Preconceived ideas come from our past
Engagement, wedded bliss and Ireland

Thinking back to when our auto transport business was a mere twinkle in my eye reminded me of the preconceived ideas I had about my daughter and her new life.  I knew the day would come when she would want to leave home. Every young girl wants to find her Prince Charming, ride off into the sunset on a white stallion and live happily ever after.

It seems a bit odd to go from her engagement to her pregnancy and leaving the country, but this is how my thoughts work sometimes. Have you ever pieced together your thoughts like a jigsaw puzzle? When all the pieces fit into place then the picture makes sense. That is how this story will eventually look, like a picture, not preconceived.

About three months after our daughter’s engagement she was married. The wedding was beautiful, held in a secluded park high in the foothills outside of San Francisco, California. Scottish kilts were the tuxedo of choice by the groom, while sequined flip-flops were the shoes chosen by the bride, our daughter. Ancient tradition met all out, country raised California girl what a pair.

Grandma and me

From an early age I remember wanting to spend time with my grandma. Considering I was the oldest of five, more responsibility was on me and less attention. It was no wonder that I chose to be with grandma. She was the one who doted on me, showering me with undivided attention and lots of love.

As a young adult, grandma was still a very vital part of my life. My husbands yes both of them loved and accepted her as their own. This was what I had always dreamed being a grandma would be like.

Dreaming of walking down a tree-lined road holding hands and talking with my little granddaughter was what I looked forward to my whole life. Thinking I could visit my daughter and granddaughter whenever I wanted to was my preconceived idea of a perfect life, a fulfilling life. Part of that fulfilling life included starting our auto transport business, for the freedom it would provide.

It is suppose to be that way

Driving our daughter and her new husband to the airport, we had time to talk about their plans. Since she was our first, our only daughter thinking about giving her to a man we barely knew anything about was hard to say the least. I guess you have to be a parent or a coach and have walked in those shoes to understand how I was feeling.

Logically it made no sense, to be sad for the loss of my little girl. However, things were said and actions were taken that indicated that my feelings were somewhat valid. So pulling all the courage I had within me, I smiled and hugged my daughter and son-in-law good bye. Watching them disappear inside the airport terminal my gut was turning.

The drive home was long and silent. It had only been hours and yet I missed her already. We made them promise to call home when they arrived in England, their chosen honeymoon destination. That call seemed to take days to come. Why was I feeling so empty?

A sign of things to come

Two weeks passed and our daughter called to let us know they had returned home to the Bay Area, safe and sound. They had a terrific time vacationing all over Europe.

After a whirlwind tour of England, they journeyed to Scotland then Ireland. The stories and pictures were incredible, ancient castles and quaint shops lining the narrow streets.

The next year and a half flew by. Each month seemed to get a little easier to accept the fact that our little girl was a married woman. Now her loyalty and time was devoted to her husband. It was not easy giving up or letting go the control I had as a mom, or thought I had. Being a parent was much easier when we have to be in charge and physically see she had no harm come her way.

I will never forget the phone call when my daughter asked me if I were sitting down. Wondering what could possibly be up to warrant that statement, I said yes I was. The next bit of news was the best I had heard in a long while; we were going to be grandma and grandpa. Yes! The dream I had waited for forever, that day was soon to come.

The rug pulled out from under my selfishness

Finally getting used to the idea we were going to be grandparents and our daughter a mother, we received another phone call. This phone call literally jerked the emotion out of me like a rug from under my feet until I was speechless. Now, before you go judging me I want to say this, “I know I was selfish”!

However, remember the preconceived ideas I grew up thinking. Walking down that tree-lined lane with my little granddaughter and talking, spending time together. This was not to be.

They had decided to move to Ireland to live. Shock literally set in within minutes. Trying to think of all of the implications overwhelmed both my husband and me. Our dreams crashed around our heads and we both collapsed in tears. How could we be happy when we were so miserable?

This is just the beginning of the story. It reminds me though of the thinking process when owning your own business. First, you do control some aspects and situations in your day-to-day duties as the owner, just as a new parent does. The coach controls the play book until he releases the practiced moves to the players, in our case our daughter.
However, as the business matures and gives birth to new divisions and associates, you cannot be selfish. Contrary to popular belief you, as the owner and coach must be thoughtful, put others needs first and always release those preconceived ideas you brought with you.
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Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
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