Sometimes life comes at me in little ways, like when I’m doing laundry, dishes, or vacuuming, and a piece of flotsam or jetsam gunks up the works. I have to stop what I’m doing to get rid of it, dispose of it, and then decide if I want to go back to the mundane, or play video poker online.
Other times, life throws me a curve ball that takes more heart. Like through the kids. For instance, I got to have the talk…THE TALK… with my 7 yr old today. In a casual way. I wasn’t ready for it, but I took a deep breath and just went. It turned out better than I thought, but still received the look from her that said, “I cannot believe you actually knew about this for so long and still acted so NORMAL!…”
THEN, there are the times that life winds up and whacks me in the gut, no holds barred. OOF! ZONK! KA-BLAM!!! Those are the times that I find out what I’m made of. Usually, I’m not that impressed. Why? Because it’s me doing it, silly. I know the why of why I do what I do.
When there are life changing decisions to be made, or decisions being made whether I like it or not, a part of me says, “OOF! Oh, that stings! I don’t really have a choice in this, so what am I going to do with the facts?” And… there is also a leeettle part of me that says, “Wait! Not yet, not yet, NOT YET! I’m not done being comfortable. Can’t I wait for the next commercial/day/week/vacation?”
That’s when the decision comes. The choice of when I decide to be strong, calm, and turn lemons into lemonade…. or to run screaming small profanities and cause panic to the masses. I’m currently about 40/60 for my record, I believe.
Other people can say how brave, strong, patient or amazing I am. It’s been said of many women after all, when husbands/partners/coaches see them give birth, that they could NEVER go through that and survive. Um, for crying out loud. I just think, “Where is that special corner I can curl up in and rock back and forth?” I don’t know that I do all the things that I do because of any noble causes at all.
The truth is, hero’s aren’t a special breed of people. They are just people that crap happens to and they didn’t run. Maybe their mind went blank and they didn’t have an escape route. Maybe they stumbled on their shoelaces and then it was too late. Or maybe the circumstance reminded them of when they were humiliated in 7th grade and this is a way to redeem themselves. Who knows? It just happens that for whatever reason, they stayed and kept going. Not as romantic as being born with red tights, a magic tiara, and a really fantastic set of boots, but still.
Here’s a secret. Most of us, by far, are heroes. We are someone else’s hero. In some way. I think that’s the cool part, because I cannot see myself in a cape or a cat mask, no matter how hard I try. But I do see others as my heroes, complete with the persona. My just-in-the-nick-of-time guys, my WHEW! YOU JUST MADE IT!’s. Yeah, I am amazed by them. It is amazing that they show up when I need them, don’t ask for payment, and I usually forget to ask for their name until they are gone. So I just think of them as Bob or Frank, or Edna. Those are noble names, right?
I Don’t have to know em, to experience the talents that are unique to them. Especially when Frank is in a suit and tie, or Edna still has curlers in her hair. HMMMM. In fact, the good news is that we all have secret identities. I could care less what I JUST THOUGHT YOU COULD USE SOME TIME AWAY FROM THE KIDS SO YOU CAN GO TO THE SPA gal does for her secret identity. She shows up and whisks my kids away to the park and I end up making it through a really hard weekend. Where in that saving grace does it say I have to approve of her shows,her occupation, her bedspread, or cooking skills? I DON’T CARE. Other than to know that she is capable with my kids I mean. She just noticed I looked tired at one point in the 3 hour Sunday ritual and thought it might be something more than hearing the TRAVELAMONY that Sister So-&-So was citing. She was right.
At no point will I be looking for the labels that I NOTICED YOUR CAR BROKE DOWN ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND I HAPPEN TO BE A MECHANIC guy wears on his shirt. Don’t care. He is still my hero of the day. I’m just thankful that he happened to be flying my way, you know what I mean?
So is it so far fetched that we can be someone else’s hero? I mean really. I got to be CAR BATTERY GAL on Wednesday morning, and it didn’t occur to me that I did anything out of the ordinary. I just happened to be driving up alongside a woman in an ENORMOUS car who’s flashers were on. I could have passed her by, as A. I’m a woman and not a mechanic so what could I do? B. I’m a woman, so I would probably make it worse for whomever ended up rescuing both of us, and C. This is stupid. The light is going to turn green and she needs help.
So I roll down the window and ask if she’s ok? She says she just put some gas in the car, but she thinks she will need a jump. “Hey! I can do that!”, I think. So I pull through the light, through the gas station that is literally 20 feet away, and pull back into traffic. Yep, I’d have to stop up a lane a bit to get into position to help, and did I remember at all which thingee went on black, and what thingee went on red? Crap….
But I still did it. The lady had her own jump cables, and knew what to do so I didn’t have to look like too much of the idiot that I felt like, at all. Within 15 seconds she was up and running, and I was back on the road. Sure I was a bit late, but it wasn’t a big deal. It hit me then that the term HERO is a term that others give to the person. It isn’t self inflicted. Much like “Jerk” or “Molly Mormon/Peter Priesthood” or even “Workaholic”. We would more likely call ourselves “Strong willed” or “Devout” or “hard working”. Don’t those sound nicer?
Honestly, when life throws us little curves, or big curves, or even an entire CURVES building, it is up to us to label ourselves, listen to the labels that others give us, or just quit caring about the label at all and just go. I’m much more effective as just someone who gave a crap than anything else. That works well for THE TALK with my daughter, or vacuuming and doing dishes when the flotsam gets in the way, or even when deciding if my life is better lived at 40% or 100%.