Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Are you different?

Do you ever have one of those moment where you simply recognize that you are "different?" It may not be in a bad way, or a good way for that matter. Something happens and you just have a moment of insight that you are not the same as the stereo-type or the norm.

Today I had another of those moments.

I was walking to the clubhouse to go workout. I take my girls with me. My friend brings her daughters. We put all the girls in the the gym to play while we work out on the equipment on the other side of the half wall, hoping for few interruptions.

As we walked over this morning, I was carrying "The Bag." Why was this time any different than any other? What brought about a singular moment of insight? Today was the first time I referred to as more than "The Bag." As we walked in my head it became "The Gym Bag."

This caught the attention of my mental faculties.

A 'gym bag' is like a long rectangle or cylinder shape with things like a towel and smelly socks in it, isn't it? I carried a large plastic 'Barnes & Noble' plastic shopping bag. Inside are coloring books, stuffed animals, balls of all different sizes and plastic ponies. Surely this is not a 'gym bag.' But we go to the gym with it, every week day for a couple months now! That must make it okay to call it a 'gym bag.'

Again, I am different.

Oh well. I am.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why is it....?

Why is it when we are feeling bad about ourselves, we feel drawn to do something to make ourselves feel worse? Like watch tv or eat junk food or any number of other activities that leave us feeling even worse?

Why is it when you feel nervous that you might say something stupid, you end up saying something that you wish you hadn't, causing you to become more nervous so you say something else wrong and eventually turn in to a babbling idiot with a voice in your head screaming at you to shut up!

Why is it that seems thing to spiral and spiral, snowball as it were? If you trip a little pretty soon you are rolling down the hill. Why does it seem so difficult to apply the same principal in reverse? Why can't one wise remark lead to another? One small good choice lead to a mountain of them?

Why does one question invariably lead to another?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Praying for the Future

Recently I have begun occasionally praying for my future children-in-law and the parents raising them. We can all use extra help in this world, but I think these shall have to be some extrodinary people as they will face interesting challenges- my children.

The other day we were driving when my 7 year old son asked me, "Mom what should I call my business?"

After pausing to check in my brain for any notes about my son having a new hobby... and finding none I asked, " What business?"

"The one I am going to have," he say frustrated with my obvious lack of scruples.

"Oh. Well that depends. What does your business do?"

"I'm a scientist," as if that settles everything.

" What kind of scientist?"

"A SCIENTIST," he exclaims exasperated. I hear the implied 'Geesh, Mom, are you not paying attention?!?!"

Calmly I return, "Well there are a lot of different kinds of scientist. Some study plants or chemicals or build things. Do you know what you want to do? How will your business help people?"

Confidently, "Right now people only use 1 out of 10 parts of their brain so I am going to discover how they can use more. Then I have to let my old teacher know cause I told her I would so she could be smarter too."

"That's call 'neurology', " my 9 yr old pipes in, trying to be helpful. "That has to do with your brains."

"That's right. Neurological has to do with the brain. Perhaps you could call it T.J.'s Neurological Research Center."

"Excuse me, Mom," my very soon to be 5 year old I-love-everything-girly-pink-and-fashion daughter interrupts.

"Yes, Sweetheart?"

"I just want to be a Princess when I grow up."


"And my husband will love me 'cause him will be a prince too."

My mind again repeats this plea, "Father, please help the poor boy who has to live up to this girl's expectations! "

From the back comes, "How many employees should I have?"

We discuss different positions a company might have from the receptionist to the janitor and "the person who handles the money."

"I think they are generally called CFOs in big companies now. Chief Financial Officer," I muse.

My silent prayer continues, "Not to mention the young woman who will be waiting at home for her scientist husband trying to make people smarter. Help their parents prepare them. And help me too."

I smile and shake my head as we all load out of the van, grateful to have another very interesting conversation over with.

"One Man" Making a Difference

Read on a bumper sticker: "One man can make a difference. JESUS DID."

Now, I am a Christian. Still, I couldn't help but think, "so did Martin Luther King Jr., and Gandhi, Buddha, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, Harriet Tubman, and the list could keep going.

Then of course there is Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and more recently Mengistu Haile Mariam. They, and those like them, also made a vast impression on the world.

The truth is, everyone who enters this world makes a difference. Every person affects those around them which creates a domino effect through time and over great distances.

The question is not whether you will make a difference, but rather what kind of difference are you going to make?


I have been told, "80% of success is just showing up." So, if I'm not experiencing the success I want, where am I not showing up as myself? Where am I not "playing full on?" Where am I staying small to not hurt anyone? Am I being true and honest to who I am?

If the first 80% is showing up, the last 20% would be the work. And there are tons of books and courses about this part.

But, all the effort isn't helpful if you aren't there. Where can you show up more fully?