Tag Archives: always do your best

Charles In Charge

Sarah Boucher

I went to a temporary service on June 2nd and started working in a factory the following day. I’ve been a stay at home the majority of my adult life so it was quite an adjustment.

Is it my dream job? Heck no. Does it pay? Yep. Would I like to do something different? Yes. Will I be okay if I end up working there the rest of my life? Yes. Is that the plan? Nope.

This past week, I trained in a different part of the factory with a man named, you guessed it, Charles. Here are a few of the lessons I learned from him.

Lesson #1 Age is just a number.
Charles is 65 years old. I wouldn’t have known it unless he had told me. I’m not sure how much a canvas bag full of 60 car belts and powder weighs, but he tosses them around like they are loaves of bread. During the week, he mentioned arthritis in his knees once, but told me he’ll keep working until he’s physically unable to do so.

Lesson #2 I’m a rebel.
As Charles was explaining the task at hand, he said, “I do 60 belts at a time, but you’re really supposed to do 30. They’ll be too hard for you to move from point A to point B.”

Uh…challenge accepted. And so I set out to prove that I too could do 60 belts at a time. The bags didn’t look like loaves of bread when I tossed them, more like bags of something really heavy, but I did it anyway.

Which brings me to

Lesson #3 Charles doesn’t know everything.

I’ve heard a few times, not just from Charles, that certain jobs in the factory aren’t for women. Maybe they aren’t for every woman, but I’m sure a certain woman COULD do the job, and some could do it better than the men that are currently doing said job. If a woman wants to do a job, she should be given the opportunity. When people make statements like that, I want to prove them all wrong. But, I don’t have time to body build right now, so I’ll save that challenge for another day. Yeah, probably not.

Lesson #4 Always do your best.
It’s a lesson that I’ve known for awhile but it was reinforced this week as I watched a man take pride in his work, a job that most people wouldn’t consider doing, and did it with energy and enthusiasm.

“Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
― Miguel Ruiz

Check out The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

It FEELS GOOD knowing that you’ve done your best instead of going into a job dreading it and hating it the whole time. I am learning that I can do any job with energy, enthusiasm, and like it’s the most important job in the world, even if it’s dusting and cleaning toilets. The day goes by quickly when you do what needs to be done and do it with a good attitude.

give 100 percent

Lesson #5 Self Defense
On our last day together, Charles left me with a couple of self defense moves in case I ever find myself in danger. He is all about team work and sharing knowledge to make the job and life easier.

Lesson #6 Life is too short. Have fun!
The whole week was full of fun. Charles said it makes him sad to see people walking around with their heads down, not enjoying themselves, so he does everything he can to brighten up the day. Wednesday was full of, “Hey Chuck!” or, “Hey Young Blood! What day is it?” and the response would sound back, “Hump Day!” and then Charles would laugh like it was the greatest thing ever.

Charles has an inside joke with, or a nickname for everyone that walks past and they all seem to enjoy him as much as he enjoys them.

I also learned this life changing fact.

“That’s what she said,” did NOT originate with Michael Scott from The Office, but Charles has been saying it since the 70’s.

Do you have a co-worker that makes work more pleasant or do you dread going into work? What can you do to brighten up your environment, to be an energy giver? Let me know about this awesome co-worker or about your plans to be happier at work this week in the comments or over on facebook.

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Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there.

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Raising Debbie

A Call From France | Catherine Broughton

Raising Debbie
When we looked at Debbie, aged fifteen, going on sixteen, we felt proud. We had done well. We had raised her and her two brothers to be independent, kind, caring, self-assured, decent people.

Debbie had always had everything, from the buckets of family love and devotion, to the hours of attention through various childhood ups and downs, to the more tangible things like skiing and horse riding.

No, I don’t think she was spoilt. I worked, so she knew all about the dashing-around-I-haven’t-got-time-right-now, not to mention all the “I’ll be half an hour late picking you up from school”. She didn’t suffer for it and I don’t think children do, providing they know that they are loved and cared for in every way.

