Outside the office building where I work, there’s a new sidewalk. Since I walk to work most mornings, and since I’m often wearing heels, I appreciate it.

It took a long time to put it in. Weeks. Maybe longer than they expected, but I don’t know anything about construction, so it might be normal. It was a big job, definitely.

There was an open trench and piles of gravel, surrounded by warning signs and orange vinyl fencing. One day at work, we didn’t have water for a short time because they’d accidentally punched a hole in a water main. It didn’t cause us office workers much trouble, but for the construction workers, that must’ve been a bad day.



And it was loud! I had to cover my ears as I walked past the jackhammers. It wasn’t even easy to do that. The cement mixer and tractors got in the way of pedestrians and cars alike.

It was an improvement project, but things didn’t look better right away. They looked much, much worse.

Why am I telling you this?

Because construction is messy.

It doesn’t matter what we’re trying to create: a novel, a small business, a wedding.

We might imagine things will proceed in an orderly fashion. We might underestimate how much time it will take. We don’t always anticipate problems, obstacles, and delays, but they’re inevitable.

And the same is true if we’re making an improvement or a big change — essentially, creating a new life. Moving is tough. Starting a new school or a new job is fraught. Many married couples fight a lot in their first year together, while they’re still adjusting.

At some point, whatever you’re trying to accomplish, you might reach a moment where you think, “This is going to be a disaster and I hate doing it. I wish I’d never started. This is failure.”

But it’s not failure! Or at least, not necessarily. You have no idea yet, because it’s not finished.

If you’re in the middle of a construction zone in your life — whether it’s a new relationship or a divorce, an unfinished manuscript or a home renovation — remember that it’s not always going to be a mess.

Just hang in there. At some point in the future, you’re going to have a smoother path beneath your feet.


It's Always a Mess When You're Creating Something New #how to keep going when the going gets tough


Are you in the messy middle of something right now? Have you gotten through a challenging project or change recently? What helped you get through it? Let us know in the comments! Hope you have a great week!