I'll also share something that worked and answered my prayers. Be patient. I'll get there. In the meantime, here's how life gets in the way of happiness and success. Here's my lifes lessons in:
What I’ve Learned about Work in Just 55 Years
For years, I played by the book. I started babysitting at 12. Got a job at the Mall when I was 16, and moved out of my parent’s house at 18 – three weeks after I graduated from high school. Then I got a real job and supported myself by typing, filing and loads of other fun stuff working for a huge company in San Francisco.
It was exciting for a few years. I did some mini ladder climbing and got a pay increase every six months. I felt important commuting to San Francisco with all the other 'successful' people. Lifes lessons, I thought included working hard for someone else paid off.
Eventually I saw it differently. I felt a little testy that people who knew less than I made far more money. The reason I was told, was that I was too young. Then there was the "you don't have a college degree" excuse. Of course I didn't have a degree. I was busy supporting myself while everyone else was in college. Another of lifes lessons: Things aren't always fair.
After I married, I continued working but there was a problem. A disappointment which stemmed from the fact that even if I worked ten times harder and got ten times more accomplished than my coworkers, I only made x amount of money. The same as they did. No matter what anyone said, this just felt wrong.
In the back of my mind I was secretly thinking that having a job might just be the worst thing I could do to support myself or add value to my family. After all, doing something I didn’t enjoy made me crabby and affected my health. I sunk money into a scam or two but it still seemed there must be far better ways to make a living than selling myself into indentured servitude. Lifes lessons were beginning to unfold.
At 32 I got a break from the work a day world. I was finally blessed with my first child. Two years later came number two. I found "not working" far more fulfilling. Being mother, teacher, and motivator to my sons and all their friends, plus volunteering at school was a full time job that gave value.
There were benefits for my spouse as well. Due to the guilt of my not earning an income, I did all the yard work and home maintenance. I didn’t just water, mow and pull weeds. I landscaped, pruned huge trees, painted inside and out, learned to build simple structures, hang sheet rock and wire the basement for electricity.
All this left me putting in 15 hour days without pay. And while the rest of the world saw me as unemployed, I was working my butt off. I saved us far more money by doing work around the house than I would have earned at a job. Still, I suffered from guilt for not being like everyone else. Another of lifes lessons unfolding. Why should I be like everyone else?
When my second son was five, I gave birth to a little girl and three years later, my 18 year marriage came to an end. My kids were 11, 9 and 3. Determined to be a stay at home mom, I worked four part time jobs. I drove a school bus, sold health supplements, had a home based business creating and delivering fresh flower arrangements, and helped a friend with her mail-out business a few times a month.
I was a busy woman. Oh, I forgot to mention pets! Wow, were we blessed. Not only did we have two wonderful dogs, we also had 3 cats, 2 ferrets, 20 chickens, a few ducks, a lovely snake (yes I actually loved a snake), hamsters, and a guinea pig.
All this work and I couldn't afford to buy a house on my own. My friends thought it one of lifes lessons because I'd left my corporate job. I thought I needed PASSIVE INCOME but didn’t know what to do.
When my baby girl entered kindergarten, I consolidated. I got rid of all the part time jobs that didn’t grow the income I was hoping for and went back to the work-a-day world. It was not fulfilling, but it paid the bills. One of lifes lessons is you may have to do what you don't want for a while to get to what you do want!
Having a passion for writing, I tried being a columnist for a local newspaper. After just one published column, I was dismissed. The editor told me he had two choices. Pay me for my column or hire an assistant. He chose the assistant and told me not to give up writing.
Then I wrote a kids chapter book about a boy (my son) who found a snake (he did). Together they found a way to communicate and help a world like ours, where people got so busy they didn't realize what they had lost until it was gone. I wrote “JED, The Boy the Snake and the Window” at night after the kids went to bed. It took two years. Many times my son (who the book is about) would get up in the middle of the night to check on me, rub my shoulders and tell me to go to bed because I'd fallen asleep at the computer again.
I gave up on the book after the publisher I dreamed of paying me for it, sent me a rejection letter instead. I put it in the closet and tried to forget about it.
When I remarried, my husband talked me into self publishing. It looked great, but once it was done, I realized it had to be promoted and I was out of my element. So it sat hidden at Amazon selling a whopping one copy in four years. Was it a waste of time? Did it make me a failure?
I’m here to tell you that nothing is a waste of time (okay, except for most of television). We learn from all our experiences, or dare I say it, lifes lessons.
Did it make me a failure? Well, sometimes I felt like one but here are a few quotes I like from Thomas Edison that have helped me:
What I really learned from life (finally) is to have the courage to be myself. My real value is rooted in who I am. So who am I? A loving Mom, dog owner, animal lover, health food enthusiast, alternative medicine promoter with a passion for writing and making a positive difference in the lives of everyone I can.
I hope I can help you. If I can enhance your life a bit; teach you something, make you laugh, make you cry (occasionally), and entertain you too, then I am a success.
Now lifes lessons are paying off. I know how to love my job, have dogs in the workplace and feel fulfilled. I thank all of you for your words of encouragement and appreciation you have sent to me through my Contact Me page.
So what about lifes lessons? Life is full of blessings in disguise. Sometimes we don't understand at the time that something negative makes us grow, makes us stronger, or in fact turns to an amazing opportunity later on.
To continue this story, follow me over to How to Love Your Job.
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