It’s Sunday. Not my favorite day anyway. Imaginings of a languorous brunch over an ink-smudged crossword puzzle contend too much with the gremlins of preparedness that bring thoughts into my brain about the week ahead: an upcoming deadline forcing a no-win decision, a difficult contract conversation, guilt over a lingering resentment, logistical Yahtzee on how my kids are going to get here there and everywhere…thoughts that I coerced down to a simmering silence over a glass of wine late last Friday night. I mean I am totally okay…on the outside (even to myself), but on this Sunday I feel at capacity. Too many needs and requests. The solidity of my structure is down to the last Jenga block; whoever’s turn it is to ask for something might want to duck for cover. I’m sorry.
But you would never know. Everything about me right now looks
a-okay. I’m dressed, fed, clean-faced. The dog has been walked, breakfast complete, kids happily scattered about. Heck, the sun is out and I’m half tempted to leave the back door open for a few minutes of late winter, fresh air to clear the place out. Everything is totally fine…except for the vibrating thrum at my core. The unsettled racket rippling out to the hairs on my arm. The internal tornado sweeping up from my toes. The to-dos, the to-think-abouts, the to-not-forgets. DOESN’T ANYONE AROUND HERE KNOW IT’S SUNDAY?!
We scuttle off in the car. Hockey. And I am thrust into an arena of other people who look equally a-okay. Hmmm. I wonder. I mean I am pretty sure if I said “Hi how are you” they would say “I’m fine. Good. How are you?” And I would say the same thing back. That seems right. I mean that hockey mom did not come to the rink to hear about my unsettled rippling racket. But there is a part of me that wonders if I told her about mine, would she tell me about hers? And then might we both feel a little bit better about life in general, maybe prevent a snap at a loved one, and enjoy the rest of our Sunday? And if this happened over and over again, daily, kindly, with love, and authentic desire to know of another’s human experience, might we not get so sick, so tired, so distraught, so angry, so mean, so defensive, so hurtful? What, exactly, are we barring against by holding it all in?
It makes me think of you, our clients who already have a thousand million things going on. And then you affix this full-time addendum to your lives. No matter how large or small the project, its an add. Selections, 7:00 AM demo, dust, neighbors, zoning, permits…anxiety, concern, identity. I know you are tough and smart…so all the more reason to act like its no big deal. But it is a big deal. It’s a big deal to my team and my trades. It’s a big deal to our architects and their teams. To vendors and inspectors. Your project matters. To all of us. And how you feel about it is how we feel about it.
I guess what I am saying is if your Jenga tower is getting a little wobbly, it’s okay to let us know. No matter who you are — trade, architect, designer, vendor, client — we fully expect that we will need to do some shoring up from time to time because of or in spite of our work together.
Empathic is one of our Company Values, along with Human and Transparent. A code of conduct if you will that ensures that we don’t forget to wonder if everything is really a-okay, even if it’s a sunny Sunday.
With light and love,