Life Lesson = Practice


“Mom, I have some great news.”

“Yeah.” I sat down holding the phone to my ear ready to receive great news.

“Emily got her first job.”

“Wow!”

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

First application, first interview and just like that first job at the tender age of 15. From the looks of it failure isn’t part of Emily’s life lesson as it is with me. Her lesson may be something else altogether and whatever it is I am sure that it will be a challenge for her. Something that feels like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with a backpack full of bowling balls.

My job history is littered with failure. After my first husband and I separated and two years after the twins were born at age 24, I realized that I needed to be both mother and father to my three sons. So, I set out to look for work.

This was my first experience looking for my own work. I filled out applications, went on interviews and was turned down time and time again. I didn’t let it stop me, I forged on. At last I applied for a job at a nightclub as a cocktail waitress and this job, after all my searching for office work, retail sales, waitress positions, this job, a cocktail waitress in an up and coming night club, this job I get. Why did I get this particular job? Because I modeled for the hiring manager in the skimpy uniform and he liked the way I looked.

At the time, I thought this was a success. I found work. I was bringing home a paycheck. But it wasn’t successful in terms of what I pictured when I made my decision to be nurturer and provider to my kids. Not a single job I got since, and they were many, has been the start of my dream of provider. For one reason or another I left the jobs. Even jobs I liked, ones where, it looked like I could go somewhere.

This one job I had working for the Medical College of Wisconsin in the animal resource department was the most depressing job for an animal lover. This was the department where they experimented on animals. I could hear the dogs barking continuously in the back from my desk. A job I had as a unit clerk at a hospital was a wonderful job. I handled it well, the head nurse complimented me but the stress of getting on a bus to travel across town while I left, at the time, four kids, to fend for themselves became insurmountable. I would get calls all day long to deal with squabbles and daily issues.

For whatever reason, all my jobs ended up in failure. All my efforts to change my life circumstances lead me to dead ends. In other words, failure upon failure upon failure. Or to put it in terms of my life lesson. Practice, practice, practice. I was practicing to overcome failure. I was persevering.

And that is the reframing I made about my work history through my understanding of the LifePrints and soul psychology, that I needed to go through all of that failure to understand that I needed to practice in failure to learn perseverance. I almost want to say that I went through all of that failure to feel like I can’t do it just so I can learn I can do it.

The Journey to reach the highest

I can climb the mountain, not Mt. Kilimanjaro but more like Mt. Everest. The highest of them all, the mountain where I express what is in my heart in my own unique way, creative expression with innovation. The mountain where while the climb is steep, the journey is beautiful, invigorating and enjoyable because instead of bowling balls I have all the necessary supplies for such a climb: perseverance, willingness to treat myself kindly, looking for the silver lining, being patient and committing myself to whatever creative endeavor I am doing.

To sum it up, life lesson = practice. Looking at it that way can lighten the load yet bring a truck load of meaning to the experiences.

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4 responses to “Life Lesson = Practice

  1. loved this concept. World of Work. so many stories to tell. Yes, age 15 was when I got my first “real” job other than babysitting too. It’s been work punctuated with short pregnancy leave and then back to work again. There is no doubt it has been one of the most rewarding and frustrating areas for me. Telling our stories is important and I can’t do it justice in a comment. This has encouraged me to expand on my post about Work on my blog. Look for tab “On a Personal Note” for more stories about Work and it’s many lessons.

    • The world of work does provide ample fodder for stories. I am glad that what I had to say has encouraged you in your blog. I will be sure to check out Work stories. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Hello Janice,
    How beautiful….
    Tender, vulnerable. Thank you.
    My work life….
    Convent – no where else to go given my very low sense of self esteem. I didn’t make a good nun!
    Teaching – well what else would I do being an almost thirty year old woman and already well into my degree for teaching. I was a good teacher.
    I didn’t dream very much or very big . Took what came along and felt somewhat grateful.
    Then my current “calling.” And finally I can say it is my calling. I chose it.
    So scary to “choose” rather than just what comes along or that is all there is for me. Maybe my life lesson is to not settle…
    As I wrote that it totally resonated in my body.
    Be grateful, be open and to not settle for less….
    Cathy

    • My being tender and vulnerable is me inhabiting my purpose of living a creative life buy writing from my heart.
      And like you my going for “it” is scary. Settling feels uncomfortable and restless but not scary.
      Thank you for being vulnerable with your response. You are still a wonderful teacher.

      and so here is to, Being grateful, being open and not settling for less…but going for more.

      Janice

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