Work That Shapes Who You Become

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It is not in my nature.

I have said this before – others say it to.  One thing that I have learned over the last several years of my life and work is that your “nature” can change.  Learning to be flexible was not the easiest thing for me.  There was the time, many years ago, when a former boss popped his head into my office and said, “We won’t be using Palm for calendaring our day and organizing email.  I want everyone to switch over to Outlook for all calendaring , all organization – beginning tomorrow.”  I was furious.  I had purchased my new Palm Pilot for $499 only a month or so earlier.

Bonus Track

That was a painful, but well-learned lesson for me.  I learned that having flexibility was good and that anger toward technology and the changes it brings about was counter-productive an bad.  When I first started writing Bonus Track in February of 2009, I had set a goal for myself, I committed to writing every day for at least two years.  I knew it would be hard – that there would be days that I wouldn’t want to write or that I would too tired.  And it was hard – anything worthwhile is.  It has been one of my greatest life and work undertakings.

The Washboards of Success

Another undertaking occurred in my 20s.  With two small children at home, I worked 2 1/2 days a week while my kid’s dad, then my husband, attended the police academy.  It was an excruciating and financially painful time in our lives.  There were many months when rent was difficult to pay and diapers were hard to buy.  My kid’s dad was required to clean his uniforms and work out clothes daily.  There were many days when I didn’t know where I was going to scrounge up $1.25 for a wash and dry.  On those days, I took the antique washboards off my wall and put them in my sink and scrubbed out grass stains, gently washed the khaki uniforms, somehow found two quarters to dry them just enough to take the wrinkles out, with my iron and homemade starch at the ready.

Success is Sweeter

Many lessons are hard-learned and how we choose to apply the lesson determines whether a benefit will be received.  I keep those washboards close by.  I will never part with them; they are part of my history, part of the work that shaped who I have become.

When we work hard to achieve a goal, the success is so much sweeter than had it just been part of a simple, daily routine.  Savor those hard-earned victories, no matter the size.  Embrace the lessons that take you to the trenches.  The front line, the trenches, the ditches are where heroes are made, where champions emerge, and where the phoenix rises.


Looking back on each of these stories, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I see my glass as only half full, which means there is plenty of room for more!


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