"Trust the Process" in working with a 100 year old house

"Trust the Process" in working with a 100 year old house

Six months into the renovation, our house is slowly starting to take its shape. Inevitably, a project like “home renovation” has a definite ending, more or less. Yet, I found the most valuable insight from the home renovation process has been to enjoy the journey as it unfolds. 

Of course, when our contractor said to us, “our goal is to finish the project before the holiday.”, I couldn’t help feeling giddy and started counting the days. That is a natural human reaction, isn’t it? But with the mindset focused solely on the finish line, every obstacle, small or big, feels like an obstacle, inconvenience, problem, headache, and a trigger for negative feelings. Because they are in our way of reaching the finish line, I would feel frustrated and disappointed in this circumstance. 

Indeed, that was a feeling I experienced earlier this fall when I felt so disoriented from constant construction noise, dust, and the inconvenience of not having real furniture to organize our belongings. For highly sensitive people like myself, the sensory overload of renovation can be much. I can tell you that it was not fun to go through those feelings. 

Then I shifted. 

I told myself that this is one of a kind lifetime experience. I can’t imagine we would renovate another 100-year-old house. So I might as well stay awake through the whole experience. This mental shift led me to celebrate every milestone with open-mindedness and joy. Frido and I have been taking our time to appreciate and honor the painstakingly tedious work our contractor’s crew invest in to get things done in the right way instead of simply going fast.  Any small project that was finished was a reason to give a high-five instead of feeling overwhelmed by what is still left to be done. 

“Trust the Process” is one of our favorite mottos at Baum-kuchen. We love it because it applies to everything we do, from designing, parenting, landscaping, training for a marathon, running a business, to renovating a house. It’s not to say that we sit in the backseat and stay passive. It’s the opposite. “Trusting the Process” is about being present and experiencing the ride fully with an inner knowing that things will all work out in the way it is meant to be. The final destination might look different from the initial picture of anticipation, but it will be beautiful in its path. 

Our house is looking so different from what Frido and I planned it to be at the beginning of renovation in June. But that’s okay. We have made decisions along the way with the information we had at the time. It has been an intentional journey for us and we love the way the house is coming together. Our family will always cherish the memory of camping out on a deck, the excitement we felt when we could use the upstairs bathroom for the first time (along with many other “firsts” we had with our house). And, most importantly, we will remember the smiles and high-fives we exchanged with each other and with our contractor crews.

- Wakako 

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