September 27, 2010
Life has been incredibly intense lately. I’ve been tightening up on my diet, working out more intensely, creating longer task lists and scheduling my days as if there were 28 hours in a day instead of just 24. While it’s been a long road since I complained about working too hard after giving birth, it’s been a road that is starting to reap some real results.
My body is getting firmer, my work is paying off and my projects are progressing. Every day I feel like I’m literally bulldozing through my to do list. It’s hilarious to view the pile of papers that build up on my office floor after every work day. In the midst of this chaos are my two children playing with their toys and insisting I roll around the floor and play peek-a-boo.
My work ethic stems not just from my natural deep-rooted disposition to excel in life’s trials, but moreover, my work ethic is a genetic marker given to me by parents who taught me that life is about strategizing and not just settling with what life gives you. My mother had four children before the age of 22. We were all born almost exactly one year apart. I can vaguely recall being very young watching my mother drop my father to the police academy, then dropping us all to three different locations (as we were all different ages) before going to work for the state. There were tough times when we were little but we never knew it of course. My parents always supplied us with our basic needs, including their unconditional love and support.
It’s laughable sometimes to hear my mother complain of how our father made her work’ when all she wanted to be was a housewife and mother to us growing up. After all, she was young and came from a prestigious family herself. It’s funny because I could never imagine my mother not working. She’s always been ambitious, charismatic, determined and successful. She always wanted more and as a result, worked hard to achieve more.
My father also demonstrated his work ethic through the sacrifices I watched him endure growing up. After we moved to Sacramento when I was 11, he continued to live half the time in San Francisco for over ten years afterwards. As a result, it seemed as if he missed half our childhood and while it created some physical separation, watching him sacrifice for the family made me love and respect him more.
My parent’s role-modeling guides me today as I work hard to achieve what I would like for our family in the future. While daily tasks seem mundane and sometimes useless I know that eventually small progress breeds big success.
Just as I train my body at the gym while I see little results immediately, I know that eventually my ab muscles will start to peak through. In my world, many inquire what it takes to be in great shape or have a successful business or be in a great relationship.
But what they really don’t want to know is what it REALLY takes.
In my world, being fit means waking at 5am in the morning before the kids awake, to train intensely for over an hour. It means eating five small meals, drinking protein shakes and eliminating sugar, soda and snacks. It means no popcorn at the movies, no Frappacinos at Starbucks and no eating past 7pm. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to sleep in, eat cake at a party or drink wine at dinner because God knows I do. But I don’t.
In my world, having a successful business means first saving a lot of money to invest in a business, then have the organization to complete tons of paperwork, file taxes, insurance, workers comp and payroll. It means hiring, training and marketing. It means being on-call 24/7 and organizing your time to manage, build relations, establish contacts and create consistency. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to buy a new car, go on a shopping spree, spend a day in bed or watch television when I should be finishing a budget. I do but of course, I don’t.
Lastly, in my world, maintaining a strong relationship requires daily communication, continuous affection, unlimited understanding and most of all a lot of humbling. (That part is always the hardest for me.) Naturally, I want to have the last word, be in control and never be wrong but I’m not in a relationship with myself so I can’t be selfish, instead, I must often be self-less.
I have found that anyone can complete any endeavor in life if they have the discipline, fortitude and tenaciousness to follow through on a plan. Plans that are broken down into short term daily tasks a familiar journey I tackle every, single day.
But I want it bad just like my parents and just like every role model that has influenced me to be fit and successful. Yes, life lately has been intense, but life has been incredible.
and so have the rewards.