She had to work for her pocket-money. Just simple household chores – wash the cat’s bowls, empty the dishwasher, and so on. Nothing unreasonable.

So, no, she wasn’t spoilt.

She was a nice kid. A kid to be proud of.

So how do you cope when it all goes horribly wrong? What does a mother do when her lovely daughter starts to do all the things – the very things – you had trusted her not to do?

How do you handle it when she turns, seemingly overnight, from a sunny, cheerful teen to an obstreperous, snarling one?

When Debbie was almost sixteen she ran away from home with a thirty-five year old man who had just got out of prison. Out of the blue. She had had a tattoo done on one of her breasts, and I had been angry and hurt about that. A small butterfly, or a flower on a thigh or shoulder is one thing – but this was the head of a horse, very badly done, and huge. She had also, for several weeks, been slightly rude to me. Nothing much, just a bit of back-talk at odd intervals, which I ignored. So it was out of the blue.

Debbie put us through six years of nightmare. For four of those years she disappeared completely and we had no idea where she was or how she was. Alcohol, drugs, pregnancies, rape, police … you name it, we went through it.

Debbie came out the other end of it a pleasant young woman, relatively unscathed. We have a close relationship now, and I think I can say I am relatively unscathed too. But her dad has never really properly recovered. Her behavior triggered Meniere’s disease which has been with him 24/7 ever since – fifteen years now. He is clingy in his love for his daughter in a way that is perhaps slightly …. I can’t find the word … desperate, perhaps?

I am a strong woman. Very strong. I learnt to be strong at an early age. I went to fourteen different schools as a child. I changed country and changed language frequently. Sometimes we lived on a leper colony in Africa (my dad was a doctor of tropical disease). I was the eldest in a huge family. These things make you strong. From an early age you have to make or break. It is good for you.

I won’t go in to all the things that helped me, in adulthood, build-up my muscle (so to speak) but suffice to say that I dealt with A LOT. Never, when I was expecting my baby girl, did I imagine that she would be the cause of the biggest test. As part of my “recovery” process I wrote a book, “A Call from France” which was like a kind of catharsis for me.A Call From France | Catherine Broughton

Here are five thoughts I want to share with mothers who are going through traumas with their teenage children.

TRUST
Show your children that you trust them. This does not mean that you should necessarily trust them, but allow them to feel trusted. Trust, within reason, triggers responsible behavior. They do not need to know that you are still supervising quietly from a distance.

Do The Best You Can
My father always used to say that a parent can only do what seems to be the best thing at that particular moment. We all make mistakes and wish we had done things differently. As long as you are genuinely doing what you think is the best thing for your child, then that is what you must do, even if it turns out to be the wrong thing.

Still Learning
Teens, like children, are essentially selfish. By that I do not mean they are unkind in any way, I mean that their thoughts and feelings tend to centre, perfectly naturally, on themselves. Just as a small child learns to share his toys, so teenagers need to be learn to see the bigger picture. It is something they learn, so do not expect them to understand overnight your feelings when their own psyche has not developed enough yet.

What Do They Love?
I do wish that I had got Debbie involved in something she really loved, for I often think that might have made things turn out differently. Horse-riding or archery or whatever – I do think that if she had had a passion for something like that, it would have been better.

Relax
Know that it will be All Right. Children come home. Children grow up and become sensible adults. Some take you through the mill en route, and some do not. Relax. It is going to be OK. Not today, not tomorrow. But soon.

Catherine Broughton is an author, an artist and a poet. Her books can be ordered from most leading book stores and libraries, and are available on Amazon/Kindle. You can also down load them as e-books from her web site http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk
Connect with Catherine on fb here
Catherine Broughton. Novels, paintings, and poems
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Hey POWERFUL women! It’s Sarah. Wow! Can you imagine going four years not knowing where one of your children was? It’s a place in my imagination I’d rather not visit for very long. I would like to thank Catherine for sharing a bit of her story here and the encouragement she offered to love our kids and do our best. It’s all we can do.

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