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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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Augustin August 22, 2015 at 10:19 am

Well, I may not be 17 anymore, but I do know what it’s like to have srstes, depression and anxiety hit you all at once, and I do know how hard it can be. I also do not want any medication.All these things run in my family and sadly enough, most of them have become dependent on the medication. I have promised myself that I would never let that happen to me.Sometimes I break out into these horrible moods one minute, the next I’m crying my eyes out, and the next I just want to be left alone. That is no way for any person to live. You need support from loved ones to help out a little. We all need some help sometimes and the first step at helping depression in wanting to get better. I have chosen away to help myself, but I also ask others around me to be patient with me, it is a long process. I have been dealing with this in my life for years now, but slowly it is getting better.I realize this is a long answer, but I know a lot about this topic, and it saddens me to know that too many people suffer from this illness. In some cases, people need medication due to the chemical imbalance. Some just need learn that they have the power to overcome this. That is what I’m choosing to do, and so far I’m getting there.You are 17 years old and life can get better or much much worse. Always think to yourself, you are much greater then the srstes, the pain, and the worries that you deal with everyday. School can be tough on people, but always know you can only do so much to please people. Try pleasing yourself, worry about yourself.Take one day at a time and just know that the horrible day will not last forever, and try not to bring your worries to the next days, that is the past and there is nothing you can do to change that.


shim aka NappyKitchen August 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I find that listening to a CD with a fast tempo while in the shower or driving really helps my anxiety.
.-= shim aka NappyKitchen´s last blog ..Barefoot Toddler on Hot Asphalt =-.


water coolers August 10, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Wonderful amazing houses, i wonder how somebody would have made these houses using cars, caravans etc.But I like new and creative ideas.


avigail74 August 10, 2011 at 7:22 am

So true! Sometimes, it’s hard for us to believe that we actually have so many good things happening to us (and wonder how it happened). Sometimes, when I have anxiety attacks about my relationship, I just look at photos of us~ there’s something about seeing us looking so happy and healthy that makes me calmer.

In addition, I applaud you for finding ways to lessen attacks~ you becoming more informed about construction is an excellent way to go. YOu’re taking action and taking charge of your emotions.

Lastly, easier said than done, trust the process 🙂
.-= avigail74´s last blog ..The Four Day Trip =-.


rachael August 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

i was wondering what happened to that post! i figured it was something as you explained. anyway, i don’t deal well with anxiety. i typically bubble over and take it out on some unsuspecting victim!

good luck. you’re allowed a little anxiety-written posts every so often.

i love the last two homes. so gorgeous.
.-= rachael´s last blog ..wait. =-.


melody August 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

You have a great post here, I like the DIY house, do you have any floor plan with that…Thanks for sharing, hope to hear you soon…
.-= melody´s last blog ..Young Driver Insurance – The Best Strategy to Save You Money! =-.


T August 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I find that when I’m tired or feeling overwhelmed, I’m especially grouchy! Like the past few days since my triathlon… my body is still recovering and I’m still trying to catch up on what I missed from late last week. Over. Whelmed.

I think that home tour will inspire you! I can’t wait to come visit you! Let me know when my room is finished! 🙂
.-= T´s last blog ..Healthy, Fit, Strong and Loved =-.


T August 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Oh! And one other thing regarding anxiety. When my kids feel like that, I have them take a bath or shower or swim. I always say, “Water washes the grouchies away.”

Try it! It really works!
.-= T´s last blog ..Healthy, Fit, Strong and Loved =-.


singlemomseeking August 10, 2011 at 7:35 am

@T: Thanks for that reminder. Funny enough, I use those calming methods with my kid — now, I just need to remember to incorporate them into MY life.

singlemomseeking August 10, 2011 at 7:35 am

@T: “The T Suite” should be ready in December. Shall we book that for you now? xoxo


Kristin_OPC August 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

I’m sure I’ll be reaching out for advice as Chef transitions into our home. Only 5 weeks! Eeek!
.-= Kristin_OPC´s last blog ..Post It Note Tuesday ~ Not Another BlogHer Post =-.


singlemomseeking August 10, 2011 at 7:36 am

@Kristin: I love that your sweetheart’s name is “Chef” online!!


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