Yesterday me and Ben finished Operation Rustic Wood Store at The Little Red Cottage. When I say me and Ben, I mean mainly Ben. I mainly stood around offering ‘helpful’ suggestions and flouting basic health and safety rules by leaving stuff everywhere to form multiple trip hazards.
Seven months in, we’re still in that getting-to-know-each-other phase, and each new thing we do together brings chances to learn more about each other, because it brings different versions of us to the table. I had some trepidation about doing DIY together – at my house – because I’ve not had great experiences of that with my ex-husband (he basically told me I was crap at it and I never got a chance to try), and I’m very aware of how protective (i.e. precious) I am about the cottage.
But Ben is super laid back and totally understanding and accepting of how (and who) I am, and we communicate really well. So I can tell him when I think I’m being a dick, and he’ll tell me whether he feels like I am (and vice versa).
Ben laughs at how much I love character and rustic charm, and I’m not sure he believed me when I said I loved the wood store, built out of a jigsaw of pallets and offcuts of wood. I think he thought I was being polite. But I wasn’t. I really love it. It does what I need it to do, it’s got character, and it uses a redundant space in my garden. But mainly I love it because he wanted to help me, and we did it together, actually enjoying ourselves doing it. No arguments or frustration, just lots of laughing and teamwork.
I’m still smiling at how happy I am right now pottering about doing simple stuff in a house I own, with a partner I can see a future with. It’s so far away from where I was a few years ago, and it’s truly a testament to how much we change throughout our lives. That’s not to say I’m hanging up any adventure shoes just yet, I’m just enjoying where I’m at. I’m grateful to have everything I need.