Monday, October 14, 2013

Image via turtlefeed

How many of you Super Moms are familiar with the age old classic about an overconfident rabbit who challenges a less than hasty tortoise to a race?  It’s been around since I was a wee one, and I’m pretty sure my mom sat upon my granny’s knee to hear all about the tortoise’s miraculous win as well.  The story appeared in my daughter’s  language homework today, and it was fun to revisit this old childhood memory.  I love the moral, ”Slow and steady wins the race.”  It think it rings pretty true!  Okay,well… sometimes.  

As I read last week’s awesome SuperMomTested Article by Denhi Chaney, she mentioned this really cool new idea (okay, it’s new to me) called self-care... 

This concept has been crossing my path heavily for the last year and I am finally grasping how highly important and utterly neglected self-care is!!  So, as I closed my reading with the big announcement that Mr. Tortoise had succeeded in crossing the finish line before the hare, I wasn't quite so down on tortoise’s opponent as I used to be!  What if…what if the hare gets it?! What if this rabbit has 5 kids at home, is working to support them,  plus he is seeking out his dream of being a mentor and a trainer who inspires others to find their purpose and accomplish great things?   What if that little nap that supposedly cost him his prize was actually him doing the very thing that is needed most by many hares his age and in his situation!  What if, he knew he couldn't finish the race unless he took some time FOR HIM!  Not only that, but he realized winning wasn't the most important thing!  That bunny took a risk; one that many of us think is actually too risky, too time consuming, and too selfish.  He allowed his body to recoup and regroup before completing what he set out to do.  And this was my favorite part:  What if the world’s whole idea of winning the race is a little off kilter?  What if we decided that as long as we cross the finish line, we have won!!?

I have always been pretty highly competitive, but it definitely wasn't at a very healthy level.  I would compare a lot; who had a better education, who had more stuff, who was making more money…not a very constructive space to be in.  I was looking at things as if they were on a vertical chart, with people above me and people below me.  In my view, those above me were winning, and were better than I was.  Granted, sometimes it made me work harder, but more often than not, those people were working hard, too, and would continue to “beat” me.  Then along came an amazing mentor that taught me a different way to look at it.  What if…what if we are all on the same great highway, heading the same general direction, working toward the same ultimate goal?  We aren't racing, just traveling our course, learning, growing and experiencing as we go.  Those who are in front of me are simply people who have been where I am now and have experienced what I am experiencing now and are moving on to the next mile posts, the next adventures…. all of which I will get to experience as well, once I get to that destination!    All those behind me are now approaching where I have been, at their own pace, neither of us better or worse than the other…just in a different place in our travels.  I loved this concept!  Not only did it take a lot of stress from my life, but I realized how wise I can become if I look at those ahead as mentors and not as competitors!  And how much I can assist others through things I have learned.  

Now, I am all about a good competitive game of basketball, or a speedy card game.  I believe it is healthy to learn to feel what it’s like to achieve high points, AND also to not achieve as many! I think many competitive types of play build character as you learn to be a good sport.  However, in the game of life, the only person I want to be racing against…is me.  Some days, I may feel very tortoise like.  I may take it slow and steady, persevering, enduring, enjoying the experience, relishing in the moment without feeling rushed; a constant one foot in front of the other motion.  Other times, I may take on some of those hare-like attributes and realize it’s not always going to look like that when I have a lot on my plate.   That little rest in the shade to gather my energy and clarity may make it so I can continue to function, resulting in feeling better and actually being more productive than if I had chosen to fill that time with more work.  Either way, by the end of the day, I will have crossed the finish line…a winner. I say, congratulations to you both Mr. Tortoise and Mr. Hare.  

Article By: Shelby Smith SuperMom of 5.


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