For most of the last year, I have been working on a Very Hard Thing at work. So very hard. So hard that it prompted me to read or listen to several books on negotiation. So hard that Jon and Adele can summarize it more succinctly than I can because I've spent hours talking with them about the ups and downs. So hard that I have at times exhausted the willing ears of my friends and family to hear about it.
This Very Hard Thing has a clear goal. I have been working on it very closely with one of my colleagues and a handful of other people who believe in this Very Hard Thing.
At the beginning of the year, the idea for this Very Hard Thing existed, but it was just beginning to take shape as a real possibility, and we had no idea just how hard it would become.
We are far from finished, but we did just have a major success. We're hopefully now at a point where we thought we'd be in June (laugh/sob).
There are a few people in particular who have gone above and beyond for this Very Hard Thing. They have strained some of their own professional relationships and moved mountains in support of this. I am so, so grateful for their efforts. We've bonded through adversity. When I think about all they have done, I like to imagine how we might thank them at the end of this. I feel like I did during the hard parts of field work and my dissertation when I could visualize the destination and overflowed with gratitude for the people who made it possible in so many ways. This feels like that. My favorite part of my dissertation was the acknowledgments.
I imagine personally sending them enormous flower arrangements or boxes of chocolate and taking them out to dinner to celebrate the completion of this Very Hard Thing when it finally happens. There may be some opportunities to thank them more publicly, but mostly these are behind-the-scenes things that could never be fully acknowledged for political reasons.
Flowers, chocolate, and dinner seem so generic; maybe I'll come up with a less conventional idea by the time this Very Hard Thing is finished. At the end of this difficult path, I just don't want to forget to celebrate everyone—generic or not.