a painful lesson in patience

At the end of 2017, I wrote out a month by month plan for the start of a furniture and home decor line. I chose March as the month I would make my first investment. Initially, it would have been a metal shed to store my tools and work pieces. I later decided a wooden shed would be a better fit.

It would be my first official project. the foundation of the business. The home base for the fundamental tools. It would empower me daily to know that from the ground up I built the foundation of my brand.

By mid February, I’d done a good bit of research and visualization. I hadn’t made any purchases or decided exactly when I wanted to start building. So aside from notes and lists, the whole business existed in my head. As March approached, I got a $400 check in the mail for an event I’d worked the month before. $400 was the exact amount I had budgeted for the shed. (The final cost was closer to $700 but that’s a later story). Looking at that check, I saw that the shed had moved from my mind into my physical reality. And it scared me. I looked at the check thinking, “What if I actually did this?”

The check inspired me to speed up my research. By Early March, I believed that I could do it, but I still hadn’t made any official moves. I decided that choosing a start date and launching it into the world was the move I needed to make. I chose a day in the last week of March and texted a friend asking for her help on that day.

The day before my start date, I needed two favors.  One involved loading/unloading the wood I needed to build and the other, borrowing some tools from a friend. I planned to take care of it early morning, but the people I needed help from seemed to have no urgency. By the afternoon, I realized things weren’t going my way and I started feeling insulted. Why didn’t anyone want to help me? I wasn’t asking for much. Couldn’t they just meet me exactly where I told them to at the exact time I asked? “NO!” screamed the universe. Absolutely not. After some tears, a couple cuss outs, eye rolls and a generally stank attitude, what I wanted to be done by 11am, finally got started at 9pm.

I was agitated and anxious to be done. I moved through Home Depot with a quickness, praising the very specific product list I made. I was moving quickly, too quickly, and in the parking lot dropped a 50 pound sheet of plywood right below the cuticle of my big toe. I cried! But I fought through the discomfort because I still had to unload the truck once I got back home. In truth, I still planned to get up the next morning and get the thing going. But the wound throbbed and dripped blood all night. Finally at 5am, after 7 hours of nonstop bleeding, I accepted that it was more serious than I wanted it be and that sadly, I probably would not start on my start date.

So it’s building day! And I am immobile as fuck, on punishment, dealing with the dilemma of finally making a decision for myself, trying to take control and everything going wrong. Needless to say I have been humbled to the floor. (Literally. I was on the bathroom floor in delirium and disbelief, concurring it was the worst pain I’d ever felt.)

It’s tough to be stuck on the couch while the wood and other supplies wait patiently for their new life. But I know there’s something to be taken from every situation and every conversation.  Though I was being stubborn, the universe afforded me an opportunity to quietly reflect before diving into a new life phase. I’m reminded that although I co-create with the universe, I still must submit and allow myself to be guided.  My mantra “I do things when I say I will do them” has been updated to include “I adapt when things don’t go as planned.”

Building day is delayed. I’m not sure how long. Ideally not more than a few days. Of course the time will still be used productively. I’ve done a good bit of reading and been greatly inspired by a book called ‘The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker’s Reflections.’ by George Nakashima.