“Cockadoodle doo!” the rooster crowed for the third time.
She wanted to pull the pillow over her head to shut out the persistent crowing of the rooster but knew it would not be wise. It was time to get up and start her morning chores.
Phil, as the rooster was named by one of her cousins, was her clock. He first crowed at or around 4 o’clock every morning. She was usually sound asleep at that time. Then he crowed again at 6:00 am. She knew this was his second round of crowing and that it was around 6:00 am, as she also saw a sliver of morning light beyond the curtains of the bedroom window.
Jackie covered her head with the sheet and said her morning prayers under the covers. She had no special reason for doing this, but it made her feel closer to God, especially as she missed her parents so very much on the days that she was many miles away from them.
She looked across at the other bed in the room and saw that her cousin, Pamela, was sleeping soundly. For a moment she thought how unfair it was that Pamela got to sleep in until 7:00 am every morning, but like the stepsister in Cinderella, she had to get up at 6:00 am to do chores.
She was heading to the bathroom when she heard Aunt Mae’s voice, “Jackie, time to get up!” For a moment she wondered what would happen if she ignored her aunt and kept heading for the bathroom. Instead, she obediently replied, “I’m up, Aunt Mae. I’m going to brush my teeth.”
“Remember to move the chairs at the dining table and give the floor under the table a good shine this morning!”
Tears flooded Jackie’s eyes, but she replied, “Yes, Aunt Mae,” and continued to the outside bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth. She could not afford to be late for school this morning!
So far, Jackie had not told her parents that although they were paying for her boarding, at ten years old she had to do morning chores which she knew her parents would not have expected her to do. Aunt Mae required that she polish and shine the beautiful hardwood floor in the drawing room and dining room every morning before she went to school.
The problem was that many mornings her chores caused her to be late for school, and she had already received two warnings from the Headmistress. The third late arrival would result in lashes in her hands from the cane Mrs. Buck kept on her desk.
In the 1960’s it was commonplace for teachers to administer corporal punishment, sometimes harsh punishment, on students.
And so, on this Wednesday morning, as she walked into class, just after morning devotion ended, almost visually trembling, she knew she’d receive no less than four lashes in her hand. It would be painful and humiliating.
What’s more, she discovered later that Mrs. Buchanan had written to her mother about her tardiness.
Jackie feared explaining to her mother almost more than she feared the lashes from the Headmistress’ cane.
When she returned home on the weekend, she finally told her parents about her morning chores and that many mornings, in order to get to school on time, she had to leave without eating breakfast. Aunt Mae, however, kept telling her that she was late because she needed to move faster.
Her parents were understandably upset with her for not telling them sooner.
The only immediate solution, which was quite challenging, was for her to travel from home daily. It meant getting up as early or earlier than before to take the bus, which would hopefully get her to school on time. This was not a school bus. This was an ordinary “country bus” which stopped all along the way to pick up or let off passengers.
Though it was hard, in Jackie’s opinion, this was a much better option. She was able to sleep in her own bed at night, with her loving parents close by. And she saw them every day rather than just on the weekends. What’s more, she had her chores around the home but was not required to clean the floor in her parent’s home. She was given age-appropriate chores, which her mother said would contribute to her being an industrious young lady.
The Entrepreneur’s Perspective
At times, you may need to make sacrifices in order to achieve the results you desire. Are you willing to work harder for yourself than you’d work for someone else? It takes a firm resolve and determination to pursue and achieve the goals you set for yourself in order to achieve the vision you created for yourself, your life, and your business.
What have been your biggest challenges in achieving your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)?
Share in the comments or message me if you’d like to discuss some of your challenges in achieving your goals and how to overcome them.