Take On This!
[[Dedicated to Debbie and Clara: We’ve had one hell of a ride so far…and it’s far from over.]]
Our petition is both our pride and joy and the bane of our existence.
We think about it day and night. When we’re cooking dinner, washing dishes, or supposed to be working. I’ve even dreamt about it.
From trying to figure out ways to get more exposure, to carefully crafting flyers to send to radio stations—the petition is at the forefront of our minds.
We’ve spent countless hours talking about how to get more signatures and where to post the links next. Sometimes we get distracted and end up talking about Morten’s arms and/or fashion choices, but we always get back to the task at hand.
We tell everyone—and I mean EVERYONE—about it. Wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, the petition is always on the tip of our tongues. I’ve talked the ears off of quite a few moms at school pick-up and drop-off, pretty much bribed most of my friends with the promise of freshly baked cookies to sign and have, on more than one occasion, talked to complete strangers about A-ha.
But this past week—we went into overdrive.
Every day we would watch the signature count go up. Little by little, we inched closer to our halfway marker.
It seems like a lot, and it is.
Getting this far was a huge thing for us.
Waiting for it to happen, however—now that wasn’t for the faint of heart.
June 16th started out as any normal day. My son was on his second day of summer vacation. We had spent a wonderful day together playing outside and hanging out. Hubby came home and took him on a bike ride. (Mama can’t keep up with him on that thing…)
I sat down and got out the computer, intent on doing some A-ha related work. I tweeted a little, wrote a Take on This article and checked facebook.
And there it was.
A message from Debbie and Clara.
All it said was, “496!”
The countdown was on. Would we make it by days’ end? Who would it be?
Anxiety set in. Now, I’ll be very up-front with the fact that I have anxiety issues. From obsessing about whether or not I locked the front door to waking up in the middle of the night to check and make sure I turned the oven off. Social situations sometimes get the better of me and I sometimes have to remind myself not to panic if I’m a minute late or can’t find a parking spot at the store.
Needless to say, this situation sent my anxiety into hyperdrive.
The three of us sat and chatted about A-ha “housekeeping” issues while we passed the time waiting for the next signature. We delegated who would be doing what in the next day or two, and talked about strategy for getting the petition noticed. A thank-you photo and video were decided on for the big celebration. We talked about Morten. A lot.
All while feverishly refreshing the petition page.
My stomach was actually in knots.
Every minute that ticked by brought more hope. We decided that we WOULD make 500 by nightfall. We just had to. Getting to June 17th stuck at 498 wasn’t an option.
Debbie had to head off. I promised to text her the minute it happened.
I think I refreshed the page every 30 seconds. Clara scolded me with the old adage, “A watched pot doesn’t boil.”
I tried not to think about it. I busied myself with this-and-that, all while trying to calm the butterflies in my tummy. I told myself not to click on the petition tab.
I think I lasted about 2 minutes.
Going back to the page, I hesitated for a moment, reluctant to refresh the website. I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I couldn’t handle the stress anymore. I needed to know.
I took a deep breath and held it.
The little green bar reloaded itself and the number…
…changed to 500.
I actually screamed.
My hands were shaking, and the butterflies apparently got their second wind. Instantly my fingers flew into a frenzy. I messaged the gals with a repeating number.
Texts were sent, thank –you photos tweeted and tumbl’d. I’ll admit that I had tears in my eyes.
But the strange thing is…just like that—it was over.
Yes, we had reached our halfway point, and were absolutely over the moon. It was a huge accomplishment. Months of tireless work promoting had paid off, and had cumulated into that very moment.
After the initial celebratory excitement had worn down, we realized we were left with the same amount of work and anxiety as we had from the first 500 signatures. We knew our job was far from over. We wouldn’t rest until we had 1,000 names to deliver right to A-ha’s door.
So we keep on.
We stay up late, rise early. We let our children play video games for hours on end so we can work, make our husbands fend for themselves with dinner and laundry. Stay late at the office to get just *one more* post out before we go home, sit bolt upright in bed in the middle of the night when an idea comes to us.
We eat, sleep and breathe this campaign, sometimes much to the chagrin of our families. Even when we’re not supposed to be thinking about it—we do.
Signature anxiety has its claws in us.
But the reward should we succeed—the prospect of concert dates for all the fans in the US and Canada—makes those constant fluttery stomachs worth it.