Isn’t that the understatement of the hour? Right now I’m a little edgy…suffering from a couple of restless nights, with inconsistent sleep. It’s nothing life-altering. But I’m edgy none-the-less.
Ten weeks ago, our son was surprised in his basement bedroom by water dripping from the ceiling onto his feet. The shower floor in master bathroom above was leaking. Turns out the entire bathroom floor had been compromised. Since then we’ve had contractors parading in and out of my bedroom. Constantly. We’re getting a handsome new master bathroom, with subway tile and a fancy Kohler toilet/faucet/shower that we didn’t really need. That’s at least a $10,000 surprise (maybe more, we haven’t seen the bill yet).
Then, last week as I was brushing my teeth, I heard a screaming metal against metal sound coming from the backyard. The air conditioning unit locked up under the pressure of a hot and humid, Georgia-style summer day. Turns out the whole system failed, from AC to furnace. Now we are accessorizing the Kohler fanciness with a state of the art, his-and-hers Lennox HVAC system installed as soon as another set of contractors can get here. Another $9000 surprise. Meanwhile, it’s still hot and humid…and while we are waiting for the contractors, it’s hard to sleep. (Where’s the Holiday Inn?)
We just finished paying for Ben’s four years of college. Now, in the past two weeks we just paid for a fifth year.
OK, I realize that these problems are on the surface of a wonderful life. No one at home is deathly ill or failing. And the his-and-hers HVAC isn’t going to throw us into bankruptcy. Or divorce. The people in Duluth, Minnesota, are cleaning out from a biblical flood. Nearly 1/3 of the homes are damaged by flood waters, and only 12% have flood insurance. Many of the streets are torn to shreds. One of our graphic designers was evacuated from his home, he left with only his computer files. Now that’s a lot of weight to carry into work.
Compared to floods in Duluth, sweltering heat in Virginia and wildfires burning in Colorado, my problems are feather-like. But I’m still a little edgy. And it’s hard not to carry things like this into work. Life happens to all of us. Many studies have confirmed that workplace productivity drags when the home life is stressed. For me, I know it’s hard to focus, I have less energy, and my decision-making is fuzzy. I know it’s not that big a deal…but I’m edgy. More than usual.
Good leaders understand how the weight of their personal endeavors adds to the pressure at work. And they monitor their own edginess, to preserve and uphold the spirits of the people at the office.
Drop me a note: what weight do you wish you didn’t have to carry into work?