Monday, 5 November 2012

Two Beers and Mayonnaise Jar

  Image courtesy of vudhikrai/

My husband sent me the short story, 'Two Beers and a Mayonnaise Jar' to me the other week. It's a cute story, with good intentions but something about it annoyed me.

The internet is full of urban legends, so when I receive any chain mail, I go straight to Google to see what I can dig up. However, with the charming Two Beers and a Mayonnaise Jar story, I could only find people posting it up for inspiration. Even the oracle that is Wikipedia, had nothing referencing the story.

The reason the story irritates me is I feel it lacks aspiration. It's a nice little reminder to prioritise the special people in your life. But I stand my ground, if you're going through a life-changing experience, like going freelance or building your own business, there has to be a few sacrifices. To my mind, following your dreams fills your soul. Which means your career, your work becomes one of the 'golf balls' in the story and not the pebbles.

I could see why my husband forwarded the modern-day fable. The last year has been testing for our family. Having a second child, taking redundancy then going self-employed are huge changes. I will happily admit it has taken a decent amount of adjustment to manage my time effectively - and I'm not there quite yet. I started to put all my irons in the fire, saying 'yes' to too many projects out of the fear I will no longer be needed, let alone paid. In my mind, I was under the illusion that I had my priorities in order. In reality, I would have needed a time machine to do all the things I committed to.

As with any major life change, I think it would be unrealistic to believe it can go smoothly. The most important thing is to take each hurdle as it comes, remember to look back and say, 'I did the best I could, now I'm going to try things differently.'

But you can keep your mayonnaise jar wisdom. I'm writing my own inspirational story.


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