The Tortoise and the Hare
Greetings One and All!!!
What a crazy week!!! Last week I felt fine except I was extremely tired, was clearing my throat and wheezing a lot. I chalked it up to the weather and the gunk in the air and it is winter afterall!! Then on Sunday I woke up and had no voice and a big knot in my throat where it hurt to even swallow!! Fast forward to this week. The throat was better off and on, but still had the wheezing and shortness of breath. It was suggested I try some Mucinex D which I did and OH MY!! What a difference!! I even made it to the store this week AND was not out of breath every five steps!!! Hallejuah!! Thank you to all who checked up on me. It’s really hard for me to remember and realize that people do care!! There is still that part of me that laughs at me and says, “Fool!!!” I know there are many who care and I am so appreciative and grateful of that. It should seem so easy to accept that, I can hear the words and feel the love, but it’s not processing in my head the way I think it should. I just ask that you be patient with me as I wrestle and try to figure out why I cannot accept the fact that I KNOW PEOPLE CARE and love me!! There’s that ha ha naysayer in my head that just says “Fool!” UGH
But on the other hand it got me to thinking about something this week—The Tortoise and the Hare fable. We all know the story, the rabbit and turtle run a race. The rabbit is confident and fast, and the tortoise humble and slow. It is obvious who will win right? But as we all know the tortoise wins the race with his persistence and steady pace.
I think part of the reason I struggle with knowing that people care and really giving in and accepting that love is because (again) of my past. I know, I have been told you just need to let go. I have tried. But I have learned it is not enough to just go through the motions, I have to truly understand and be converted to the principle. Growing up I was told I was dumb, stupid and retarded. That led to the thinking that if I did not get an A, or get the highest score, or finish first, or praise for a job well done, I was indeed dumb, stupid and retarded. I know I am not that, but often I fight with myself on the matter.
In one of my jobs I worked in a payroll office. I have learned to put checkpoints in place to ensure my work is as accurate as can be. That was one of the reasons I was hired for the payroll job, I prided myself on my accuracy. However not everyone has that thinking. Most people’s thinking is they need to find the quickest and shortest way to get to their end goal—whatever that end goal is. In the payroll office one of my responsibilities was to set up Direct Deposits. Can you imagine how upset you would be if you did not get your Direct Deposit? That responsibility was turned over to a work study student with the comment to me, “we need you to hurry up a bit!” I wasn’t behind but they felt I was being too slow and so for whatever reason the input of Direct Deposits were taken away. There was also a report that comes back with any errors. There were so many errors on the report and guess who got blamed and had to fix them? When I was being corrected on the importance of accuracy I reminded them that I was not the only one putting them in the system. That did not matter because it was my responsibility. There was no proof and so it fell on me.From there I began to initial the direct deposits I did and not tell anyone. So when I began to pull files of the errors I had the proof that it was not me causing the errors. They still felt it was more “efficient” for me to correct the errors than to just let me do them.
I watch people run into Walmart and run back out and think how is that 15 seconds you are running going to save you any time? But this week I was proposed once again that I was not doing something “quick enough.” It doesn’t affect anyone but me, but yet they felt the need to bring it to my attention. It made me feel bad, and once again become defensive. Again I just felt like I was not moving fast enough for someone.
So this is my question to all of you? Why is it that we must hurry so much? Do we need to be first? Does it make us better than the one we are racing by? Do we feel it is a check off list item that needs to be done? Why do we hurry? I remember while living in Nashville a lady and I got to the checkout line at the same time, she told me “Go ahead!! You are in a bigger hurry than I am.” I was in that mindset that I was slow and I had to be first. On the morning of April 16, 1998 I was in one of those “hurry moments.” I was not late to work and had plenty of time to get to work but I decided to park across the street from our building so I could get out faster after work that evening. Guess what happened that day?
I will never forget the words from the radio announcer when he said, “If you are in Downtown Nashville you need to take cover!! The tornado is headed your way!” Our building took a direct hit and we lost over 450 windows that day. Walking outside after the tornado had passed I looked at the cars in the parking lot next to our building. They were almost unrecognizable with the 2-3 inches of mud on them. Then I looked across the street where I was parked and was relieved to see my car still there and in one piece. As I got closer to my car I noticed my rear windshield was gone as well as a side window. I got in my car and got out of downtown Nashville before they shutthe city down again with the coming of another tornado. I have often thought back on that day. Why was I in such a hurry?
I changed my perspective on having to be first and having to be right that day and being in a hurry every day. The overall risks you need to take to get there is not worth it for me. So it is with my decisions in my life. I am not a speedy person and never will be. I am more of a tortoise type person, slow and steady—because that is how I operate. When I am criticized for my speed, I just remember this is my race not theirs.
If you are a hare type person that is okay too, just know we are all not hares. I know I have people tell me all the time they have to have everything mapped out with time so they know exactly where their day is because they lead very busy lives. When I try to do that I feel like a complete failure.I think we all have busy lives, some just not as busy as others but it is by choice.
Today a story was shared with me of a little lady in Provo who sells tamales. Someone noticed her sitting on a bench at Walmart going in, and when they came out she was still there. They found out she sells tamales for her living and to send money home to her sick husband in Mexico. This lady it seems has been here in Provo for a few years, but just now her story is getting attention. What instantly came to mind was the Tortoise and the Hare. She has a routine that works for her. It’s not everyone’s way of living, but she is humble and it is okay with her. I loved her remark when she said, “there were others who needed help more than she did.” I have been there and know that feeling. Here is the link to her storyTamales for Sale. If you feel the need to donate, please do. If not, I hope her story will touch you as much as it did me and remind all of us to be grateful for what we have, whether we are first or last…just keep trying to go forward.
I am grateful for much in my life, I often am overwhelmed by all the goodness I have. Mainly I am grateful for the ability to learn from my past and try to apply it to today. Most of my life I have tried to live up to the expectations of others, and have failed miserably. I felt like a complete failure many times. Even when I tried to be so perfect and good, it was not enough. It would send me back to that little girl who was told she was dumb, stupid and retarded;that little girl who felt so worthless. I finally realized I can’t live up to the expectations of others because when I do I go back to that little girl. I can only live up to mine. I try every day to be faithful, obedient and do what is right. Some days I feel like I fail completely, and sometimes I get a little love message to me that says, “You are doing fine my daughter, just keep going.” So that is what I choose to do, just keep going at my speed.
I challenge you this week to stop for just a moment and look at life. What is around you? Is there a tamale lady who needs her story to be told? Are you the one to share that story? One gentleman who donated to her cause commented “I always intended on stopping, but I was always in a hurry! Consider this a payback for all the tamales I would have bought.”
This week I will do the best I can and try to do a little each day on my chore list. Yeah I know someone can come and do it much faster than me, but it wouldn’t be the same as the accomplishment of crossing the finish line knowing I did it!! I know I can do it….Can you?