A Story to Motivate You

I know a lot of you have a lot of amazing ideas and grand visions for your lives. And, I also know how hard it can be sometimes to make your idea come to life. We start projects, then we get busy, life takes over, and we lose momentum. We tell ourselves, “I’ll finish that… when I have time.” But will you? I want to share this story with you of a big (HUGE) project I took on in my own life… a project that seemed so daunting and overwhelming at times…. but one that I finished! I offer this to give you a little inspiration to motivate you to cross your finish line!

My Story

I was raised by a divorced single mom. I learned to be hardy and motivated through this experience, putting myself through college and graduate school and eventually buying my own home at age 24. Things were definitely not handed to me on a silver platter. In 2009, I began looking at multi-unit properties (did I mention how good an investment real estate is?); my family and I sold our house in the suburbs and started looking for property where we could build something that modeled eco-housing, now also being called “green-tech” housing — occasional shared meals, community events with neighbors, shared organic gardening, composting, gray water recycling, community projects and art, and a network of neighborly support. So, after my family and I sold our house, we still hadn’t found a new place to which to move to develop our dream. We ended up finding a property that was very run-down but met our requirements: It has 3 units and a quarter acre of land that was in a thriving, urban, walkable community. I had much work to do to make it livable, but I knew I could do it. Even though the house was still being worked on, we moved into the bedrooms. There was no door on the bathroom. The heater wasn’t working. Most days (including weekends) the workers would get going before 7 a.m. The kitchen was torn up. But at least we weren’t in the RV anymore. Since 2010, we have taken the property, and crafted it, rebuilt it, and made it both a home and the center of a thriving and growing community. Here are some pictures of the transition and nice features…


The bathroom

The bathroom

An example of how the former occupants left the place. Interestingly, he just asked to “friend” me on Facebook… which I thought was hilarious!

An example of how the former occupants left the place. Interestingly, he just asked to “friend” me on Facebook… which I thought was hilarious!

A detail of our low water front yard, with meditation spiral…

A detail of our low water front yard, with meditation spiral…

The community room

The community room

Some of the dear folks during a recent community dinner... the tables are made from two of the original doors that were left on the property

Some of the dear folks during a recent community dinner…
the tables are made from two of the original doors that were left on the property

 


We have a renter who is an awesome community-minded lady in the apartment in the back. We have opened up the RV (which we can fit in our back yard) for guests on weekends. We share meals with neighbors. We have a monthly community dinner and community events at Barbara’s wellness center. We walk to Balboa Park, the farmers market, the grocery store, and restaurants. They restaurateurs know us, as does the clerk at the store. We’ve pared down to one car so we walk more and save the environment. We have made two raised planters for an organic vegetable garden with our neighbors, set up gray water recycling systems, and more. Shoot me an email about your big project and let me know how I can support you to cross your finish line!