Life seems to have pivotal moments where everything changes at once. I write about my 8th year of life quite a bit, because it marked a year of chaos for me. My Dad died in an accident, I had to get glasses, and my Mom started working outside of our home.
Considering that I was a little girl with a pretty serious case of asthma that caused me to miss quite a bit of school, my Mom decided to go into business for herself. She didn’t want to fight with a boss about having to miss a day of work if I was sick. And since she was now a single parent, she needed to stay flexible.
And so, she started cleaning people’s houses. It was something she knew how to do well, and there seemed to be quite a market for it, within only miles of our own house.
As I got older, I started to come with my Mom in the summer. As I walked into these houses, I couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast of our simple farm life in comparison to these peoples’ lives. The Moms of the household had nannies, and played tennis. They went to the Country Club, and had large pools in their back yards.
I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. With our small farm house and horse tank out back to swim in.
Initially, I remember some confusing feelings. Why couldn’t these people clean their own houses? How could my Mom do this with a smile on her face?
Through the years, listening to my Mom, watching her, I saw her secret; the reason she was able to do this job, and do it well.
She was grateful these people didn’t clean their own houses, because then she’d be out of job. One that she needed to take care of us. She didn’t care why they needed her, she was just glad they did.
She was humble about the work she was doing. Mom didn’t care what it was. She found joy in her work. Even if it was scrubbing another lady’s floors.
She took pride in the way the house always sparkled and shined after she and her crew..which sometimes included me..had been there. She built a successful business out of nothing but her hard working hands and a willing spirit.
And she still does it to this day…at 78 years of age. Not because she has to. She’s slowed her pace a bit, mostly because her 4 daughters have raised Holy Hell, but she’s still out there. Blessing houses like only she can.
I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite famous people of this world:
If I didn’t have money, I would do whatever it took to pay my bills. I just wouldn’t need a plan about how that was going to look. It would come to me to mop floors, to clean houses, and I’d love doing that. And one thing would lead to another, one job would lead to another, I would do it all for my own sake, and enjoy it all. I can’t not be wealthy. It has nothing to do with money.-Byron Katie
Sometimes, you just get plain lucky. I hit the jackpot when it came to parents. My Mom has taught me so much, by her words, but mostly by the way she has lived her life. There’s not enough money in the world to compare to that.