As I spend Saturday morning/early afternoon on my couch at the house, I’m reviewing this past week and looking ahead to this next week, overwhelmed with emotion. This last week was challenging, and this next week looks to be similar. In the middle of it, there’s plenty of warmth and happiness, but also some struggle.
It’s often said that the life of an entrepreneur is a roller coaster. This rings especially true this week. In the middle the best season I’ve had in business recently, there are still constant struggles that pop up. Nothing major, but the dark blip on the radar drains so much energy and distracts from all the light around it. Even as an optimist, it’s a hard battle for me to see the weight of the good and focus on that, instead of being pulled down by what still remains to be solved.
I am a problem solver. As the owner and leader, it’s my job to set everyone else up to succeed. I tell prospective team members in interviews that I am not here to do all of the work, but instead to set them up for success and then fix the problems they can’t, or break down the walls they can’t. Some weeks, this is harder than others and more draining. This week was one of those weeks.
Outside of work and just in life, this last week I was met with the first real hatefulness and adversity I’d seen since our wedding. From someone who I value and respect, a petty back-handed response was painful. It took conscious effort for me to realize “this isn’t my issue; this is someone else’s.”
The biggest revelation of my year came from my therapist (not the one I’m married to!): Every problem can’t be fixed to your satisfaction. I strive to be a clear-communicator, and to always be honest. I work hard at relationships every day and strive for peace and understanding. This idea that I can’t fix everything to my liking has been a particularly hard one for me to accept. Admitting that I can’t fix a problem feels like defeat. It feels like saying “I wasn’t able to solve this, so I’m giving up.” Giving up is not something I do well – even when I should. Kevin wisely pointed out that I was striving for peace, but peace takes effort on both sides. The relationships that expect you to put forth all of the effort to bend to their convenience are 1) not peaceful relationships and 2) probably aren’t valuable relationships in your life. While 100% agreement isn’t necessary for a peaceful relationship, mutual respect, understanding, and a value for the other person sets the stage for disagreement, but leaves room for love and unity, paving the way for peace.
As I sit here reflecting on this week, looking forward to the next, and processing thoughts and feelings by writing a blog post, I am so thankful for rich relationships. I’m thankful for great friends. I’m thankful for a loving God whose grace extends far beyond where it ends in my head. But I’m also tired. Not weary or spent, just tired and needing rest. I’m thankful for a season of life that’s ushering in peace, and a new-found fervor in pursuit of my relationship with God and who I am in His image. I’m expectant for great things to come.