Something new I’ve learned this past week
Archery tag. Sounds terrifying, right? Picture this - it’s basically dodgeball, but instead of dodgeballs, there are arrows with fluffy, marshmallow-like tips and you’re running around giant, inflatable barriers, trying to be the last one standing. Now, I am NOT outdoorsy, but this was so FUN! Thanks to the amazing staff at Village Creek for introducing us to it.
Something amazing I’ve consumed (be it food, book, tv show, song, etc…)
The chicken salad stuffed tomato at Cafe Rose in Edgewood. Oh my gosh, you guys. It’s a fresh garden tomato with homemade chicken salad. Insanely delicious.
A Good Word to encourage you.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
This was my Grandma Bushaw’s favorite verse. I can still hear these words in her voice - such a sweet memory, and such good truth.
Share your week's three things in the comments! Want to know more about my Three Things? Check out last week's list for a bit more explanation.
Something that brings me joy is watching others succeed. I love listening to the NPR podcast “How I Built This” with Guy Raz. It’s full of people’s success stories - how they created amazing companies and continue to thrive. Sure, I’m inspired by those people and their success stories; in a, “If it can happen for them, it can happen for me” kind of way. BUT. Even more, I genuinely enjoy watching others succeed, because they get to succeed. It has nothing to do with me. Like, “Wow - they are amazing. Look at that amazing thing they did. Good for them and their amazing thing!”
It’s also a reason biographies and memoirs are my favorite. If someone has it together enough to have an entire book written about them, they must have succeeded at something worthwhile. Usually there are a lot of pages detailing the yuck, the disappointments, and the hard things that stood in their way, but ultimately, there is a success story. Those stories speak straight to my soul. I get completely overwhelmed in their beauty. Especially when it seems everything is stacked up against them, you know? All they have going for them is their big dream and, like, one person who believes in them. And BAM…Success story. Gosh, I could tear up just thinking about it.
Now, how cynical are you? Are you like me and get full of joy with these stories, or are you thinking, “That’s completely ridiculous and unrealistic. Those people just get lucky; things like that don’t just happen everyday.” Ooh. I love people like you. Because I want to sit down with you over a cup of coffee and chat. I want to get to know you better…because I do not understand you. Now, please hear me - I did not say I do not like you, okay - I said I do not understand you. You are still welcome here, okay? I’m fully aware that another point of view exists. I just don’t share it.
I’m going to pick on my hubs a bit here.
My husband and I are complete and utter opposites. We’ve been together for almost 20 years, and the only thing we have in common is that we both love Jesus (yes, that one fact is something strong enough to build a marriage upon). Now, he has become a huge supporter of my crazy ideas and big dreams. But it takes a lot to get him on board. He needs facts. He needs examples. He needs proof that the whole thing isn’t going to blow up. He doesn’t assume that the success story is the rule - those people got lucky, and he’s happy for them, but it’s not likely that it can be replicated. Basically, he’s a kill-joy. And he knows I say that with love.
Oh, guys. Side note - This reminds me of a story. One time, my daughter Ella and I were at a store looking at a super expensive item. We loved it and could totally see it in our house. So I called Andy (Hubs) to get his thoughts and to see if we could swing it. Ultimately, he said it probably wasn’t a good idea, so we decided not to get it. The salesman came back over and Ella told him, “We can’t get it. My dad’s a fun-hater.” And I’ve never seen a salesman laugh so hard in my life.
Okay, back to it.
Let’s chat about disappointment.
Disappointment is inevitable. Every success story has had its share of disappointments. And everyday, it’s probable that something isn’t going to go exactly to your plan. It could be a big thing; perhaps a small thing. But I guarantee something is going to slap you in the face today. Maybe you slept late again. Maybe you didn’t get your workout finished this morning. Maybe you missed out on an opportunity at work. Maybe your daughter said you were no fun. Maybe no one signed up for your event. Maybe you spent all your money investing in a new product and nobody bought it. Maybe Covid-19 ruined every single thing you had planned for the past six months.
Man, I’m such a downer. Sorry, guys.
So often, we let ourselves wallow in our disappointment. This one thing was terrible, so basically everything is going to be terrible for the foreseeable future, right? I am never going to tell you to not feel your feelings, no matter how rough they are. But, eventually, my generally annoying optimism will always try to help you pick yourself up and get back on your feet. #sorrynotsorry
As a small business owner, I’m no stranger to disappointment. At my very first open house for dance classes in 2007, one kid signed up. One. I was devastated. So disappointed. But - that wasn’t a reason to quit. It was motivation to figure it out. I was going to have to work another job to pay the bills so I could follow my dream. Every year, more students came. I figured out new class arrangements, better marketing strategies. Word of mouth recommendations picked up. And every year, I was able to put less time in at an outside job.
Disappointment can be one of two things for you - it can be the reason you quit, or it can be the reason you pivot. Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” There are at least 9,999 different ways to try something new. Don’t let that scare you - let that excite you! I have a wild idea for us to ponder - maybe it’s okay to be disappointed sometimes. Because maybe the thing you were chasing wasn’t the big thing you were supposed to catch. Maybe it wasn’t your intended success story. Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, there is something better. And if we spend too much time wallowing, we won’t have fresh eyes to see that better thing ahead. Maybe your success story is on the next page.
I love a good list. So of course, I’ve got to give you a few.
My lists will include only three things each week:
1) Something new I learned this past week;
2) Something amazing I’ve consumed (be it food, book, tv show, song, etc…);
3) A Good Word to encourage you.
