If you are anything like my mom, you simply don’t have time to read my typical 3800 word blog post. Mom said yesterday that she had a feeling that I had started writing again, so she went on-line to look…and saw that I had… and then saw how long it was…and said to herself,” I am going to have to read that later when I have more time!” I understand. I do. Please understand that while I am writing for her… and for you… I am mostly writing because that is what I do. When I start, I have a hard time stopping…and then I have a hard time not adding more stories or songs or scriptures. I guess I am like that musician who knows that if they took the advice of the record producer and kept their songs to the right length…using the right formula… tried to appeal to the masses with lyrics and a catchy chorus… that the musician would have a better chance of being a big hit…of being heard by the many instead of the few. I want to be heard by the many…to be read, but I also don’t want to always be looking at how many words are adding up. I want to be able to as John Mayer sings, “Say what you need to say.”
You probably start reading… and then keep reading a bit more and then scroll down to see just how long my blog is and say, “Oh, Lord… that is one person who I WOULD NOT invite to a dinner party. She just goes on and on…” If you know me, and have actually had me over, I hope that you wouldn’t say that. I don’t think that is who I am. If I am wrong, please tell me because that is not who I want to be. Who I am is a Journalism major that focused on Broadcast News…but realized after I got a degree where I was taught how to “tease” people with crafty one-liners…or boil down a complicated story into a sound-bite…that my real passion was in-depth reporting. Writing for a newspaper? Maybe. Writing for a magazine? Maybe. Going to a place and getting a feel for the local culture…talking to everyone that knows something on the subject – both sides…or as many sides or opinions as there are – KNOWING what I am saying because it is my experience…not just regurgitating what I heard from another source? YES! I want to be a first hand witness. I want to BELIEVE what I am telling people because I have been in the middle of it and been paying attention with eyes wide open. Hopefully that is what I am doing here, on this page. That is what I am trying to do.
While it doesn’t matter to me if I am “a hit”, it does matter that I don’t spend my time making a five course meal when all people really want is an appetizer or a dessert.So, for my first attempt at a blog that is hopefully not over-whelming in scope, I want to focus on the quote by Charles Swindoll, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
A couple of recent examples: The other night I was picking up kids in my car. I already had a car full of boys on my way to get the last one…and one of the boys said, “How long do you think it will take before _____ complains about something?” They all laughed because these boys are all very close friends and love each other like brothers. They have been best friends for the vast majority of their lives. It was a harsh comment/question, but it was answered quickly by another that said, “I’ll give him 3 minutes.” Another said, “Ok. I will keep time.” The boy who was about to be unknowingly part of an experiment got into the car and within 16 seconds!!! yes, that is right…16 seconds!!! made a complaint. Actually it was the very first thing out of his mouth after the obligatory greetings.
They all laughed and told him what they had done… that they had expected him to complain…just didn’t expect him to so quickly…and he defended himself… and I suggested after the laughter died down that we should all strive to be more like “Pooh” than Eeyore. That of course made them laugh too. Saying “Pooh” to adolescent boys (or anybody with a sense of humour) is bound to get a giggle…so I changed my advice and said…”ok, strive to be like Piglet!” See the world like Pooh or Piglet! They may be silly and simple, but they are happy. “How do you spell ‘love’? asked Piglet. “You don’t spell it…you feel it.” said Pooh
Piglet and Pooh make me think of the character “Rowley” in Diary of a Whimpy Kid. Rowley is the best-friend, side-kick of the main character Greg Heffley. Greg is the quintessential middle child who is treated awfully by his older brother, and noticed only when he is doing something bad by his busy -with- baby -brother- and -their own life parents. Rowley is chubby and has a bowl haircut and is babied like a tottler by his over-indulgent and ” helicopter” parents…but Rowley is FANTASTIC! He is everybody’s friend. He sees the best in every situation. He BELIEVES in the best of people until the bitter end… and then some. Rowley is my hero. There is a scene from the latest movie (these movies show EXTREME characters who do absolutely ridiculous things…think I love Lucy for 90 minutes) where Greg has been invited to a vacation at the seashore with Rowley and Rowley’s parents. They are sitting on the porch, spinning a board game board and when it is your turn, whoever the arrow points to the person whose turn it is must tell that person why they love them. Goofy, terribly unrealistic…even painfully uncomfortable for the viewer. Rowley and his parents find it easy to find a reason… but Greg is unable to find something to say to Rowley’s father.
Can we find something to say today? Everyday? That is positive…and sincere. That will make someone else know that we noticed? That will make someone else feel good about themselves…and feel good about us? I want to be a Rowley, not an Eeyore. Do you? 1200!