I had the distinct pleasure of going to a school function of Mekayla’s…YAY for Monday’s off! It was at the Keller Nataorium and the students (in teams) built boats out of cardboard boxes and raced them. I know what you are thinking because I thought the same thing…when cardboard gets wet it would sink! But, Oh no! These were not just any cardboard box boats, they were COVERED in Duct Tape…..Mekayla’s team used 7 rolls to be exact! The thought process behind this would be that the more Duct Tape you have the less water can enter and they would stay afloat. So the students had worked so hard and tirelessly on this project for months. I remember many a nights Mekayla coming home talking about how tired she was, or the times that she would stay after school to work on the boat with her team members. They were SURE they had the winning boat and paddles (also made of Duct Tape and Cardboard) that would get them to the finish line and crowned the WINNERS.
So I enter the building with the mass cayos of extremely excited children, but not before passing 35 boats, all looking different. Some colorful, some plain, some with writing, some with sports teams logos, some with quotes. In all, they were mere expressions of the many faces that were there to race them. We finally get seated, they get there instructions, and WE ARE OFF TO THE RACES! They were in teams of 4 with 2 of the kids in the boat. They raced 5 boats at a time and if the boat sunk or they didn’t come in 1st place they were out of the competition. Needless to say, there was some STIFF competition! Mekayla and her team came in 2nd but did not sink, I was so proud of them and they were pretty proud of their cardboard concoction that they named “Neon Zebras”. It was their creation from all of their hard work and dedication over the months.
I stood at the finish line waiting while cheering the girls on with my crazy yelling and TOTALLY embarrassing my almost 13 yr. old daughter, you know how this is, you were 13 once. I am entering the stage in life where I am NOT cool and always SOOO embarrassing, except for the day I went up to have lunch with her in my 5 inch stilettos heels and her friends told her that I looked like a rock star! I asked her “Now who’s embarrassing, huh?!?” 😉 I left the stilettos at home today and opted for my Vibram Fivefingers instead, totally different ends of the spectrum! A couple of thoughts occurred to me while watching all that was going on around me.
These boat races really made me think of the race of this journey.
Mekayla and her friends were paired up to work on the boat, it was their creation. They had to plan and think about things, work together as a team, and be totally committed to their boat. There worked tirelessly even on days that they really didn’t feel up to it. They knew that they needed to make sure that all areas of the cardboard were sealed up, if not, the water would seep in and they would sink in no time and were out of the game! Then they decorated it to be all their own. They were creative in the name of their boat and were sure that everybody there would not forget the “Neon Zebra”, THEY WOULD LEAVE THEIR MARK!
We are merely cardboard boxes brought together by our tool to support each other and build one another up and commit ourselves to working together for the common good….getting back to good health. I know that there are days that personally I don’t feel like following “the rules” of this afterlife, there are days that old habits try and creep in and I want to find comfort in trigger foods but then several tools remind me of “the rules” 1) my WLS tool, 2) my support system 3)the scale, and 4)my emotions and health…the very reason I had surgery in the first place.
Everyday is not easy and I have had some days where I don’t follow the rules…I’m being very honest in saying that…but I have to say that those are the days that I press into my support system. My Positive Support System is the Duct Tape to my boat, the more positive support I have the around me the less opportunity for failure, and drowning in shame, blame, guilt, and better yet negativity. This journey is so much easier traveled when positivity is at the forefront of your journey. Sure you are going to have sucky days, I do, but my life quote is this…“Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% the way you handle it.” I try to remember this on those sucky days, when life throws me curve balls, it’s up to me which way I PRECEIVE things. Think about your perception of life, is it doing you a favor or are you drowning in negativity? I chose to steer away from the later of the two.
I have been very happy with my choice to have surgery and the life I have lived for 2 ½ years following it. I have been afforded many amazing opportunities, made amazing life long friendships, and have huge potential in my future. I am here to decorate my life with endless possibilities and make this journey all my own, the sky is the limit to LEAVE MY MARK! There is only one way I am headed and that is UP, with my head held high and proud of my success. I encourage you to think about the same for yourself. We have so much to offer to ourselves and others.
I am so thankful for all the Duct Tape in my life that holds me together, holds me accountable, and keeps out the negative toxic stuff!