I hate not honoring my word, especially when it’s to myself. After all, if you can’t keep your word to yourself how can you keep it to others? I knew it was going to be a major sacrifice to move my family to live and serve abroad for eight months, but I was determined to let nothing stand in my way. I assumed correctly, the biggest hurdle to overcome would revolve around the business and my on-going role in it. But I trust my team explicitly and with the right planning I knew they could manage without my physical presence. In fact, if I interpreted correctly the glancing looks between them and the occasional jabs, (said in jest of course) you might even say they were a little happy I wouldn’t be here day-to-day. What’s up with that?!
But alas, I failed to live up to my commitment that I publically made in this blog this summer and the Wittstocks won’t be moving to the Dominican Republic after all. For all of you who offered overwhelming support of our family’s decision, I say thank you, it meant a lot! I’m sorry our dream didn’t materialize for everyone involved, but mostly for our kids. Ryan starts high school next year and the door seems to be closing on the opportunity to take such a radical family step.
Hopefully though, all of you believe as I do that when one door closes a window opens beside it. In this case that window is our very own reality TV show. Wouldn’t you know it; a process that began in December of 2011 came to fruition in August of 2013, a mere month before our highly anticipated family move. As I write this I am finalizing the scripts of the twelve water feature builds we will be filming in October, November, January, and February. Yes, in case you didn’t know it, reality TV is scripted! To say this situation is bittersweet is an understatement. We believe, and the track record is there to back it, that our own hour-long, weekly, reality show that will showcase what we do will be the best thing that’s ever happened for our business, our customers, and even this little pond industry we call home. Simply put, it’s too big an opportunity to pass up. But by saying yes to filming a TV show, I said no to our family plans. “Work” got in the way of family — no way around it on this one.
Life got in the way of my best laid plans, something that happens more often than not for most people. I’ve never wanted to be like most people. It’s why I build ponds. It’s why I’ve been my own boss since I was 21. Heck, it’s why I was the only dude in my fraternity who didn’t drink! If the world goes one way, I may go along with it but only if it’s on my terms. So in other words, I can be a shit and I have earned my fair share of critics for it. So be it.
I bet many of you reading this can relate to what I’m saying. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re different by nature. You make the rules but don’t always follow them. (Damn CACs!) But through all of this I’ve learned, once again the hard way, “Life isn’t all about me!” My plans aren’t His and my days, let alone my years, are subject to radical change from situations both in (as in this case) and out (like when you’re building falls down) of my control. For that I say thank God! Do you know how boring and stale life would be if it all went according to plan?! Like who in their right mind would plan a little, let alone a lot, of adversity into their world?! Yet the times I’ve grown the most, the experiences that I’ve had that have given me the most sense of accomplishment, have been situations I never would have written into the script of my life. But if they hadn’t happened I wouldn’t know for certain who my true friends were. How important is that life lesson, knowing who’s got your back when the chips are down?! There’s thousands, if not tens of thousands, of things that have happened to me that I never would have scripted. Yet I’m more appreciative today than I’ve ever been for what I’ve got and that’s only because of what I’ve learned during the unscripted parts of my life.
Today, as is every day, is a new chapter in my life and also in yours. I won’t be taking my family to the Dominican Republic for eight months, but I am scripting roles for them to travel with me in filming the show. Here’s to hoping a new door opens to them in the process. You never know, one of our boys might just end up being the next Steven Spielberg.
The Pond Guy