My first job out of college found me selling radio advertising for a small country music station out of Charleston, SC. It was so exciting, the glamour of having a real job, making real money, with real hours AND health insurance. I wore business suits, created proposals, sold ad campaigns, wrote and directed jingles. It was awesome, well almost all of it was awesome. While it was the most money I’d ever made in my life, it wasn’t the easiest money.
My first week on the job, I drifted out to do door-to-door cold calling. I hit up a strip mall and my second little shop was nothing more than a trinket type gift shop, the kind that overcharges tourists for crap that you could easily make yourself for about 2 cents. As I walked in the door, the owner immediately came from around the counter, leaving a customer standing there. He kept saying “no” to me as he jerked me up by my right arm and escorted me out the door while quickly pointing to the sign on the door that said “No Soliciting.” I was mortified. He continued to tell me if I set foot in his store again, he would have me arrested. I didn’t even get the opportunity to tell him what I was there for. What I quickly found out, is that this was going to be a day-to-day occurrence and this wouldn’t be the first time a door was to be slammed in my face.
I’ve had pretty much every job a person can think of. I’ve worked at a McDonald’s while in high school, a local grocery store chain, an insurance company, a hospital (where I had to perform CPR on an elderly patient who was in cardiac arrest, he ended up dying), a restaurant, a retail store, a printing company, radio station, advertising firm, television station, computer distributor, and a shipping provider. I’ve handled more adversity than an individual could possibly imagine. If it was going to happen, especially something bad and/or challenging, then it was going to happen to me.
Challenge is a word that I’ve learned to laugh at. It’s a word that I thumb my nose at. At least it was until I became a mother, and now that bad Ole Challenge is whipping my butt.
I’ve always thought each job had its own separate challenge, its own thing that made it unique. I’ve never encountered a challenge as great and difficult as that of being a mother and each day brings on a new challenge. Some days that challenge seems to build upon itself almost compounding its difficulty and my current challenge is so overwhelming that I’ve found myself wimping out. I’ve actually broken down into tears over the past couple of days because I can’t seem to handle the simple task of getting my son to take a nap.
I’ve had a long career of handling adversity, of dealing with jerks and people calling me every name in the book. I’ve dealt with closing million dollar deals that other people couldn’t handle, saving accounts that were pretty much lost, but I can’t seem to handle putting my son down for a nap. What gives? And here’s the bad part, if I didn’t know any better I would swear my son was doing it out of spite or perhaps just to get a good laugh out of seeing mommy frantic. I know that’s not the case, but it still never ceases to amaze me about how small of a task this seems and yet I can’t conquer it.
Don’t worry. If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I’m determined. I will win this battle and my son will gladly start taking his naps. I just haven’t figured out how I’m going to make this painless.