Anxiety and the American Institute of Architects Home Tour

by singlemomseeking on August 9, 2011

The other night, during a mild anxiety attack after our contractors left, I had a small argument with my husband. Then, I sat down to write a post about how scared I felt. Blogging tip: when you write in the midst of such intense feelings, don’t publish it right away. Let it sit for 24 hours.

Well, I didn’t follow my own advice. I published that post right after writing it, and the next morning, as I re-read it, I shook my head. I’d gone off on a rant, and it wasn’t even well-written. So, I deleted it. Within 24 hours, a few blogging (and real life!) friends wrote to me, wondering what happened.

The truth is: any big life changes bring anxiety, whether you’re getting married, moving, or building an addition onto your home. The question is, “How do you deal with that anxiety?”

I’m still learning the answer.

“Late in the evenings can be the worst,” Crazy Computer Dad wrote to me in an email this morning. It’s so true.

After an anxious night, I usually wake up and I see how many wonderful things happening in my life right now. In fact, this morning, I’m looking out our window where a group of guys is laying the foundation to our home. Laying the foundation. If that isn’t symbolic, I don’t know what is.

So, why during such an amazing time of transition, do I feel anxious? Sometimes, it’s as if I can’t let myself deserve THIS: so much love, a new home, a sweet daughter, a man who listens.

This weekend, here’s how I’m going to deal with my remodeling anxiety: I’m going on our local American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2011 Home Tour. This self-guided tour celebrates design excellence in the Bay Area and educates the public about the impact of architecture in this part of California.

I have a feeling that seeing these completed, constructed homes will inspire me. That’s because I can really see what’s coming around the bend, and open myself up to feeling worthy of this. Check out these beautiful, sustainable modern homes:

McGee House
This two bedroom house is resolutely ‘green’ and devoted to salvage and reuse of materials. The upper walls are clad with metal from over 100 car roofs. The awnings are made from old Dodge Caravan windows. The lower story is clad with poplar bark, a furniture manufacturing waste product.

Berkeley Cube
A modern cube addition, 20 feet in each dimension, sits in a backyard peering over a plain worker’s bungalow from the 1940’s. Energy consumption, sustainability and a modest budget drove the design process. Though smartly modern in style, the cube continues in the vein of practicality established by the stucco Bungalow.

DIY House
A small second house on an urban lot, designed to be built by the owner who had no prior construction experience. The architects, who are also engineers, meticulously planned the building and its assembly methods to meet a restrictive program and a very tight budget, while celebrating the beauty of simple, durable materials. The house is a clever box, designed for energy efficiency and future expandability.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out to me this week. And if you’d like to chime in about anxiety, please do!


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