The lesson? Have good people in your corner, whether they are directly involved in the project or not – let them in, be open, talk through your ideas and emotions with them. Sometimes we are so fixated on one thing that we need someone else, with fresh eyes, to break through our perceptions and help us see things clearly.
It was two weeks out from the beginning of the fire season, the building inspector was coming the following day to complete the final inspection and hopefully grant me an occupancy permit. Everything was almost ready, all I needed to finish now was the continuous handrail around the spiral staircase. Somehow I had managed to give myself one day to figure out how to make and install this thing!
I got to work and by the end of the day I stood victorious, surrounded by numerous piles of timber (discarded in frustration) each bit a failed attempt to produce the joiner pieces that sit in the corners of the staircase. These pieces seamlessly connect all four rails together, an integral piece of the handrail puzzle as to meet regulations the handrail must be continuous. After 14 hours I had actually done it, I had constructed a single continuous handrail, all screwed, glued and clamped. I nervously left it to dry overnight. When morning came around, I held my breath and took off all the clamps. Everything remained in place and I exhaled in relief. Working quickly, I sanded all the joins and gave it a well needed oil.
Three hours later, Jason (the inspector), came through the front doors and began doing his thing. With my fingers crossed, we hoped this visit would be his last. My stomach had been twisted all night leading up to this moment. I had this fear in my mind, if there was something wrong with the staircase, I was convinced it would be the end of me. All of this doubt! Even though I had quadruple checked the measurements on the staircase time and time again. Jason cut a few casual laps while I nervously provided him with idle chit-chat, mumbling something about covid lockdowns and the unusually dry winter in a feeble attempt to find some common ground that may somehow get me over the line for the final inspection.
Two days later, we received an email with a signed occupancy permit for the Nook. We. Had. Done. It!
Lesson learnt? Back yourself, if you’ve put in the time, done all of the research and worked to 100% of your abilities, then you have no reason to doubt yourself. Your best is your best!
A week later, Dad, Holly, a small group of friends and myself gathered to cut the ribbon (quite literally – thanks Holly!) and open the house. It was a monumental moment, to be surrounded by some of our closest buds, who had all in some way supported us through the last few years of chaos. I am a better person because of each and every one of them and seeing Dad there at the house was indescribable. A moment forever etched in my memory.