For the last week, I’ve been feeling quite proud of my healthy immune system. Randy and the boys have all been suffering from your run of the mill cold. But, thanks to my exercise regime and healthy eating, I managed to fend off this dreaded bug. Right? Well, I woke up at midnight with those telltale signs of impending illness – a scratchy throat, swollen glands, and a runny nose. Darn it! Not all is lost though. I stayed awake for two hours catching up on those crazy housewives of Orange County. This Bravo show, if you don’t already watch it, is cringingly bad, funny, and full of life’s truths every week. My husband doesn’t agree with me and groans when I have it on, but I absolutely love it.
This week on the Orange County Housewives, there were the usual scenes of dramatic arguments, rebellious teenage children pouting in only the way that over-privileged Southern California kids can, and plenty of wine drinking. It’s entertainment at its best. But, there was an interesting scene that reminded me so much of my own situation.
In this scene, Alexis invites the other women over to her house during the week in the middle of the afternoon for a “cooking party”. While the women filter into the party, one asks where Vicki, one of the other OC housewives is. Then, another says that she’s at work in a sarcastic tone, and there’s a brief conversation about how Vicki’s work ethic is so irritating. Interestingly, two of the women who were attending the cooking party are having serious money problems that have been highlighted in great detail on the show, and one is living off of the proceeds of her dead fiance’s money. Meanwhile, Vicki is working, employing others, and is truly a self-made success.
When I ramped up my business, I also received flack from some neighborhood moms because I wasn’t available to hang out in the afternoon or stroll casually to the park in the late morning. I had to work. There was little understanding of having to sit in on a conference call or meet a deadline. From their perspective, I just wasn’t as cool as I used to be because I was “gasp” having to make money to support my family.
As I transitioned into work, some of these so-called friends took my lack of daytime availability as a personal affront, and those relationships deteriorated. My close friends who truly cared about me have remained tight, and I have grown friendships with a number of other small business owners who understand the day to day stresses and time constraints that go hand-in-hand with self-employment.
It can be tough forging a path that’s different than the majority of your peers, and not everyone is going to be supportive. But, if you’re doing what’s right for the people under your own roof, you can tune out those outside naysayers and feel confident that you’re on the right track. Hard work shouldn’t be criticized, and I salute you Vicki of Orange County for challenging those lounging ladies with their wine glasses!