Every morning I get up and face a new day wondering what challenges await me. I never think I can't meet them or conquer them. I do fear that all the busy-ness and craziness may make me lose my mind, but somehow I never do and I have grown to accept that maybe crazy is where I thrive. Perhaps my brain and body operate at optimum, peak levels when I have no choice but to profusely perform.

I don't think I would even know what it would be like to have a day smoothly run its course or stay on schedule. I am very familiar with hard work and what one must overcome in order to just achieve the necessities of life. Having lived through and ultimately survived the last three years has been a challenge in and of itself but these things, these times, these trials do not scare me. People who know me know that I have an, "I'll show you" attitude. Not always a good thing but my stubborn nature is what got me to where I am now. Perhaps you can sympathize or identify yourself with/in this trait.

When I was about twelve years old, my mom taught me how to iron a man's dress shirt. I, surprisingly enough, enjoyed the work and mastered this task quite proficiently. I don't believe it was the work itself but, rather the end product that drove me to perfect this skill. I loved turning the shirt precisely on the rounded end of the ironing board to get every seam on every curved line. The smell of the steam and starch as it hit the shirt was amazing. This was pretty big stuff for a twelve-year old. Soon my mom's friends were asking me if I would do their ironing. Apparently, not every woman enjoyed this like I did. ;-)

One friend dropped off a huge garbage bag of her husband's shirts, asking if I could have it done by the following week. I think she had been saving her ironing for weeks, months even. I assured her I would have it done in the amount of time she requested. When I commenced upon the work, however, and opened the bag, I soon discovered not a bag of dress shirts but about fifty wadded-up collared polo shirts or t-shirts. I was mortified. How could I possibly iron these stretchy cotton shirts the way I liked, the "right" way. It was like they had been taken from the dryer while still hot and shoved in a bag. You can imagine the mess. I worked my patootie off for about $.25 a shirt, for how could I charge my full price ($.50) for a casual polo shirt?

Lessons learned: First, ironing was no longer fun nor satisfying for me; it became hard work. Second, money earned from working very hard is less easy to spend (interesting factoid) and third, this horrific amount of work and expense could have been avoided if she had either folded them immediately or run them in the dryer briefly and hung them to dry - the "shake and hang," I call it. After three more bags came my way, I started to beg off, citing after school activities and just too much going on, in general. As an adult, as a mother of four that has done countless loads of laundry, I joyously and strictly adhere to the "shake and hang" policy. I learned that lesson well. Work smarter, not harder, right?

© by rayannethorn

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