Remember when you were a child and you thought “when I grow up, I can do whatever I want?”
Adulthood. It’s when you get do whatever you want! It’s when get to buy whatever you want!
When my husband and I were newly married, I bought something I had always wanted, because I could. I bought a 12-foot trampoline to go smack in the middle of our yard. To me, jumping on a trampoline = bliss.
When the trampoline was delivered, I was giddy! My husband and I promptly set it up in the yard and we proceeded to jump. And jump. We jumped for two hours straight. And then.
Ugh. We got the worst headaches. Too much jiggling our brains, I guess.
It was the saddest realization: I was too old to jump on my beloved trampoline. We took it down, boxed it up, and shipped it back.
My high school Spanish teacher told our pimply faces a saying many years ago that has stuck with me ever since:
“Reach for the stars and you may land in the trees. But if you reach for the trees, you may land in the mud.”
The pimples are now gone. But the powerful words are still there. About believing in yourself, trying your best, pushing yourself, and having goals. Words of an over-achiever. Hello. I am an over-achiever. And you are likely one too. As a mother, I try to instill these values into my children. Here is how I have put this saying into practice just this month:
I co-coached a six-year-old boys’ youth soccer team this Fall (my son was on this team). I reinforced to them, “You can’t score, unless you take a shot.” That sounds obvious. But this has deeper meaning: take a chance and go for it.
There’s an art contest at school. My daughter won a blue ribbon for her drawing last year. (Yeah, I already bragged about this on Facebook.) She thought she might not win again. I tell her, “You cannot win if you don’t enter.” We must enter into the challenges of life.
My oldest has a huge history project. One that is done in pieces over the course of six weeks, with a grand finale culmination event. He has to make a tri-fold presentation board with all the facts about Alexander the Great. The teacher did not give specific guidelines about how this should look, but only what core information it has to contain. I tell my son, “You need to go all out on this and make this look kick-ass.” In other words, you’d better not show up with a plain white tri-fold presentation. This sucker had better pop!
And take me. I have been wanting to start up a blog for awhile now. I have been annoying enough on Facebook. And wanted to expand. I questioned myself: “What will the blog be about?” and “Is it OK I just write one blog a week?” and “What if I don’t have enough to say?” Well ya know what? I launched my blog. I did it. I did it for me. And it turns out that I have more than enough to say. Enough that I just may develop carpal tunnel syndrome soon.
I ran across another great quote along these lines from @YourAuntLola on Twitter:
“Sweetie, plan for the limo. Prepare for the bus.”
I have no plans for Greyhound travel anytime soon. But you can always find me on the sidelines of my kids’ sports–and on the sidelines of their flourishing lives–hollering (sometimes embarrassingly), imitating Rob Schneider in Waterboy:
I energetically mother three children: 14, 10, and 8, am married to my college sweetheart, and have two dogs. My life is full of laughs. eye rolls, love, and laundry. I'm friendly and genuine and blog about my bumbling life.