on why buying a barn full of junk helped our marriage.
I don't know how many of you have been to the farm. It is really a magical place. One of the things everyone likes to see is our barn. Its a giant structure, with charm, character, a unique design and a hell of a lot of junk.
The day we bought the place, I remember I told my sister to take a box from our moving truck into the barn, we were running out of time on our U Haul rental and it was just a matter of getting the stuff somewhere at that point.
"I found the only spot I could" she told me. Weeks later I opened the door to see the box she had moved sitting one inch from the entry way, and thats it, you could not walk in there. We had junk 15 feet high in spots. I am in no way exaggerating. We knew when we bought the farm that the previous owner would not be emptying the barn. We signed an agreement. I don't know how love-drunk I was with the idea of having our little slice of heaven be ours, but I just signed away one page after another.
A 21 foot speedboat, 25 doors, 52 shutters, 13 light up reindeer, boxes and boxes of papers, cans of trash, old signs, tools, you name it- we found it in there. An old barbed wire fence, all the carpet from our first floor -- we dumped it in there.
We first took a stab at it all in March, I cried.
"THIS WILL NEVER GET DONE. I HATE THIS PLACE." and I stormed back into the house.
If you've ever read this blog you know that Matt and I are really very different people. We share a lot of the same passions and we agree on almost every major topic, however- we absolutely cannot see eye to eye on how to clean / organize / empty things.
I am a 'pitcher' get me a giant trash bag (or on my best days a dumpster) and let me go. Matt is thorough. He sorts, organizes, breaks down what can be, he calculates, thinks about our next move. I'm like a tornado tearing through spaces, hell bent on clearing room.
We have fought about the way to clean the barn out more than I like to admit. We do not fight often. But when we do- its two stubborn-first born-natural leaders-control freaks who like to be in charge going at it. I cried about the barn a lot. Y'all know me well enough at this point to know when I say I am crying about something, it is not cute. It is ugly, snotty, blowing my nose in a paper towel crying.
And we kept chipping away at it. There was one day I yelled out loud "I hope this barn burns down tonight so we stop fighting about it." But every so often, even though it had made us so pissed each time before, we found ourselves back in there together. Dust masks, gloves & a few hours at a time.
So yesterday, I looked out there and realized, that with one afternoon we could call it good. It would be ready for the Wreath Workshops, it would be ready for a party. I asked Matt if he wanted to just check it off the list after the Lions game, and before I knew it- it happened.
It may seem silly to you. It's JUST a barn. There is still a lot of work left ahead for us on this space. But to know how often it made us say nasty things to one another & question this entire decision --- and then to see it today. Its pretty nice.
People say really often to us, "you and Matt are SO LUCKY." To me, luck is finding a $5 bill on the street, not living the life you want for yourself- that is hard work. This entire legacy, this farm, this dream- its what we want for ourselves and our family one day. So we work really freaking hard at it. Just like our marriage.
Marriage is a lot like cleaning out a barn together. You can choose to sit and have the barn. It's there, not going to blow over, but you can choose to have it just the way it is right now. Or you can dig in, and clear out the shit, and throw things away, and hold onto what is really important. And you can realize how different you two are. And even though you do not understand for the life of you why a box of old office supplies is important, you help the other person load it in their car. And although they may not understand what 'flair for the wreath workshop is' they sweep and dust and help you. The cobwebs can come easily, but you can clear them just as fast. Don't let your barn get so full of crap that you can't walk in there. And when its really really hard to clean it out without wanting to kill your partner- just keep at it.
Matt, I would choose no one else to build this dream alongside. I love you.
Work at the barn, your marriage, your goals, your legacy - whatever it is. Even when its really really hard - keep at it.