April 25, 2010

I Needed to Struggle

I was thinking back to more than five years ago when I decided to open my own addiction treatment center. I felt ready to move from the safety of a program where I had been director for seven years and try it myself. I didn’t have any idea the undertaking and rushed out of the nest with optimistic enthusiasm. A New Beginning. That was the name of the program I bought. And it was. It wasn’t long into the running of the business part that I began to encounter lessons safely hidden behind locked doors, fancy checkbooks and even the nighttime darkness of my own bedroom. Owning a business never goes away. It never sleeps. It is a living, breathing, and sometimes blood sucking organism that screams to be fed your time, attention and money.

It was a huge struggle. But I did it. And I needed to. I even needed to struggle. What is life without attempting things you dream? As I reflect back further, even as far back as childhood, I think of things my parents were teaching me that slid well in line with examples of this caliber. The ones where the moral of the story was, “And one day you will be grateful for this even though you don’t understand it now”. Some of my favorites were driving a 1975 Chevy Nova that was used when it was bought for my sister five years earlier than I had access to it in 1987. Or not getting the newest gizmos and gadgets each time I wanted them. Instead, waiting for a birthday or Christmas to receive one (yes, just one) of them. And that dreaded awful “work” word they used when I didn’t always want to get out of bed on a Saturday morning. We all went to the farm together to spend the entire day working on something….picking up pecans, clearing brush, feeding cows. Or at home we worked in the garden or the yard. And I didn’t always like it. Sometimes it was a struggle. But I did it. And I needed to.

I was spending a few moments in the past this morning with an epiphany waiting at the end….seeing the bows of a beautifully wrapped gift being tied together. The struggles of the past, the pain of the past, or the losses from yesterday were all so necessary. I learn the most valuable things from struggling through. There will be other business opportunities. There will be other decisions that weigh on my mind. There will be more loss. There will be more of life…..And the knowledge that there is more education to come does not necessarily lessen the heartache that can accompany but it certainly puts life in a bite size perspective for me.

Ready or not.

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