There’s this story I love about Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton, back in the late eighties when they were filming one of my favorite movies, Steel Magnolias.  

I love that movie. I probably need to watch it again. (Somebody should warn Peter.)

Steel Magnolias was filmed in Louisiana, and the heat was suffocating. Everybody was sweating buckets. Julia was brand new to her movie career, but Dolly had already been around a long time. They sat side by side in between scenes, fanning themselves to cool down.

Julia said, “Dolly, aren’t you so hot in this heat?”

And Dolly said something like, “Well, sure, darlin’. It’s hot, but I won’t complain about a little heat. When I was a little girl, I wanted so badly to be in the movies. And I promised myself that if I ever got here, I wouldn’t complain.”

I don’t know where I heard it, and I don’t even know if it’s true. But this story came to my mind again this week when I listened to a podcast conversation between two familiar authors who are doing great big things at the pinnacle of their careers.

But they were complaining about the work of launching a book.

If you’re living the dream, or any version of what you asked for, sometimes it’s a good idea to take a step back and remember how badly you wanted to do what you get to do.

Remember when you wanted this with all your heart.

Remember when you would have given a whole lot to have this much work to do.

(Thanks, Dolly.)

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