Monday, August 14, 2017

Messy in the Middle

We've been a little quiet on the blog lately.  Let me tell you why. 

Several months ago, when I suggested to Mike and Heath that they needed to get their story out there, I sincerely meant it. They offer a great service and a quality end product and I didn't feel like they marketed themselves enough. Fast forward a few months and, when they agreed that they wanted to tell their story and they asked me to tell it, I was so excited! I had so much material to share. We could share before pictures and tell as much as we know of the history of the homes and we can walk our readers through the design process and then, of course, the BIG REVEALS at the end. Oh, the reveals will be amazing. Everyone will oooohhhh and ahhhhh at the transformation. HGTV will surely be calling. Mike mentioned that we may not have enough content and I assured him that we have plenty of content in sharing the process and the story of these remodels or new builds. As all four of us were texting and sharing ideas and the synergies were flowing, Mike said that we should share our text messages with everyone. Seriously. We should share this collaborative effort. And he was right. The collaborative process was so exciting. We were all creating and sharing ideas. Sharing it on the blog or Facebook was a brilliant idea. So, we did. We shared our collaborative process. 

Then, fast forward to about three weeks ago. And, I had nothing to share. I had no material to post. I had nothing to write on this blog or blast out on Facebook for our neighbors and friends to see. There was nothing creative going on. There was no excitement. I felt like a failure. I had assured them that we had enough content. Sharing our collaborative and crazy creative texts was simple until we didn't have those collaborative sessions. I racked my brain for something to write about. And it had to be newsworthy. Not just filler. Then, it hit me. I was excited about the beginning. I was excited to show you the floorplan changes and the dreaming that we had done to design and create a new space out of old. I was excited for the forward movement that was so easy to see at that time. But the middle... the middle is messy. I don't want to show you the middle. It doesn't include exciting and creative texts. It doesn't include bouncing ideas off of one another. It's messy. It's tedious. It's difficult work. It's the hardest part of the process.
One of my favorite authors, Brene' Brown, is a researcher whose work includes the uncertainty, vulnerability, and discomfort of the creative process. She explains how frustrating it is that "absolutely no amount of experience or success gives you a free pass from the daunting level of doubt that is an unyielding part of the [creative] process." You cannot skip the middle. The middle space "is when you're 'in the dark'--the door has closed behind you. You're too far in to turn around and not close enough to the end to see the light." You're at "the point of no return". You have too little fuel left to return to the point where you originated.

If you're familiar with the Bruce Tuckman cycle of "form-storm-norm-perform", storm occupies the middle space. When a group first comes together (form), there is often a lot of activity between the members to figure each other out and determine their role (storm). Then everyone settles into their groove as a member of the group (norm); and the group starts to see some results (perform). Storming can be messy.

The middle space is so difficult and so messy, but necessary. It is non-negotiable. "Experience and success don't give you easy passage through the middle space of struggle. They only grant you a little grace, a grace that whispers, 'This is part of the process. Stay the course.'"  

The middle space is so messy that we don't want to share it. It's uncomfortable and people might judge us if they see "the man behind the curtain". But, that goes against the whole reason that we established this blog to begin with. We wanted to share the process and to show that designing the home of your dreams is hard work, sometimes messy, and well worth it in the end. For a moment, I forgot why we wanted to tell our story, so when it came time to share the messy middle, I got very quiet. So, a little after the fact, but here is the messy middle for this group that is working on this gorgeous home: 

1. We should have ordered windows sooner.  There is a long lead time on these enormous windows and we didn't realize it.  So, we haven't had much progress taking place at the house while we wait on windows.  

2.  We decided that we needed to start with brand new cabinets in the kitchen.  It's not good for our budget, but it's necessary for us to have a good quality product in the end. 

3.  As with any project, we have had to review our budget to keep each category in check. Definitely messy and definitely not fun.

4.  During this time, we have decided to form a new entity to bring more projects like this to Shreveport neighborhoods. We are excited to share this news with you very soon!  

5.  In the middle of this project, I resigned from my job and have decided to start a new career in the remodeling and design space. More to come about that as well. 

6.  We posted a sign in our yard that garnered a couple of less-than-favorable comments. We hope that the community sees the value in renovating beautiful homes like Greyhound Estate. It's a win for everybody. Thanks to all of you who have supported this endeavor by following us on Facebook and this blog and by sharing this with your friends. Your support is appreciated and not unnoticed.

We are so excited to share the end result with the community, but we still have some work to do. We are still in the messy middle. While the results of our work are not yet evident, they will be very soon! We've just been a little quiet while we have been preparing for the upcoming excitement of new windows and doors and walls! 

All quotes in this blog are from Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong

Interested in making Greyhound Estate your home? Click here for our contact information. We can't wait to hear from you.

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