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Lifelong Learning - Banana Peels, Marachino Cherries & Sports
By: Dr. Lu Sweet
I love bananas. I eat them often. One day after eating one in my car, I deposited the peel on the floor on the passenger side of my car. Since I didn't have a garbage can in my car, my intention was to throw it away later. I forgot it was there and the next day, my friend was getting into my car, and she slipped on it while getting in. Yes, she not only slipped on a banana peel but slipped on a banana peel IN a car. I am not certain of the odds of that happening but they've got to be pretty rare.
It gets better. A few months later, the exact same thing happened to her again, in my car. She was not amused. I now make sure I throw my banana peel away immediately. (I had never actually seen some slip on a real banana peel. I'd only seen it in cartoons or the movie. It was hilarious.)
The point in sharing this story is really just that – to share some humor with you. Lately I've been getting so wrapped up into some projects and work that I have found myself getting a bit grumpy and I don't like it. I'm not grumpy by nature. So, I'm doing what I can to get myself out of it. It's not anyone's fault but my own when I am grumpy even if someone else has done something to me. I can only control myself and how I react.
A wise person I know recently reminded me that "people don't CARE how much you KNOW, until they KNOW how much you CARE." This is particularly important when dealing with children. Our children don't care if we know every answer and can fix every problem-we can be everything they need as long as we show them how much we care. We must show them that it's ok to make mistakes and that they are wonderful people for giving their all even when things don't work out the way they want them to. We can show them how to react appropriately with adversity by maintaining a positive attitude.
Another saying I try to remember goes something like this: "some people will only listen to you or validate your point, if it reaffirms their own". This one is extremely important. It's hard not to take things personal when someone disagrees with you or puts you down, but again, I remind myself that I can only control me and try not to get grumpy over it. Also, it's not my place to tell someone they are wrong just because I disagree with them or have a different opinion than they do.
In high school and college I played basketball and volleyball and ran track. So, of course, my kids chose soccer (Aly), gymnastics (Payton) and cheerleading (Chloe). What did I do? It was a no-brainer. I already put up three stickers on my car..."Soccer Mom", "Gymnastics Mom" and "Cheer Mom". My children are not "here" to please me" and therefore, I didn't force them to do "my sports". My children need to grow into productivity, happy young people. As their parent, it's up to me to be their stepstool and help them reach new heights. It's definitely not my job to be their banana peel, intentionally or by accident.
I'll share one more "funny" story to help me with my own grumpies. One day Payton texted me and reminded me that when I went to the store, I needed to pick her up some "minestrone cherries". When I realized she meant "marachino", I felt a lot better. Yuk-minestrone cherries would be AWFUL! Happy Day! No grumpies!
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