A friend recently asked me an interesting question: if I had to place myself in my current life situation on a map, where would I describe myself as being? Helplessly drifting down a river? Trudging across an empty plain with not much happening every day? Maybe stuck in the central reservation of a motorway with traffic rushing past you on both sides, feeling like everyone knows where they’re going and how to get there apart from you? It’s an interesting thought and after taking a while to think about it and coming back to it at the end of our chat I realised where I would place myself: just about to reach the top of a mountain.
I’d say I started the journey up this mountain around Spring 2015, when we decided to move after discovering I was pregnant, and I think I have been slowly trudging up it for nearly 2 years now: moving and settling into a new house while pregnant, getting through the first year of a new baby with a toddler in tow, adjusting to being a mother of 4, and trying to renovate the new house with 4 children to contend with.
But I’m starting to feel like we might have MADE IT. After 5 months of living in a building site, the work is finally coming to an end and we now have the space we have dreamed of and craved since we first saw this house in April 2015.
Here’s the view before…
And this is the after…
Having this space is like a breath of fresh air. Suddenly I’m not cooking with children running around my feet, and eating in here is an absolute pleasure sitting around our lovely new table. Although the garden is north facing, the light that streams in in the morning is glorious, especially on a sunny day, with the bifolding doors open. The room is still pretty empty but now I get to do the fun part, choosing some bits of furniture to fill it, cushions to go on the new sofa (coming soon!) and pictures to go on the wall. To be honest I wouldn’t care if we never bought a single thing to put in it, I am just so pleased to finally have SPACE!
I had no idea how all consuming having an extension built would be. Just the endless stream of workmen everyday can be exhausting (saying that, I actually have the best and most considerate builders I could ask for), plus having the whole house turned upside down as you move everything about from room to room. Every spare moment I have had over the last 4 months has been spent trawling the internet for tiles, taps, lights, flooring and taps, to list but a few, and hence anything else extra curricular, (such as this blog) has been put on the back burner.
Then after Christmas, after a year of giving us hell, my youngest finally turned a corner with his sleeping , which seemed to happen just as he turned 1. He is walking now and is at that adorable “I could squeeze you and kiss you all day” age, wandering around, getting into everything, babbling away and just being unbelievably cute. He now feels like he can be one of the gang, running about the house after his siblings and i think is just feeling a lot less frustrated about life.
And so, with space to breath, more time to sleep and spring around the corner, I feel like I am just about to reach the peak of the mountain. From there I can look back at what I have achieved with the house and the family and out into the year ahead. I am well aware however, that this is probably just a dream and I’ll actually discover that it is one of those trick mountain peaks, where you think you’re at the top but you’re actually not – life is never that easy. I’m sure God has the next mountain ready and waiting around the corner, but however big it may be I am ready and willing to take it on. For now though I can hope and pray that this is the peak and I can prepare myself for the next one while I take a breather and have a bit of downhill time.
I asked Lance the same map question recently. He pondered it for a bit and then concluded that yes, he’d agree with the mountain analogy, but maybe he’s been driving alongside me up the mountain and watching me walk! Thanks Lance…