Even after achieving so much in such a short period of time, I remember being somewhat disappointed with where the project was at and how it was progressing. Looking back on it now, it’s easy to see where the time went. I had established this incredibly high standard and quality of finish from the very beginning of the project, and by doing so had handicapped the timeline. Now everything that I built for the house needed to meet this high benchmark.
I was also building the house in a very fluid and organic way. Being the designer and the builder I was working on the fly a lot of the time, I had never really completely finished designing the inside of the house, I was more or less working with the space, responding to it as it changed with each new sub-project. This allowed me to adjust designs along the way and think up new ideas as we witnessed the space change.
With each day that went by Holly would come over and complete her ritual walk through and then we’d soundboard ideas. The space would keep evolving bringing new opportunities, some of which we could never have foreseen until they were staring us blatantly in the face.
This sounds like a project manager’s nightmare… and to be honest, (being the project manager myself), it was. But, being the designer and the builder at the same time, any negative feelings associated with lost time were heavily outweighed by the satisfaction provided by having complete freedom of creative expression.
So what were the lessons learnt at this stage? There were many, but there were two of most significance.
Don’t be afraid to stop and make changes. When your gut is telling you something can be changed or improved, lean into that feeling and at the bare minimum, explore the idea in your mind or on paper.
Celebrate the wins! No matter how small, just do it, or at least acknowledge them somehow – cheers a beer, eat an ice-cream, tell someone you’re stoked with the result – otherwise you can head down a path where nothing is enough. Most of the time I was so determined to keep making progress that I actively pushed back against this, but it is so important – acknowledge your achievements, we all deserve it!