Standing around waiting for direction from my youngest daughter Shannon as we were painting their new home, I was struck by a sense of déjà vu. This time, however, the voice wasn’t mine but hers. And I did exactly what I was told.
Shannon and Emi have accomplished the impossible. Staging their home for sale in Mississauga in August, they managed to get their selling price after the traffic of multiple showings, shopped for and found their new home in Burlington with a close more than two weeks before they had to be out of their existing home, gutted the basement and rewired the new house from aluminum to copper, pulled all the trim, fixed the wear and tear, hung new trim, painted the two boys’ rooms and moved a household of four, packing and loading at the same time.
Linda and I, like many others, have pitched in. But the pressure, the responsibility of making a new home fall squarely on them. Both have a view of excellence that verges on perfectionism, and Linda and I could see frustration and discouragement written all over their exhausted faces.
Events can conspire to get in the way of things – after all 3 ½ year old Alessio and 1 ½ year old Adriano need attention and as much as they love their extended family, they want mommy and daddy. When they had their home inspection there was no way they could have known that the previous owners had improperly cut into the floor joists to install a basement window. With an eye to restoring their bungalow that has exceptionally good bones, I’m sure all the non-code “improvements” that must be undone weighs.
I know where Shannon gets her impossible reach and her ability to mostly accomplish what she sets out to do. Emi, her spouse, is an equal in terms of both expectations and work ethic. But if I feel guilty about anything, it’s that when I was younger, the parent of a blended family of four, that I didn’t have the grace to say we did well, or we’ve accomplished a lot. I suppose too much time spent in the unfinished 5% robbed me and my children of the joy of the 95%. I know that’s rubbed off on Shannon.
As a single parent before Linda and I came together, I did everything I could to raise my children differently than my parents did. I’m grateful for Shannon and Emi’s child-centric household and reasonable expectations. And I am amazed that Shannon and Emi have taken the best from their respective parents but have moved the bar so much further – they have become the parents I wish I could have been. Perhaps they can take what they learned from me about planning and executing projects and improve on it too.
Goal setting is a perplexing process. Deciding where you want to go is a function of time, resources and route. The speed at which you get there is not only a function of the limits of the chosen method, but subject to unexpected detours and pee breaks. From time to time you must school yourself to look back and see how far you’ve come. And lastly, the destination that you arrive at is the one that is important to you, not the one you started towards.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 days we’ve given the “kids”. There is something therapeutic about working with your hands, especially when you can immediately see the results of your work rather than sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day. And for all the groans and all the aches and pains the exercise has been great. I’m honored that they trust us enough to invite us to be part of their “next steps”, and gratified that they trust us enough to tell us what they want and how we’re going to get them there.
But mostly I’m proud of my youngest daughter Shannon and her spouse Emiliano. Despite all their challenges, despite the intermittent anxiety, despite their exhaustion and discouragement, I can say this much for sure: they’re made of good stuff, have already accomplished the impossible and despite their respective crankiness, you can see their deep caring for each other and their little ones.
I hope they take a step back and look at the 95%. They’ve done good.
David Chellew and Linda Odnokon have been life partners and in business together for almost 19 years. During that time, they have mellowed into their respective roles and enjoy working with individual investment clients. Dave is a Portfolio Manager and Linda is an Investment Advisor with iAS and work out of the co-work space, Centre for Social Innovation at Queen and Spadina downtown Toronto.
Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.
This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.