I was at the home of a client, a very nice woman in her 60s and I asked her why she decided to get new replacement windows. She said, “It’s been about 27 years.” So I asked her if there was more of a reason, and she just smiled and told me, “It was about time.” At that point I knew it wasn’t really about the windows. She was making a change for some reason that was more than just windows.
Often, in life, we choose to do things for reasons that are not all that obvious. Such activities are the manifestation of something going on below the surface. For example, the common act of “meeting for coffee” is rarely about the coffee. It’s often an excuse to get to know someone, clear the air, share new ideas, grumble about old ideas, gossip about others, or gather information on someone or something. It’s a cultural pretext for discussing what we have on our minds.
You may even decide to take on a hobby for reasons that may not have anything to do with your chosen activity. You don’t actually think most nickel and dime poker nights are all about the card game do you? And how about couple that took ballroom dance lessons after 25 years of marriage. Did they want to be the next Fred and Ginger? No, instead they wanted to enjoy doing something together as a couple. Ballroom dancing was really about spending some quality time out of the house and away from the stresses of daily life.
It is also not uncommon for us to seek distractions from impending, or recent, change. People often divert themselves from the worries of unexpected change by making a change that they can control. How many men, (and perhaps women too) when going through a mid-life crisis buy a fancy new car? It’s not about the car. It’s about finding a distraction from the ever pesky aging process. And when someone has been through a divorce or suffered a loss, it’s also not unusual for them to focus their efforts on a change that they can control, such as something new in their home.
Sure, replacement windows are often about the need to make the home warmer or cooler. They can be a safeguard against impending storms or a way of increasing the sale value of the home. But, like new countertops after twenty years, they can also indicate a fresh start, or symbolize a new outlook on life. It’s not for me to analyze why, but to provide you with the replacement windows – of course I’m always ready to lend an ear. After all, I know that it’s definitely not always about the windows.