the importance of flexibility

We got a small curve ball with Belinda’s apartment that got me thinking about the importance of flexibility, in general, and how that impacts everything we experience.

Do you know anyone (or maybe does this sound a little bit like you?) who gets an idea of what something needs to look like and anything other than that exact picture is a horrible experience for them? Because why, your imagination decided it had to be that way? I find that people do this all the time without even realizing it… things in life have to look a certain way, have to happen a certain way – and if they don’t, it’s a disaster, things are ruined. Worst. Thing. Ever.

Good luck with that.

OR … do you perceive the unexpected as surprises to laugh about that give you good stories, and maybe even learn from (if you’re lucky). Big difference right?

One thing I can guarantee is that no matter what – something unexpected will happen… scratch that – lots of unexpected things will happen – during every. single. project. And in the rest of life.

Since she was getting rid of all of her furniture, we went ahead and used the floor plan from the building to start figuring out the layout. This way we could make some decisions on some of the bigger pieces that would take a little longer to get here and she wouldn’t have to spend longer than necessary sitting on the floor, which is definitely not the best thing ever. When moving day finally came, I got all of the actual measurements and optimistically thought that I was just verifying what I’d already drawn. Almost, but not quite.

Here is the floor plan that the apartment building gave us that I shared in my initial post about this project, and what we were thinking for the living room furniture layout. Pretty simple… I didn’t even bother guessing about the dining room and we agreed to wait on that until we could actually get into the new space.

F:personalWilloughby ResidenceWilloughby Residence Model (1)Here is how the space is actually laid out:F:personalWilloughby ResidenceWilloughby Residence Model (1)

Despite being a little disoriented when I walked in and everything was backward from what I was expecting… the actual plan is pretty close to what we started with. But the living room is a little shorter and a little bit more narrow and the entry is a little different. At first I had a little panic and was worried that everything wouldn’t fit, especially since we’d already bought the credenza, sofa and fancy womb chair (with ottoman, mind you). But after adjusting the plan it looks like other than a few very minor shifts, and maybe having to give up bookshelves on either side of the sofa because it might create a crowding situation at the entry, that we’re good. At least we hadn’t ordered those yet. And we’ll know for sure once the sofa is in her space. Sigh of relief. And because Belinda is amazing (and flexible) she wasn’t the least bit worried or bothered by the news – phew!

I’ve worked with lots of different types of people over the years and I think that the people involved in the project, their personalities, and how they handle the inevitable surprises during the process, may be one of the biggest factors in whether a project is great, or horrible. Which is really just a micro version of life. Are you someone who expects everything to go a certain way and has a hard time adjusting to anything other than that? Or are you more flexible, and when unexpected things happen you can adjust and they become part of a story that’s even better than what you could have imagined?


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