I must have been a very frustrating daughter. Strong-willed and independent, I knew what I wanted, and figured out how to do it. For example, when I asked for a bike and was told I’d have to earn it, I signed myself up to sell greeting cards around the neighborhood. That was probably in 1959, long before schools took up my brilliant idea of fund-raising. I was only 10 years old.
To this day, I remember the stern look on my mother’s face as she asked what all of the cartons were that had come in the mail for me that day. “I’m going to sell Christmas and birthday cards,” I said, batting my baby blues. “And I’ll buy my own bike.” And I did.
Around the same time, there was a commercial on TV that became my mother’s mantra. Every time mom would offer her assistance when I was fixing my hair or doing my homework, I’d decline. She’d roll her eyes and chant, “Mother, I’d rather do it myself,” before shrugging her shoulders and walking away. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GshovE9F3F8
I don’t know why that memory has surfaced after 60 years, but I want to tell mom that I’ve finally learned I can’t do everything myself. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. That’s because I was trying to do it myself.
I tried designing my own book covers. They looked home-made. I now have a cover-designer who’s awesome! I tried proofing my own books. How do those few pesky typos find their way into the final copy? I now have a detail-driven proof-reader. I tried creating my own marketing strategy to get the word out about my books. I was lucky if I sold a book-a-month. I now have a cluster of readers who have spread the word and sales have dramatically increased.
You were right, mom. I can’t do it all myself. But I’m blessed to have wonderful people in my life to help and support me. I’m a lucky gal.