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February 14, 2019


Years ago, I lived in a loft in lower Manhattan. The first time I saw the space I fell totally in love with it. It was perfect, or so I thought.

The building was located on Reade Street, the old mercantile area of downtown NY. The space was originally used for some type of heavy manufacturing, so even though it was a two-story building, it had once had a freight elevator.

The loft was large, painted all white except for the original wood beams that were visible throughout. Light flooded the space, pouring in through its many windows and skylights. Since we were on the top floor, we also had sole access to the roof.

As if that weren’t enough amenities, once the building was no longer used as a factory and the freight elevator was removed, the roof structure that once housed the mechanics had been transformed into a sleeping loft. The room itself wasn’t much larger than the queen-size mattress it contained, but what made it so magical was the window that was added to give us a partial view of the Hudson River.

Across the street was a small bar that attracted local clientele—nothing rowdy or noisy.

It was the space of my dreams—at least until the middle of our first night: four thirty in the morning I was startled awake by the sound of what seemed to be an endless flow of bottles clanking against each other as they were being poured into a dumpster! I couldn’t believe my ears. When the sound finally ended, I just lay there shaking my head in amazement, wondering how often they did that and could I ask them to stop—please.

The next night, I was sound asleep when the avalanche of bottles crashed against each other, startling me awake again—this can’t possibly happen every night, I thought.

It turned out the space was only perfect for 23 1/2 hours a day.

I suppose if I hadn’t been so enamored with the space I might have realized there could be problems being so close to a bar. But even if I had contemplated it, I never, never would have thought of the noise of those bottles!

What I find really interesting is that, over time, I stopped waking at the glass-crashing sound of the cascading bottles. And when I did hear them, the sound was comforting—like wind-chimes that sound only when the wind picks up; dependable.

I no longer live in that loft nor near a bar, but when I hear the sound of bottles being thrown out I can’t help but smile because it’s actually music to my ears and I miss it!

I guess, the moral to the story is that if you surrender to the obstacle, there is a possibility it can become something joyous.


What about you?

Have you ever had unexpected surprises that you couldn’t have predicted?

Did you ever have something unpleasant become an asset?

Let us know I’d love to hear.

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