The work is the easy part.
I’ve been going through this evolution of myself and career as of late. I’m a typical type “A” person and was raised with a very good work ethic. I was never given anything on a silver platter. My parents were extremely supportive and provided me with all the tools I needed to get what I wanted. But if I wanted the silver platter, they’d give me the silver, and I’d have to figure out how to make it into the platter myself. This taught me that if I really wanted something, I’d have to do the work to make it happen. I’m not afraid of hard work AT ALL. In fact I thrive off the hard work because it’s the results that is what all the work is for. So what happens when the results or goal is MILES or YEARS away? What if today is not the day I’m going to achieve it, nor is tomorrow or probably even this year. What am I doing to stay motivated to know how far away the finish line is and it’s possible that once I get there, the game will have changed? Part of it, is accepting that. Accepting that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We are building something that can truly change the way people feel about themselves, their work, their pride, their value. This takes time.
I am relatively short in comparison to the “average” height of a human living in the Upper Midwest. Why does this matter? Because, I’ve been keeping up with people my whole life. When I’m walking with my husband or friends, my legs are moving faster. Now it’s muscle memory, when you walk, it’s fast, because you don’t want to be left behind. Now that I’m a mom, with 3 little boys, walking the 1 block to the park can be down right painful. My baby (2 is not quite a baby, but he’ll always hold that title) takes his time and is easily distracted. By the last 50 ft, I usually just pick him up and carry him. Why is he taking so long? We’re going to the park for petes sake! He is curious and demanding so when he wants to stop and look at an anthill forming on the sidewalk, you better plan on looking at it too. This forced participation in ant watching, forces me to be patient with him. He is saying to me in his 2 year old gibberish way that there is no need to rush getting to the park when there are so many cool things to see along the way. The park will still be there when we get there, but someone might run over this ant hill then we would have missed seeing all the ants. THIS is the journey.
I see the end, and I want to get to the end as quickly as possible. But what am I going to miss along the way if I just put my blinders on and trudge forward? Maybe the journey is the goal. To just live it and experience it and learn. I have to be patient enough allow that to happen. I think being self aware is my first step in slowing down the pressure we put on ourselves to do it all at once. Stop and take a look at all of the things I’ve done, not just what’s left to do. Embrace opportunities to practice being patient. Mothering 3 little boys, opportunities to practice patience happen on an hourly basis.
Be patient and kind with yourself, the work is the easy part.
“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson