I must have missed this day in high school …
This is the class they need to be teaching in high school! Five years ago, coming out of a divorce and thinking about my next steps in life, with the help of my dad, I decided to build a house. This started off as one of my proudest moments. It was one of the first times I really felt like an adult. It was so exciting to have a fresh start and something that was completely mine. Making all the required selections from top to bottom — flooring, backsplash, door handles, you name it — then being able to watch the growth and development day to day, both of the house and me personally. It was a very fun and exciting time.
Fast forward to the house being complete and then I am the sole homeowner. Let me backtrack a little bit — I have two of the most incredibly supportive parents, so growing up I maybe led a bit of a sheltered life. From there, I married very young and had a husband that ran most of the household duties. I never really had to know how to run a household, and it was a position I was more than fine with.
All of a sudden it was time to grow up — and to grow up fast. There are SO many stories I could share with you of this learning curve and experience. One of the most memorable stories I still hear about from family and friends happened after about year three as a homeowner. I came home from work on a cold winter day, and it was freezing in my house. I shared this news with my family and friends on our text threads and someone asked when was the last time I had changed my furnace filter. My what??!!
So, there was our answer: never. I didn’t even know that was a thing. Then the hunt was on to find said furnace filter. I was completely clueless. A friend asked me to send a picture of my furnace and she would help locate the filter via the photo. I sent her a photo of my water heater. Lesson #1: Once I figured out what a furnace even looks like, I had to remove the filter. Which, of course, I did with a pair of kitchen tongs. I won’t even tell you what that three-year-old filter looked like … no wonder it was freezing in my house! After a quick trip to Menards (and help from one of their friendly attendants) I was back in action.
That is just one story out of dozens of lessons I have learned over the last five years. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves. It was the first time I ever used a power tool; it was the first time I was in charge of making all the decisions. I laughed and cried my way through it. I have grown so much as an independent female homeowner.
Heck, I even own a hammer now! But I still call my parents at least once a week with some kind of homeowning question.
Cheers to growth and learning something new every day!