I'm pretty sure that I won't be able to catch up by skipping weekends, and only doing two at a time, but I'm still going to keep on it! :)
December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)
People smiling while wearing masks = win!
My family. Hands down. Back when we first moved into the Money Pit, people would say to us, well it's good you have so much family. Which completely confounded me, because before embarking on this "adventure" the idea that we'd have "tons of help from our huge families" never crossed my mind. What's the big deal? It's nothing the two of us can't handle? Until the demo started... and the day my brother Kevin, and Nick's stepdad Dave came over, and the four of us accomplished more in 1 day than the two of us had accomplished in two weeks. Oh. This is what they meant. Even so, the fear of needing and the guilt of asking for help kept most of the demo to a two person job... until March... when we got the dumpster. Suddenly, with a deadline, and with WAY more work than we'd initially anticipated, we needed help. A LOT of it. And people came. Without question. Friends, neighbors, but most of all, my family. In the words of my Dad, on the day I begrudgingly called him to admit I needed help, he said, "Family first. If you need to, we'll rally the troops." And they did. We filled a dumpster with 10 tons of debris (mostly thrown, by hand, out of the second and third floor windows.) At which point I said, ok, we've got this now, thanks for the help guys, we'll take it from here. Wrong. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, and we're up against another deadline... the one where the bank says, ok time's up, if your contractors want to get paid, you need to be done with this work. Now. Except it was work WE had to finish, not the contractors. In comes my dad, again; he measured, sawed, routed, and installed 20 window sills and frames. And brought contractor friends to help. And the rest of the family; my sisters came for my birthday to paint. Dave, Paul and Megan helped install the wood floor. Nick's brothers Tyler and Carl removed all the remaining debris. Like, all of it. In like, an hour. (Boys: "What should we do now?" Alyson: "Uh, you did that way faster than I thought you would..." Carl: "We're athletes." Tyler: "SPARTAN athletes.") Kevin and my friend Chaz cut and installed a carpet and pad... Matt and Katie tackled the woodwork. Drew and Nick's dad installed a railing that could hold the house up if it had to... I mean, everyone did MORE than this, but these were the things they OWNED. And how to I express my gratitude? The way Italian-Irish know how... with food and beer? Weak, I know. And some thank you cards. And hopefully, some day, being able to return the favor in some way. Nothing seems like enough to express the immense amounts of gratitude we both feel. We know we couldn't be doing this, AND BE ALMOST DONE WITH THIS, without our incredible families, and close friends that we consider like family. Our home will truly be the house that love built, and every time I walk through it's rooms I remember that.
December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)
This is a question some (namely my in-the-moment husband) say I ask too much. WHAT'S NEXT?! Perhaps the action I should focus on most in 2011 is taking a moment to appreciate the action I've already accomplished, instead of so hurriedly moving on to the next... but that seems like a sentiment for another post. The ACTION I'm going to take to make my ideas happen in 2011 is definitely with rust belt love. Growing a business into something self sufficient has seemed like an insurmountable task until very, very recently. Insert cheesy motivational speaker quotes here, like "the only thing standing in your way is you," and "your only limitations are the ones you put on yourself," but I'm realizing it's true! To do what you love, and be your own boss doing it, has seemed like an unreachable pipe dream until this year, when I asked myself, "Why not?" Why couldn't I do it? We're successful on a small scale, which means we must have something going here, we just have to take that and scale up. An easy feat by no means, but an impossible one? Nah. So that is my action for 2011. This is the idea I am going to make happen. Grow my mini-sized successful business into a super-sized one large enough to sustain myself and my business partner full time. I mean, the only thing standing in my way is me... right?