This is one of those monumental years in my family as far as birthdays go. My parents are turning 70, my baby sister is turning 40 and the oldest grandkids are turning 10. In some ways I fret these big numbers for the implications of aging and older and closer to…but in most ways one look at these extraordinary people and all I can see is an amalgamation of extraordinary experience, education, and evolution. In just the past ten years alone, Mom and Dad have been to just about every continent, sailed remote seas, started careers, ended careers, taught, learned, and proven love’s endurance through respect and companionship. My sister birthed three children, climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro as well as the top of her career and lived in five different cities including Helsinki, Finland. And ten years ago the kids were in mini-diapers…enough said. So though I loved them each just as deeply ten years ago, to that love I add my awe for the physical and mental perseverance, for the endless desire to know more and be more, and for the calm as they each lean-in and understand and forgive themselves just a tiny bit for being human. Indeed, being with them now is waaaay better.
And me ten years ago? Well I was wondering why they let me leave the hospital with a newborn, mortgage and marriage were both only three years old, and Dad was still at the helm of the Company. That all seemed like just the perfect balance of responsibility thank you very much. But I have this annoying habit of getting bored quickly. As soon as I figure out how to get the “water level” just below my chin I throw myself back in over my head again. It’s unsettling at best but it forces me to live in an unwavering place of full on growth and awareness. I survived and this year’s birthday lands me squarely in the mid forties bracket; another benchmark perhaps.
So we have this same kind of tenure happening at F.H. Perry Builder. 2016 sees us celebrating 10-15+ years for seven of us– almost half of our company–with a whole other bunch hitting the five year mark. And too, some of our trade partners have known me since I was in high school for goodness sake. This is incredibly satisfying as an owner, but in reflecting upon the growth of myself and of the people in my personal and work life, I realize it’s not about the years logged but the amount of life that happens. Marriages, houses, graduations, proposals, tough projects, thrown- in-the-deep-end, deaths, losses, health issues, heartaches, babies, grandbabies, empathy, gratitude, letting go, experimenting, gaining confidence, understanding humanity, grace…all the things we experience as we age. Different things matter, we work smarter, we’ve “seen it before”, we begin to understand that another’s success is more important than our own.
With this in mind, I find myself more in a celebratory mood. How lucky am I to be surrounded by wisdom and grace. How lucky F.H. Perry Builder is to have this to offer to our clients and friends. I like that people have had these life things happen in parallel with the company’s evolution. It means we have caught the rougher moments and learned together and are waaaay better for them. We have become more solid…together. Life does hustle by but so much happens. Be they the best years or the worst years, it takes a lot to be a human being. Don’t forget to celebrate what you have become.
I have some parties to go to this year if you would like to join me!
My best always,