I had a boss once who was a Scientologist - so much so that she eventually left television to pursue it full time. Right before my leap from writers' assistant to writer she told me "Mama P, we have a term for people who have a dream. They must 'be of service'." I of course made some crack about how her people also think their leader is going to rise from the dead in a volcano. She continued on, quite serious, "What I mean by 'being of service' is to show up ten minutes early, stay an hour over... put in 110% when you're dog tired. Be. Of. Service."
I shrugged it off with the guffaw of a girl in her twenties who was too busy getting her hair done to listen to some 40 year old boob job cult member. I wasn't paid enough for that kind of servitude. But I was desperate enough to try anything.
And it worked. I became a produced writer in three months.
I have used this advice over and over to learn things in my life.
Take yesterday when I volunteered time to paint banners at my kids' church. Do I have room in my schedule for this? No. But my mom watched the kids and I was of service anyway. In return, I learned a super easy way to paint a mural using an overhead projector and a stencil. (Yes, Texas Lizzie, you've been telling me this for years.) But I never would have learned unless I had to do it myself. For free.
So much of motherhood could be considered dull since I'm not getting paid. And I won't lie. Sometimes I think I'll go brain dead if I have to listen to Scooby Doo theme music one more time. But when I put on my enlightened hat and am of service to my kids, the pay off is pretty huge.
And now, I'm going to work on my queries. While I want to be of service to the internet community, I want to be of service to myself, so I can get a job and pay for full time maid service.
And if Rex thinks he's going to get some service Saturday night after being gone for 5 days he'd better bring me some room service Saturday morning.