When One Door Closes (Or Collapses)…Another One Opens

jens-closetA week ago I crawled into bed, exhausted, only to glance over at my closet and discover that everything I had so painstakingly jammed in there, was on the verge of total collapse.

My one wooden clothing bar had broken off the support wall and was slumping about a foot or two below where it usually resided.  All of my dresses, suits and wraps for all the chilly airplanes, were now lining up, leaning into it, sagging downward and prepared to face their fate in a huge nasty pile on the floor.  The one shelf above it, loaded up with boxes and old jeans and other miscellaneous items, was bowing deeply in the center, almost like it was daring me to try it’s patience with another pound of weight before it snapped in half. I let out a big sigh, and resigned myself going to bed, praying that I wasn’t awaken by a booming crash in the middle of the night.

Living by the beach, closet space is a real premium.  And let’s just say that some of the construction work (like my closet) is less than ideal.  With Labor Day weekend just days ahead, and a long awaited four day weekend off, I had a big choice, replace the broken bar, or “go long” as they say in football and take my shot at a major upgrade.  This was my big shot.  Ever the optimist, I found myself dreaming about not what was wrong, but what could be.  Not about the pending disaster, but the opportunity to discover a whole new level of organization.

People talk about being “weekend warriors” a lot.  You know, those people who attack major projects at home on their days off putting in as much sweat equity as their bodies, spirits and wallets can afford in their relentless pursuit to upgrade their homes.  I’m not one of these people.  (But part of me secretly aspires to be.)  So, instead of spending Labor Day weekend, resting and relaxing from what is my exhausting entrepreneurial work life, I saw another opportunity for innovation, and went for it.

For the next three days I measured, drove around town, researched materials, then fell in love…with Tony at Ikea in Carson.  The top closet specialist in the region, he stayed late at work, and delighted in mocking up a beautiful new shelving system for me on his computer. Before I knew it, a big delivery truck was unloading 28 boxes and my hallway was packed with a daunting visual of items that put my craziest of “to do lists” at work to utter shame.  Two solid days and nights later (thanks so another hero named Talieh, the contractor who did the install with me), and that sad old slumping closet, was replaced with a towering, strong, compartmentalized orchestra of clothing bars, shelves, baskets and drawers.  I was in heaven.

Pure joy.

I know the choices I make – that we all make – are not always the easiest ones, and I’m proud of that. Whether it’s a closet, or a relationship or a new job or business opportunity, this little experience reminded me yet again, that disastrous situations are often the perfect opportunity to do something better and more satisfying. Every day we have the chance to do something to improve our lives if we’re willing to put a little work in. This weekend, I’m sure glad I did.