I can’t help but write about winter. Again. You see, after the February we had I mentally challenged myself to hold onto the notion of winter well past March 1st this year. But then Daylight Savings happened and the hearty me that celebrated the endurance of my heavy, salt-crusted boots and my wind whipped chapped hands suddenly began to fully resist any notion of winter. My brain simply said it is light out at 6:00 PM there should no longer be snow on the ground.
But here’s the thing—there are still very obvious, very hard packed, hummocks of snow…everywhere. And those hummocks, yesterday celebrated, today drive me crazy! As if my very resistance can will them away
This got me to thinking about resistance in general. The idea that I would put so much effort into fighting something I so obviously can do absolutely nothing about. Hilarious. And yet, as I look around me, this wanton resistance exists everywhere. We resist difficult conversations at the outset of a project. Clients resist the start of construction and the relentlessness of the process. Trades wish away problematic details in plan only to find them front and center during finish. Neighbors to our projects try to pretend we don’t exist. We collectively sometimes even resist celebrating a completed job out of regret at moving on. How funny we humans are.
I think this is why we stress the importance of awareness and communication at F.H. Perry. It’s easy to wag fingers at somebody else’s resistance, harder to recognize and deal with our own. Each of us has deep and meaningful reasons for why we respond to things the way we do. No one wakes up in the morning and states “I’m going to be a jerk today”. Instead, each of us engages with the world doing the best we think we possibly can. We react with what we know, what feels safest, what we hope will bring us happiness. There is no good or bad behavior, there’s just “us” behavior. Me being me and you being you.
So we talk about perfecting craft, structuring processes for strict budget and schedule management, and do constant systems analysis. But at the same time we recognize that this is all meaningless if we don’t also talk about the impact of desire and resistance and our personal visions for a meaningful life. This is what makes our job so complex. This is the custom part, really. We are not a commodity business. We are a people business dealing with real human beings being real human beings every single day…including us.
The funny part is I probably won’t even notice when there isn’t snow anymore. By then I will have moved onto some other resistance. How human of me.
My best always,