Finishing a project can be bittersweet

Looking down road with townhouses each side of the road

Coming to the end of a project can be a bittersweet pill to swallow. One hand it’s good to see the end of construction and the finished product. On the other hand, it’s a little sad and can be akin to the closing of another chapter in the book of life.

Excavator on pile of soil with large empty construction site at the beginning of constructionI am speaking from personal experience while coming to the end of a project myself, so it’s certainly bittersweet for me right now. I guess this is true when a project takes two years of your life, with early starts, late nights, and long weekends. It is the blood, sweat, and tears we give to a project, and the intimacy we have with every aspect of our builds: the errors, the struggles, the wins, and everything else along the way.

Bittersweet emotions

We all push hard throughout the build; the exhaustion starts to creep up on us. While watching the trades dwindle in number, it becomes easy to slow down, even though we know that the last 5% is going to be the longest and hardest part of the build. I guess, at this point, it is a personal challenge to stay on task, calling on every trick in our own playbook to get to the end.

Looking down a half completed road with scaffolding to the left showing half way in the projectAt the end of a project the conversation, or, for some people, the rumour mill, begins about the next project. We have all have heard the saying, ‘A change is as good as a holiday;’ well, that is the same feeling that I get from knowing I am about to head on to next the project, and it doesn’t help me to keep focused.

While I was writing this, I threw it out to some of my friends to see whether it’s only me or whether we have something in common. After hearing about everyone’s experiences, it became very apparent that wrapping up a project is personal for everyone. And yet, our experiences are all very similar, which is good. I would like to think that I am the same as everyone else, and knowing that my bittersweet experience isn’t unique to me makes me feel normal.

For me and (maybe it’s just me), I figure that when we give so much of our time and ourselves to something, the emotions will roll when the end comes. It feels like closing another chapter in my book of life.

Related article: Don’t stand on the outside of construction

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