The first time I sought out therapy happened when kitchen cabinets ordered by our clients did not show up, week after week after week.

We did a project early in the life of our company for a wonderful couple, Harry and Lucy, whose children attended the same child care center our children attended. My clients were very mild-mannered people who both worked in health care.

I had agreed to let them supply the cabinets. What could go wrong, I thought.

I coordinated the order with the cabinet supply company. We worked together to make sure all the bits and pieces were being ordered correctly.

The one problem I experienced is the cabinets did not arrive on time. Over the weeks of calling and stopping by the cabinet supply company, I worked myself into a frenzy, as the job could not proceed without the cabinets. And I had no leverage with the cabinet supply company because I was not the one paying them.

My clients were not upset by the delay, which sort of made the whole situation even more frustrating.

In the meantime I needed help getting some perspective. So I arranged an appointment with a therapist. After talking with the therapist for an hour she gave me the following advice, which I wrote on a Post-it note:

  • Reorganize my priorities.
  • Fit in exercise.
  • Yoga/meditation to slow me down.
  • Be positive.
  • Nitpick less.
  • Takes several months.

That last sentence is such an understatement, as it has taken years and I am still not “done.”
Ultimately the cabinets did arrive.

What I got from that experience was a lesson in perspective and the limits of my ability to control things. Over time, I saw other therapists/counselors as I hit other bumps in the road which I could not get over without help.

After all, remodeling myself is the biggest remodeling job I will ever do. Like remodeling a home, often the best work is done with a trained professional assisting.

I have that Post-it note in front of me as I write this. Some plans are just so accurate it doesn’t make sense to throw them away.