A Drive to Lake Tahoe and a Rocking Chair
I was headed to Lake Tahoe for a getaway weekend but it’s actually the weekend that changed my life. My car just had the gas light come on right outside Tahoe in Truckee, CA. I pulled off to fill up my car and there was a restaurant nestled right near the gas station that was so inviting, I couldn’t help but walk over and check it out. There was an outdoor seating area along with some rocking chairs where you could sit and wait for a table. I saw this older man sitting there by himself with a cup of coffee. He had this look about him where you could tell that he was sad about something.
I hesitated but then decided to go over to him (something inside was telling me “just over there and say something to him!”). I made my way over there and sat down in the rocking chair beside him. I said hi and he just looked over at me with his eyes glazed over as if he had just been crying. He asked how old I was (thinking, well that’s an odd question to ask me in this moment) and I replied with, “I’m 23.” He smiled and said that is how old my granddaughter was when she just passed away from pancreatic cancer. My heart just sunk and before I could say anything he says to me, “I’m going to tell you a really quick story….”
I’m 79 and I just lost a dear granddaughter which makes you really think about life and what it’s all about. I look back on my life and I worked for the same company all of my life and never got a break. People walked all over me and didn’t respect my ideas and each day I just put up with it because I thought that was what you were suppose to do. I had dreams of doing something on my own but felt like it was always too late for me to start. Not that working for someone else is a bad thing but there are too many of us that are scared to even consider starting our own business. We wouldn’t be where we are today if someone didn’t create their business and evolve it. Even each business started out as just a simple idea. Some grow and some don’t. I don’t know what your plans are with your life but if I can tell you anything my dear, it’s to not wait like I did. If there’s something you want to do then do it because life is too short. My granddaughter wanted to open her own snowboarding shop here in Tahoe. I’m just proud that she was going after her dream before everything happened.
I was just sitting here with my mouth wide open while listening to him. I thought on my goals and aspirations with what I wanted to do. I just finished school with a marketing degree and had parents who wanted me to be a big time marketing exec. They didn’t think it was smart to waste your time in doing your own thing even though I dreamed of running my own small advertising firm.
When I shared that with him he said to me, “Your parents may not be supportive at first but show them you can do anything and that you’re willing to work hard. If your parents truly care about you they will support you no matter what you do. You might fall on your face once or twice but your parents were there to pick you up as a kid when you fell, they will do it again. “
An hour had gone by and as I got up to leave I let him know that for whatever reason something was telling me to say hello, I’m so glad that I did. What he said to me is exactly what I’ve been needing and yearning to hear for a long time. Who knew that driving to a simple getaway weekend that it would completely change my life. I went home and told my parents I was going to move forward with starting my business. They were hesitant at first but ultimately they just wanted me to be happy.
I hate that we get so busy in our lives where we don’t take the time for others. If I would have been in a hurry and not stopped to talk to that man, I may not be where I am today. Running a business is not easy and there are some days I just want to quit and wish I was working for someone else. But 95% of my days I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it. You should work hard but it’s not hard work when you love what you do.
I Am A Mom and Pop