Admittedly, I mostly read only the bullet points of lists and skim the rest, so I’ll keep these short and sweet in case you’re just like me. (If you’re looking for a longer read, just read it twice, I guess.)
Without further ado, here’s List No. 1 ::
1) How to add a music clip to my Instagram story. Are you as late to the party as I am on this one? Good grief. But yay for learning!
2) The Lumberjack from Pie-Eyed and Flakey. Y’all, it’s cold brew, maple syrup, and a splash of heavy cream. Yes, PLEASE.
3) Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them.
What are YOUR three things? I can’t wait to get to know you.
At the end of every class at my dance studio, I have the kids yell as loudly as they can, “Dream Big! Work Hard!” I don’t remember when that started. Or how. Or why those words were chosen. I suppose it wasn’t started to purposely become a tradition, and I’m pretty sure the words didn’t hold any groundbreaking significance at the time. But as I reflected on the sentiment, it was clear that those four words are central to who I am - my motto, if you will.
Do you have a motto?
To be clear, a motto says something about or encompasses what you believe. There are so many great mottos that already exist in the world; a quick Google search will tell you that. For example, in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said, “Faith…is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” Maya Angelou posted in 2015, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.” You know who teaches a lot of mottos? Disney. Two examples come immediately to mind. The first is The Lion King.
Timon and Pumba teach Simba all about Hakuna Matata. Say it (or sing it) with me…It means no worries for the rest of your dayyyyyyyys. (You know you sang it. Don’t lie.). And what about Lilo and Stitch? Ohana means family — nobody gets left behind or forgotten. I really hope you took a moment to pause when these animated geniuses dropped these truth bombs on you as a kid.
Side note, guys - We are only in my first post, and I’m already talking about Disney. Do not be surprised. It’s gonna keep happening. So much good stuff from Mr. Walt Disney and company.
We’ve all seen the sweet signs in the shops with a quip or phrase, in all sizes, styles, and colors. There is certainly no shortage of them, and there seems to be a line of them for every type of person in the world. In Edgewood, we’ve got Edgy Meg’s and The Markket to keep us stocked. We fall in love with these things and hang them all over our homes and offices because they make us feel seen. Someone else needed to have the exact same thought as you in order to write that down. Someone believes what you believe. You are not alone. And that makes us feel GOOD, guys! Back to the Lion King - it’s in the song “Hakuna Matata” that Simba becomes PART of Timon and Pumba’s tribe, because now they share a world-view, a motto. Now, they’re family. It’s a big deal, y’all.
It is so important to have a personal motto. I want you to have one, okay?
You need to know what matters to you and what you believe in. You can source it from a lot of different places, but it has to be real and honest. My parents modeled those halves of Dream Big and Work Hard my entire life. My mom encouraged me to dream big.
I never seemed to have an idea that she thought was too crazy - and if she did, she let me keep right on with it anyway. When I was little and told her I wanted to be a dance teacher, that was just the most normal thing she had ever heard, and there was no reason that it couldn’t happen. So, the dream continued. (I’ll go deeper on this story in a future blog post. Stay tuned.) My dad, on the other hand, has always been a little scared of my dreams, I think.
Let me be honest - I get it. We live in a town of 800 people, and when your daughter tells you she wants to be a starving artist, I think you’re right to be a little concerned. But what my dad modeled to me was the most intense work ethic I’ve ever seen. He ran a successful business for 25 years, did the books for that business every night for each of those years, renovated and maintained a stunning home and yard himself (with the help of my mom), and did the dishes every night because it made his hands feel better after a hard day.
Okay, you’ve gotta give me a minute. My eyes are leaking as I type this. I have really awesome parents. You’ll hear LOTS more about them, guaranteed.
....Okay, I’m back.
So, to recap: My mom taught me that the sky’s the limit, and my dad showed me that if you are willing to put in the work, you can make anything happen.
Dream Big. Work Hard. It just fits.
That might not click with you. You might not think that’s true for your life. That’s okay. That just means this motto’s not for you. (Although, I’d argue that this works for anybody’s life, but I don’t want to start a fight on our first date.). What is for you, though, is that you FIND. YOUR. MOTTO. Because it matters. It can become the measuring stick by which you calculate your actions. If I get an idea, but the scope of work it’s going to take to make it happen isn’t in my wheel-house or something I’m willing to learn about or really pursue, then I know that dream isn’t something that’s going to take off…because both sides of the coin are required. To flip that, if I’m spinning my wheels on a new project, but it’s just not clicking, or my work just doesn’t seem to be paying off, maybe I haven’t fleshed out that dream enough. Maybe my dream isn’t big enough yet. Maybe I don’t want it bad enough. But that phrase gives me enough to measure it by.
A motto can certainly change as your life changes. For crying out loud, Stitch was created to destroy everything in his path and SPOILER ALERT ended the movie by finding a family. Something you REALLY believe when you’re 17 (YOLO) may seem ridiculous when you’re 42. Or maybe you’re steady and feel just as strongly about Keep Calm and Carry On today as you did twenty years ago. It’s fine. But be clear, real, and honest, no matter where you land.
What’s your motto? Please share it with me! I’d love to know what inspires you.
My name is Miranda and I'm a mom, spouse, dance teacher, and entrepreneur. I’m going to share my life with you. The good, the bad, the weird. I hope to inspire you, encourage you, make you laugh. I’ll be honest. And I can’t wait to learn more about you through it all.