Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Attitude Adjustment

If you've been following me along on Twitter or Facebook you'll already know that for the first time this year I didn't make expenses. My streak of profitable shows has ended as I knew it would at some point. That's just the nature of the work I choose to do. And since you are reading this blog you'll also know that we still disparately need for me to make a profit at my shows, particularly given the fact that I'll have three weekends off after the trip to Roanoke, Virginia later this week.

A little over a month ago this combination of information could've been cause for a major meltdown. Regardless of the lack of income bills are still showing up in the mailbox. The good news is that payday for Joan takes place in two more days so we can breathe a little easier. Despite knowing that the past few days have been just fine. In fact they've been more than fine; they've been outstanding! You see I've had a small epiphany recently - call it a dose of my own medicine.

A few weeks ago the ladies at BlogHer Backtalk asked me to do a short blurb about advice I'd give to a parent just beginning the jouney of exceptional parenting (hence my discovery of the little webcam thingy on Ben's computer). After watching the piece it dawned on me just how much I was ignoring my own words. In fact it was quite sobering.

The first photo is of our new little friend. Shelly is an Eastern Box Turtle which I rescued Monday morning on my way home. She was slowly making her way across Highway 76 in the northern Georgia mountains and was about to meet the fate that many female box turtles encounter this time of year as they return to their own birth home to lay eggs. For the record Shelly is a temporary guest - in fact after school Jessie and I will be sending her back into the wild this afternoon.

It has been interesting getting to know Shelly. Joan and I have always used opportunities like this to teach the kids about nature and the very cool critters that are our neighbors (including the giant black snake who has returned to live under our deck). Ironically it has been me to whom Shelly has had the most to say.

Getting me to slow down is like telling Jeff Gordan to hop in the Dupont Hendrick Pepsi Frito-Lay Quaker State National Guard Tylenol Chevrolet and turn a few laps at Daytona behind a horse and buggy. It very likely isn't going to happen. Just ask Joan who has watched me for 16 years get distracted by shiny objects, funny sounds, sharp objects, things that catch on fire, and those odd neighborly critters. But living with a child like Ben one has absolutely no choice but to slow things down if only to grasp the always changing situation at hand.

My new friend Shelly has very clearly reminded me of that advice I uploaded to BlogHer. Take things one day at a time - try to concentrate on the moment in front of you. Otherwise life becomes too overwhelming and you'll end up defeated before the green flag waves. I shouldn't think about next month's bills because June isn't here. I can't think about Ben's school therapy plan because the summer vacation hasn't even begun. Don't fret over some boy fawning over Jessie because I own several guns. The point is that I am at my all-time worst when I'm looking at the big picture too long.

Shelly's pretty cool with that advice because she's more worried about just getting across that road in one piece. Then it's time to figure out what's for dinner. After that maybe she'll think about where to close up shell for the night.

And after our reptile friend has moved on when I need some advice about slowing down I'll turn to my son for that encouragement. Even after almost a decade living with an exceptional son I always find it amazing how much I'm still learning from a kid whose vocabularly consists of about 2 dozen words.

PS: Lisa wins the "Name that Corn" contest! You'll have to drop by some time to pick up that print! Jess and Mikaela I need mailing addresses for you gals. E-mail me at with the info. Because of traveling the next two weeks it may be the second week of June before I can get the notecards out to you. Thanks to everyone for all the votes and humorous entries!


Gretchen said...

Perfect wisdom to give and to use.

Matthew 6:34 (New International Version)
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Kyla said...

I know...there is so much to do, so much to plan, it is hard NOT to look at it all at once. Hang in there, buddy.

Nurse Betty L. Boop said...

Thanks Bennie! I've been out of town, and going back out this weekend while you are on Kiawah. I've got 1-3 doc's appts a week just around the block so I'll drop by eventually!

Miss you guys! And say Happy BDay to Joan tomorrow for me!!

we_be_toys said...

That Shelly sure is sage for a turtle! That's some mighty good advice - think I need to take a dose of that medicine!

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