We’re sitting in the café marketplace having a business breakfast, (these Texans know how to grill up a mean frittata) we’re having a pretty intense discussion, but I can’t seem to take my eyes off the bus boy.
Was he that hot? No no, it was nothing like that. I found myself fantasizing about what it would be like to be him – about my job requiring nothing more than clearing tables - gather up the dirty dishes, put them in the plastic tub, take them to the kitchen.
This is not to diminish the job of busing tables – I did it for a few years and it’s physical work. But what would it be like to have a job that simple – where you could go home at the end of the day and leave work behind…where your boss could look at the tables, see they were all clean, and know you’ve done a good job….where failure and success have clear boundaries….where you don’t wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat having nightmares of never ending tables with plates you can’t seem to clear away no matter how hard you work.
Sign one – bus boy envy
Then I go back to the hotel and the soda machine is out of water – completely out, all 3 buttons. I attacked the machine. No – I didn’t just yell at it – I physically attacked it. I pounded its face and kicked it in the shins. I threw my shoulder into it hoping to topple it on its side and extract water from it like blood.
Sign two – irrational soda machine attacks
Realizing that I was attracting unwanted attention from the fellow guests deciding they didn’t really want that soda/water if it meant going near “that crazy lady”, I went to the hotel fitness center. 40 minutes into my treadmill session I actually started to tear up – I was thinking about my father. 90 minutes later, I finally got off, well- got off isn’t exactly what happened, I stopped walking and went to push stop but missed and went flying off the back of the machine into a heap on the floor.
Sign three – losing it on a treadmill in a crappy hotel fitness center.
Have you ever looked longingly at someone who has a job that looks so much easier and simpler than yours? Have you ever felt beaten down by the world and found yourself taking it out on those who don’t deserve it? Have you ever done your best to escape and run away from your fears only to find no mater how fast and far you run, they catch up with you anyway?
I’ve heard from many of you in this same position. You’ve shared your stories with me, good and bad, and I cannot thank you enough – to my heroes: everyone at Real Savvy Moms, Kelly Anderson at Start Up Princess, Heidi Richards at Women's ECommerce Association International , Lisa Rousseau at Walking Spree, Mary Hunt at In Women We Trust,, Michelle Sullivan at Agebest Basics, and so many others. I’m inspired by all of you, by your passion, by your success, and by your struggles, especially by your struggles.
Yup- 2006 has been that kind of year. But there is an ancient Chinese proverb: The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you succeed.
So as you finish up 2006, I have a suggestion for you. Take it or leave it, it’s up to you.
One of the first pages I wrote in my new book was the “acknowledgment” page – the page where you thank those responsible for helping you create the following work. Out of nearly 250 pages, it is my favorite page. It is the one I keep re-writing and continually adding to. Is it because it’s the most eloquent page of the book? Far from it. But it’s that page that keeps me going. It is a reminder of all the people who have helped me. It is a list of gratitude that grows every day.
Even if you aren’t writing a book – you have a dream. I know this sounds hokey as hell, but write that acknowledgment page, even if you only write it in your head. When your dream comes true – who will you have to thank? Seriously – this isn’t some new-age, granola, “I’m ok, you’re ok” crap. When you pop the cork for achieving your great passion – who do you want there to share in that moment? What will you say to them?
Write your acknowledgment page. I’m telling you – you will feel better. You will feel more focused. Just don’t write it on the treadmill – one minute you’re mentally preparing your masterpiece, the next your ass is sprawled on the floor. Those things really should have warning labels on them.