I have been allowing the failure of reality to meet what I had envisioned disturb my peace of mind. I know I am not unique in this experience of being disappointed by the way things didn’t go as I had pictured they would.
In 1998, my husband and I purchased a piece of lakefront property within an hour and a half drive from where we lived. It was my vision to build a log home in the mountains similar to one I had visited as a child with a friend. His vision was to be lakefront.
I remember walking down the steep, wooded hill to see the lake whilst carrying our 15 month old son. It was a spring fed, natural lake that was sparklingly clear. We had visions of swimming, boating, fishing and ice skating. After looking at several other lots on different lakes, we decided to buy the lot on Lake Log Tavern.
For financial reasons, we decided to delay construction of our house on the lake.
I became pregnant in the summer of 1998. The baby was due in April of 1999.
On February 14, 1999, I had a massive cerebral hemorrhage. I survived, but was left with a permanent disability.
I had the baby on April 3, 1999. I went home from a rehab hospital in a wheelchair in the middle of May.
The next few years passed in a blur of trying to survive and rebuild some kind of normal life. We held on to our dream of building a cabin on the lake. We now knew the dream would look different since I was now walking with a limp and a cane, and had limited use of my left arm. We gave some consideration to postponing construction further, but decided the project could be useful in my rehabilitation.
We broke ground in the mountains at the lake in 2000. During some very dismal days of my recovery, my husband used the construction project as an escape. He spent many evenings and weekends managing the construction of a large log home while I was busy going to physical therapy and managing the care of our two babies with live in help.
We began spending weekends as a family at the lake in 2001. I had to make many adaptations to my original vision of life at the lake since I was able bodied when I first had the vision but now was not.
I enjoyed lake life as best as I could. I very much loved the time with my family there. Our kids were 2 and 4 years old when we first started spending weekends at the lake. We entertained our extended family and friends.
I continued to recover from the stroke and became more able to enjoy the cabin. I had fun decorating and setting up housekeeping.
When the kids were small, they were so busy during the day and would fall fast asleep quickly and early at night which created a romantic atmosphere for my husband and I to enjoy. In the winter, we sat in front of the fireplace reading and listening to music. We sat there doing that year round in fact, but the fire made it more cozy in the fall and winter.
As the children grew up, I envisioned later years at the lake looking like Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda’s characters in the film “On Golden Pond.” Two old coots who were still in love puttering around their idyllic retreat. However, my own marriage was becoming unraveled. I chose not to focus on that but rather assumed our commitment was strong and kept up the Hepburn/Fonda fantasy.
The cabin at the lake grew to become a wonderful family retreat over many years during which time the marriage was dissolving.
When my husband wanted to separate in 2015, he moved into the cabin at the lake. We couldn’t afford a third residence. We agreed to alternate weekends at the cabin with him staying in the marital home with our sons when I’m at the lake.
Our arrangement has been working for the most part. It is more complicated than it sounds to share a weekend place. The cabin has become his house.
When we have scheduling disputes over whose weekend it is at the cabin, I feel angry at having to confront the reality that the place is now my husband’s house where he lives alone which was never what I envisioned.
I mentioned this to a friend this week, and she reminded me that I also never envisioned separating from my husband.
I continue to work on accepting reality for what it is because I know things aren’t going to change. It isn’t worth the mental turmoil that results when reality doesn’t jive with our visions.
I am interested to hear about your visions that didn’t come to fruition. Please leave a comment.
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Thank you for reading :)