Quarter past three in the afternoon on a Thursday in the middle of August, the miracle happened.
Every task in our living room was done, it was fully cleaned and everything was straightened and organised. An impossible miracle that it only took five years and thousands of little projects to accomplish. The sofas were vacuumed, blankets clean, all pipes painted, lights dusted and cleaned, curtains straight and dusted, floor mopped, floor lists wiped, wooden furniture oiled, windows cleaned and the book cases decluttered, dusted and straightened.
I looked around and could for the life of me think of anything that needed to be done. I could not even think of anything that could be done that would be an improvement.
Fifteen minuets later we ate knäckebröd with cheese laying in the sofas, under blankets with crumbs everywhere and everything was back to its normal state.
I started making a list of things that could be done in the kitchen.
I am a project person and I manage my projects at home although quite different than I did at work. At home dreams are often tried out as a daydream first. Then a possible target (not a promise or a commitment, just to see if it would work). Each target is then broken down in sub-targets. Each sub-target gets a project.
Each project moves in three-minute steps whenever any of us wants to do something useful at home.
Occasionally, the morning coffee will include a conversation about what to do that day. Occasionally, that will lead us to think of the list of targets (usually sub-targets only). Is there something clear that could be done for any of the targets? What could be the next step? What can I do in three minuets?
Sometimes we need to do a little extra thing today, for ourselves in the tomorrow, to place us in the position that allows miracles to happen. Saving on something strictly not necessary expense or working more hours for some extra income may not matter today. A lot of 'today's' later - it will look like a miracle has happened. The impossible only takes a little longer. More three-minuet jobs and persistence.
Over the years we have volunteered to earn extra points, visited and dreamed with every available garden, applied for steadily more and more derelict gardens as our desperation increased. We have talked to everybody about our dream, hoping somebody would offer us a way around the waiting line. When we registered the waiting time for our favourite park was 3-5 years. During the pandemic everybody dormant in the queue have applied and currently it looks like a seven to ten year wait.
We decided to put the project on hold, the dream was draining us.
Our downstairs neighbours talked about their allotment park, but it is on the other side of of the city and we have no car. It just felt too far away. We cycled and camped instead and as our cycle range increased, their park came closer.
Four houses became free in the beginning of August, and we applied for two of them. We were offered one of them and a very, very nervous process started. (We are not exactly stress-resiliant and neither were the owners or the representative of the park.)
Tomorrow we move in to the allotment. It is an off-grid tiny house with solar panels and gas canisters, where no permanent residency is allowed (allotment, koloniträdgård, volkstuin). A well built house, a small shed with shaded plot of land with trees to dig our vegetable garden into. We own the houses and rent the land while sharing community costs with the gardening park. It took a chunk out of the savings at the moment the stock-market slowed down. With a financial independence still on 63,85 years (dividing the sum of assets with the current annual budget) there is room for some home-grown potatoes and beans.