‘Difficult takes a day … Impossible takes a week!” This is the new slogan I am contemplating for my business cards. Only in my case “impossible” may actually be closer to 29 days and a weekend retreat.
I share this after battling the pressure and stress of completing a high school student’s prom dress two days before the big event. As some of us recall, the prom for a 17-year-old is like the wedding day for a first time bride. The only added luxury is being able to return the groom by his midnight expiration date before the charm and maturity pills wear off. Nevertheless, my mission was successfully carried out and I was able to produce a gown that satisfied the client (and more importantly the client’s mother).
Many of us initiate a task with much vigor and enthusiasm. By any means necessary we expect to change the world overnight. Unfortunately, the monster of reality sets in and obstacles undoubtedly pop up. In my case, five pounds of new weight set in on my client between the initial fitting and the secondary fitting. Instead of putting the final touches on this fashion project, I was burning the midnight oil to get it done. On top of this, my family actually expected me to prepare three meals a day and to help out with the laundry. Como se dice “Wendy’s value meal” in Espanol?
The breakthrough for my project materialized six days before the prom. To my surprise my husband presented me with two roundtrip tickets to hot and sunny North Carolina. I wondered why he had badgered me all week to complete the dress. I sincerely believed my client’s mother had hired him as a spy. My major concern was venturing off on a weekend getaway with such a large deadline ticking away. My minor concern was the fact that I enjoy flying on airplanes like a 4-year-old enjoys broccoli without cheese.
As the plane departed Chicago, I attempted to convince myself of all the good this trip might serve. It had been a century since my husband and I had some quality time away from the kids. Our 13th wedding anniversary was just two days away. Also, the trip to N.C. provided me an opportunity to visit a dear friend from high school and college. She was having a surprise 40th birthday party.
The North Carolina heat immediately zapped me back to a comfortable time and location. My college alma mater was only an hour away from where the party took place. My girlfriend arrived and was amazed to see all of her closest friends and relatives laughing, joking, and reminiscing. Time froze as a mutual friend hugged the guest of honor. I was in earshot as she whispered these words of wisdom, seemingly in slow motion … “embrace it.”
No doubt the comment was delivered to fend off any doubts or concerns my friend may have been having about reaching the big 4-0. However, it felt as though the words were spoken to me. My spirit was renewed at that very moment. My brain immediately started thinking of ways that I could not only finish the gown, but also how I could finish the prom dress of life with style and flare. Whether we are tasked with addressing a tight deadline, a tough job assignment, or an impossible family situation, we must step up onto the stage and embrace the gifts we all have to change the world. After all, “impossible” only takes 29 days, a weekend retreat, and a five pound diet.