I’m just swimming upstream

by | Nov 29, 2015 | Levco Builders Process, Memoirs | 2 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Jumping Salmon

Jumping Salmon

I recently had the pleasure of witnessing one of nature’s wonders. Alaskan Salmon returning from the ocean swimming upstream to spawn. It reminded me about natural cycles and the progression of life. As I watched the fish fighting to get to the next level of the stream, I saw that some made it and others fell back into the pool they started in. I started to imagine what they might be saying to one another.

What did one salmon say to the others?

  • “Hey great effort! Only a hundred more to go”.
  • “Pay no attention to the orange tired guys over there eddied out, we’ve got a few more rapids to get over today”.
  • “Rest a moment and slide over there it looks like it might be easier”.

As I graduate from one pool to another in an effort to figure things out, solve problems and adjust to my new reality, I find it comforting to know that there is a network of folks that have experiences like mine and have made it to the next pool, or at least have enough in common to be a coach.

I am told that I am a fairly rare individual, a remodeler without a huge ego. As I strive to overcome one challenge or another, I read books, I follow the industry journals, I stay engaged with the local and national remodeling scenes, and I ask for help from time to time. All in an effort to get to the calm lake that I am sure is just around the next bend. The only way I now know to do this is to share my vision of a successful remodeling company

I’ll know I’ve made it when:

  1. Everyone around me is doing what they love to do and having fun.
  2. When I have integrated teams of folks working in each segment of my business Admin, Design, & Production.
  3. When I get time to cruise my projects weekly.
  4. When I am able to focus on Administration, Marketing, & Sales
  5. When my focused team meetings are structured to get in and get out with some educational element included.
  6. When weekends are not spent catching up from a busy week.
  7. When my accounts receivable exceed accounts payable for a consecutive year.
  8. When I can contribute to the betterment of the entire industry be contributing my unique perspective
  9. When I am asked to be a mentor to other contractors who are learning the business.

What a novel thing to set up a goal that is what these salmon are hard wired for. I suppose we have some hardwired things as a species to find a mate and procreate but beyond that we can be easily distracted.

trail blaze

Trail blaze

Life’s obvious Milestones:

  • Birth
    • Birthdays (and half birthdays for my kids)
    • Ability to roll over
    • Ability to walk
    • Ability to communicate
  • Going to kindergarten
  • Going to elementary school
  • High school attendance
  • Bar mitzvah (or some other adolescent rite of passage ritual)
  • Graduating high school
    • Getting into college (I skipped this part)
    • Graduating college
  • Work Life
  • Getting married
    • Anniversaries
  • Having kids
  • Kids leaving the nest
  • Retirement (sitting on the fence right now)
  • Becoming a grandparent
  • Death

What I see is a bunch of opportunities to embellish or take some other path to the same place. I, like everyone else am swimming upstream, avoiding obstacles and adversity as best we can. Now that my wife and I are officially “Empty nesters” I find myself reflecting upon what is real, where I have come from, and where I am going. A midlife crisis or reevaluation? Perhaps. Any Jungian follower would surely agree. I am committed to get through it and make the most of the experience. Like I like to say “Wring every drop of joy out of it”.

In an effort to connect with “My people”, as Cheryl Bice used to say. I am reaching out for acknowledgement that I am on the right track that I have found a way to go through the pools of life on a meaningful path I have chosen by participating in society. Armed with my imprinting from my parents and the environment I find myself in. Surrounded by friends and family who are up to the same thing.

Bonus Questions?

  1. What are you doing to move through the pools
  2. What are you doing to help or mentor others to move through the pools

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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Leave A Comment


  1. Cheryl

    Never lose your focus on the goal ahead… No matter if others think you are setting to high of an “expectation” and by doing so, “others” can not achieve it. Well thanks to our parents and mentors before us…. the bar has already been set, and the trail has been blazed. Continue to work hard and enjoy the RIDE! Thanks Joe for the words of encouragement!

    • Joe Levitch

      What a wonderful thing to say. Thank you, you’ve made my day!


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