Archives: October 2010

A Hand-Up from A Smack-Down

Hand-Up     I heard the cry outside my bedroom window this morning about 8. I knew it was a child and they needed help. I ran out the front door and saw the little, blonde-haired girl lying on her tummy crying. She’d tripped and fallen on the concrete walk and her hair was in her eyes. She’d fallen, but she hadn’t gotten up.

     I called out and cooed over her, “oh Baby, are you all right? Are you okay?” I tried to comfort her as I picked her up. She was tiny, a kindergartener, I’d bet. I set her on her feet and crouched down low beside her to assess the damage: two slightly skinned palms and one slightly scraped knee. No blood. We gave the knee a rub and gave our hands a shake.

     She’d stopped crying and I asked her name. Jade. Was she on the way to school? A nod and an uh-huh. Did she need to go home to see her Mom? No. She was with her sister and friend (who stood watching, with or without concern, I couldn’t tell).

     What did I say? I know what I wished I’d said. I wish my “Mother Mary” had kicked in and I’d fussed over her a little more: dried her tears with my sleeve, kissed her little palms and little knee, given her a big hug.

     I wish I’d told her she was like a super ball and had great bounce-back ability. That she’d grow up to be a hell-of-a bouncer. Or that she was like Tigger to have a “bouncy-trouncy” day.

     I wish I’d shared Clarrisa Pinkola Estes with her: “Refuse to fall down. If you cannot reuse to fall down, refuse to stay down, lift your heart toward heaven like a hungry beggar, ask that it be filled and it will be filled. You may be pushed down. You may be kept from rising, but no one an keep you from lifting your heart toward heaven—only you. It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear. The one who says nothing good came of this is not yet listening.”

     I wish I’d gone Zen on her 6 yr old ass! “Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”

     But I didn’t.

     Instead, I calmly said, “It hurts to fall sometimes, doesn’t it.” Jade answered with a nod and another uh-huh. “Just get up and keep going, that’s all you have to do.” That’s what I told her. Life’s most basic lesson during a fall-flat-on-your-face moment; a skin your knee moment. Just get up and keep going. I’m sure if her Mom had been there, she would have told her the same.

     “The day gets better from here,” I told her as I sent her off with her sister and friend. It felt good to parent someone else’s kid. If something happens to one of my three kids one day, I hope there will be another Mom there to help.

    We all need an occasional hand-up. And tears are allowed! I know it’s my Sagitarius side, but just get up and keep going.

Jack of All Trades; Master of None

Minnie “Boom Boom” Mahoony     I do a lot of different things: I write, I speak, I train. I design websites, brochures, and other print pieces. I organize events and promotions. I keep a home, am raising three teenagers, and lending my time and voice to the pro-medical marijuana movement. My folks’ generation referred to this as “Jack of All Trades.” It was used to describe a person who could do many things at once, but implies Jack (or Jill) does none of them well. And… I guess that makes Jack about average.

     The average Jack (or Jill) doesn’t have the luxury of being a Master these days. The average Jack (or Jill) can’t get by with doing only one thing well. He has to do them ALL well, and not just well, but exceptionally well. I’ve been conditioned to believe if you’re exceptional at what you do, you are to be valued. It pays to be an expert: the more you know about a specific topic, the higher your value—and your paycheck! But I’m finding that’s not as true these days. Employees are assigned a multitude of tasks. A small business owner has to manage all areas of the business–product, service, customers, finances, taxes, industry regulations, etc… One key to success in today’s market is to do as many things possible as well as you can possibly can.

     There’s no manual or on-line help forum for what’s happening now–unless you count the one being created daily by people living it. (Think Google and Wiki.) And that proves my point percisely. You must know many things, must be good at many things but you can’t wait until you “know it all” to move forward.  I’m learning as I go but I don’t have time to get a Masters or to spend years “mastering” a topic, to learn how to juggle like Minnie “Boom Boom” Mahoony (pictured here). We become Masters by doing–it’s time to dive right in. My folks’ generation call it “Baptism by fire.” Learn the task as you do the task. I call it a typical day in the life of Jack and Jill of all trades.