Three years ago, I heard that a restaurant in Chicago called Honey Butter Fried Chicken was giving away furniture. So on a cold winter’s day, I nearly broke body loading a 17 foot, 400 pound wooden bench onto a boat trailer and bringing it home with me to Rockford. I lugged it through my restaurant door, sanded it, finished it, and rested it against my bar wall for all eternity. My mom said:
“That’s a lot of work for one bench. What if you want to move it someday?”
And I remember saying, “I’m never gonna move this thing.”
But eventually, never happens.
My restaurant doesn’t need an enormous bench anymore. We need more shelving. And so yesterday, I hauled the 17 foot, 400 pound wooden bench into storage so I had more space to build shelves. This week alone, I closed the chapter on almost a dozen pieces of equipment, furniture, and systems that I expected to last forever.
I struggle knowing that something I’ve started will one day come to a finish, especially when I worked so hard for it. I’ve never been good at hitting the end of those hard-earned roads. But this week, I had a profound, almost happy lightness about all of it. The end of the road isn’t an end. It’s a chance. It’s a release. It’s a beginning, a fresh chapter in a new a book. And all the work that came before was not for nothing: it was what we needed to do to get us to our newest opportunity.
And good Lord, do I have a lot of work to do on this new opportunity.
Anyway, I look forward to tearing down my old work this week and ushering in something new. Reader, don’t forget that your hard work isn’t living inside objects; it’s living inside you, getting you on your way. See you next Monday. -Em