Grand daughter Evelyn came for a visit this weekend. While our everyday lives came to a screeching halt, we became enriched by the bittersweetness of our time together. When either of the grand kids are here I am acutely aware that the time we have is limited and fleeting.
Mac is the kind of grand parent that follows the motto of "Fill them up with sugar and drop them off to their parents" while I tend to be more of a "let's go have an adventure!!" kind of grandparent. So I spend a lot of time on the floor with them, working to build the person so they will be ready to go into the woods, build forts, learn to start fires, hike and swim. The same training that I tried very hard to give my own kids. At this time it looks as if Edgar will be my horseman, and Evelyn will be my all purpose rough and tumble outdoors woman. (aka warrior woman in training)
As usual, because I bothered to pay attention, Evelyn taught me something. Almost as soon as we arrived to pick her up, she ran into something putting a small gouge into her shin. Her mom pressed a wet cloth on it. After several attempts to get it to stop bleeding, the band aids were brought out. Evelyn was happy as a clam. She didn't seem to note the injury or be bothered by anything that was done to her to stop the bleeding. But the band aids were another matter. Now the sobbing began. Huge tears hung on her cheeks. Her lower lip protruded and quivered. She wailed, "OWWWIIIIEEEEE!! owie, owie, owie." It hadn't been her little wound that had bothered her. It was the evidence of the wound that she had problems with. Later as we drove home she would occasionally see the band aid. She would point. Then she would have a pitiful look on her face and she would say in a very quiet voice, "owie". I would tell her, " Yes, you have an owie, but it's much BETTER!." Then she would take the edge of her dress or her blanket and cover the band aid up. Once it was no longer visible, she relaxed. Then she would turn back to me and flash me a smile.
Then I had a moment of revelation. It is all about perceptions.
In the immortal words of Barb Sher, " You can do what ever you need to do with whatever damn attitude you woke up with". This is my reality. I see people put on their larky 'good attitudes' and say their inane sayings like a mantra and I just really have the desire to slap them or trip them or make rude hand gestures behind their backs. For me, there is a huge chasm between good attitude and good perceptions.
Good attitude is like cotton candy... all air and fluff and sickening sweet.
Good perceptions are steak and green vegetables and manna from heaven. Good perceptions are the best of realism. I know where I am. I see where I want to go. I study the different paths. I plot a course. I have a plan. I don't need to wait until I have a good feeling or have a sufficient enough good feeling to dress myself in some artificial demeanor. I don't need that because I know I can reach the dream by putting one step in front of another. Sometimes I have rage with my steps. Sometimes I have frustration or fear or exhaustion. But I can't stop. I can't stop because I perceive that I can make it. I can make it because I can do any thing that I have to with whatever damn attitude I woke up with.