It was a very humid and warm morning in New York City. I was running across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with thousands of others as we made our way from Staten Island to Brooklyn. I could feel the bridge moving under my feet as I ran along and it caused me to be a bit off balance and unsure of my footing. There was zero space between myself and the masses of other runners. Elbows bumping. Feet hitting. No space. Not at all comfortable or enjoyable. I then noticed a lady squatting against the guard rail, shorts pulled to the side, peeing and staring right into my eyes with a look of grit and determination. Not comfortable!
This bridge is 4,260 feet long and it seemed like it took hours to cross. But once I did, the streets opened up and the experience changed. When I got to the other side, I heard this thunderous roar from people lining the streets and cheering us on. I noticed the beautiful kids and the finely dressed Hasidic Jewish families raising their hands and rooting for us to keep going. It was such a surreal experience.
Now I find myself on another bridge of discomfort that feels very compressed. But instead of elbows and feet hitting me as I run and ladies giving the death stare as they urinate on the street, it is thousands of little decisions, unmet expectations, delays and wonderful little victories. It is a bridge that is filled with wonderful opportunities that are all crammed into one condensed period of time — the 4th Quarter. And it is uncomfortable!
After 18 years in the same house, we are finishing a remodel project that is comparable to a new build as we pack up our home that has gifted us with almost two decades of wonderful memories. We are leaving one side of town and on the bridge of transition soon to empty the moving vans to our next home and next chapter. We are so excited about the opportunities and new experiences that await in our new place but the process of the remodel, purging, packing and decision making — all during the busiest quarter of my business year — is really not comfortable.
Some of you may be asking why I planned to move during the busiest time of the year… Well, you know the saying about “the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry”? We naively thought we’d be moving back in the summer. We also thought we’d do the job within budget. Instead, I learned what anyone who has ever built a home or done an entire remodel has learned, these projects almost always take much longer and are more expensive than originally anticipated. Though I thought I had us covered, I still had to learn the same lesson that so many others have learned before me.
But the good news is this: I can see the other side. We are nearing the end of the bridge. The moving van comes this weekend and we will begin the process of making our new house a home. Next week is my last business flight for the year and I am already feeling the relief of a less compressed reality ahead.
So often we can reduce our levels of stress by gaining perspective. The feelings we experience in the moment eventually pass. The season will change. The risk lies in us not seeing an end date or in us not learning from the discomfort. I know that I have learned some key lessons and I’m sure they will be easier to share and benefit from in the weeks ahead, once off the bridge.
Unlike most of my posts, there is no real action for you to take. My hope is that this helps some of you see that if you are experiencing discomfort from negative issues, or from too many good things happening in a compressed period of time, you will soon be to the end of the bridge. I also hope that knowing this will help you gain perspective and find relief in the discomfort.
Now I’m going to get back to decisions about grout colors and packing boxes.