First and foremost, let’s define what I mean by the word, “schlep”.   Schlep has its roots from Yiddish meaning to drag or pull.  A Schleper is also defined as a person who carries things, a servant.  Other definitions of this slang word; “To carry with difficulty, lug – as in she schlepped her suitcase around the airport.” An arduous journey.  Yes, that is me, and perhaps it sounds like you too? 

I didn’t set out to be a Schleper, my original aspirations and intent was to be an adventurer.   I wanted to experience life in an unusual and exciting way.  To explore new places, people and things.  What I didn’t realize is that adventure is typically hazardous and unknown. That can increase the anxiety and fear factor for sure.   Calling my life as one who has schlepped is my sense of humor, because humor makes all things tolerable. 

As I reflect on decades of life, I think it must have all began with my first job out of college. A sales representative for General Foods Corporation, foodservice division.  I was in and out of the car every day, calling on customers, cold calling, and carrying my GF “trunk” of goodies – product samples, brochures, and coffee pots.  I even had a refrigerator in my car! (Jell-O pudding pops) Upon leaving GF, I accepted a District Sales Management position with the J.M. Smucker Company (best corporate job I ever had) and this time, I was hauling a suitcase along with my briefcase every week through an airport- This continued on a national level as I moved up the ladder to a national sales management position. 

Another level of schlepping was added in the process, –moving.   I am originally from Miami, Florida, the company moved me to Tampa, then to Oshkosh, Wisconsin which led to Chicago, followed by San Francisco, Marin County (Mill Valley and Tiburon) & then I married and moved to Southern California – 4 moves there…. and now here I am in the Inland Northwest.  Still moving around, as I recently moved my third car load of clothes and personal items from a rented room in Liberty Lake back to my real home in Sandpoint.  Why? Because I could – I wanted to pursue a passion to create something special, somethingdifferent, something new.  In order to accomplish this task, I decided to get a corporate job so that I could save from the paychecks to pay for my start up, my side-hustle, my new gig. 

In between all these moves, packing, unpacking, lifting, carrying, cleaning, up and down stairs, in and out of boxes, I did the same for my mother – schlepped her all over the country as well, onto her last move in a Life Care facility.  It feels sad to me that she must be there, but I am grateful she is one of the lucky ones to be so well taken care of, even though. `

I think that is a good reason I want to keep schlepping, because I can.  I have experienced the joy of adventure along with the hazards and obstacles that were also inclusive of this journey called life.   We as women have so much on our plates and the “social image” pressure, to keep up with.  It’s truly exhausting.  

Well, I am here to share a part of me, and to celebrate the brilliant women that you are.  Each woman is extraordinary and remarkable in their own wonderful way.  Let’s just take a moment to STOP and Breathe.  It’s going to be o.k. We are all in this together. So, let’s continue to encourage and support each other, to be grateful and uplifting with one another.  It’s a tough road sometimes, and we need to rise together for success.  Look forward to hearing your story.  I say, “Schlep On!” : ) 

Priscilla Alden
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