But, there has never been a time that I have regretted making a new connection or reconnecting with another person. I value the connections I do have and I especially value the people that understand the way I connect, because it is unconventional, and here's why:
To me, if I've connected with you at one time (it can literally take ONE time) as a friend, as family, as a professional contact, and you have shown me respect, love, compassion, loyalty, or helped me grow (from a bad or good encounter) - I'll stay connected to you. I'll think of you fondly and be there for you in a heartbeat if needed. I don't need to talk to you every day. I don't need to email you every week. I don't need to see you but once every year. But I'm connected to you. I don't outwardly show how important my connections are on a "frequent enough" basis (whatever that is), but, when I am connecting - I'm there. I'm present. I'm listening. I'm taking mental notes. I know what you hate, and what you love, and what's important to you. And I'll be there for you. I think people would be surprised how readily available I would be to lend a hug, helping hand, or sympathetic ear - even if I met you only once.
As I said, the way I connect is unconventional, but at the same time, it is uniquely me. Because I have limited connections, those connections literally mean everything to me. I don't always "show it" or "show up," but that doesn't mean my heart is in the wrong place. It's probably just because 1) my anxiety is kicking ass and taking names (this is honestly probably what it is); or 2) I need to "shell up" and take some time for myself, because social interactions take A LOT out of me, and my job is one humongous, 40 hour per week social interaction.
Why this topic for the blog? Because I "connected" today. I had a wonderful "coffee talk" with a friend, a creative brainstorming session with a friend and colleague, and my sweet friend came to grab me for lunch at work. Three connections in one day is big for me, but so worth every ounce of time spent with the people I care about.
I'll leave you with something to consider. Think about the connections you have in your life. The way you connect, the way others connect with you. Be mindful as you do this. Connecting means many different things to different people, expectations are different, experiences are different. But no matter what, we all need each other in some capacity or another. Treat your connections with gentle kindness. Just because they may not "fit the mold" regarding what you think they should be doing to stay connected with you - don't write them off. They still need you. Maybe just in a different way. Try to find out what that is.