Thursday, November 10, 2005

Trip Pics & Lessons from Alligators

Okay, I'm back from my trip to Louisiana. It was my first to this area of the country and it was very enlightening. We were west of Katrina's aftermath and East of Rita's, so I didn't see much of the destruction. But I did get my first field trip into a real live Louisiana swamp, gators and all.

Okay, here are my thoughts for the day. See this picture below?
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According to this sign, it's way stupid to throw anything at the gators. First, you'll get arrested. Second, you might become gator bait. I wish I had a sign like this. "Unlawful to throw anything at Stephanie." That includes rejections, bumps in the road of life, and other such aggravating nonsense. But I don't have a sign, and who says anyone would obey it anyway? So, people are going to throw stuff at me, and that's the way it is. Get over it, and move on, right? Find a way to enjoy life anyway, like the gator in my next picture, who is enjoying an afternoon nap in the sun.
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Now, if you look closely, you'll realize that the gator isn't actually sleeping. The minute we showed up, she lifted up her head and watched us. She didn't give up her spot, didn't come charging, but she was waiting. Ready to do whatever she had to do, should the moment call for it. She has huge teeth, a killer tail and enough force to snap my leg off. But most of all, what does she have? Patience. Yep, this lady isn't going to waste her energy on something that hasn't happened yet, and may never (like Stephanie being stupid enough to get within range of her teeth). She's aware. She's ready to respond. But she's simply not getting herself worked up about something bad that may never happen. Or, if she's feeling particularly bloodthirsty and would prefer it if I came within range, she's not knocking herself out over it either. If it happens, she'll deal with it. If it doesn't, she'll continue to enjoy the afternoon sun.

I'm trying to learn from this gator. I got three pieces of potentially great news yesterday. All of them are harbingers of future opportunity, but none of them are concrete, or even remotely close. I spent the day stressing. One minute, I'd be so excited, desperate to find out if they were going to come through. The next minute, I'd be so bummed out, already predicting that they'd all fall through and I'd end up with nothing. You think this gator stresses? No way. She's ready to deal with whatever comes her way, but she simply doesn't knock herself out worrying about things that might be coming, that she can't affect until it gets here.

That's me. I'm going to be a gator. Ready to take off a limb if necessary, but able to stop and enjoy the good in my life right now, without stressing about what's around the corner.

Stephanie the Gator, signing off.


At 7:21 PM, Blogger Bonnie Calhoun said...

Cool, Steph....I like the pictures! Maybe she ate right before you came along and didn't want to interfere with her digestion to chase you. :-)

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Stephanie Rowe said...

That could be it. I was feeling particularly delicious at the time and I was a little offended she didn't feel the urge to eat me, but I suppose if she had just eaten, that would explain it.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

LOL! I wonder if gators eat asparagus. :)


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