Photo: “Dandelions” by Kitchen Table Medicine,
Source: Courtesy Photo Bucket
I am a horrible test taker. To this day I get sweaty palms and start to second guess myself. I learned in college that the answers to the tests were not straight out of the book as the teacher would profess but their own version of the answer. I am a hands on kinetic learner. I knew back then it was difficult for me to process information spouted out at me from the chalk board. So I always chose to sit in the front row and took almost word for word notes. At home I would faithfully read the text book and dutifully did my homework. I could explain the where and why verbally but once I sat down with a scantron in from of me the lights went out.
I was venting to a friend of mine I worked with one day. She was older than I was but from the first time we met we became fast friends. It was like we were soul sisters. We must have known each other in a previous life. She gave me the best advice. With a big smile on her face she told me, “You have to face the lion before it can become a dandelion.” The following Monday I marched into my professor’s office to see if he could help me figure out what I was doing wrong. I was really scared of the man. Talking to him was a difficult thing for me but I faced the lion and he actually was nice. He encouraged me to take notes then write an essay on the pages I read. An assignment I gladly took on in hopes of scoring higher than a C.
With the final exam approaching fast, I geared myself up. I sat in my usual front seat, took detailed notes (he actually gave us the test questions and answers), then went home and studied. I read the book, took notes and wrote and essay. I memorized the test questions and answers he gave us in class. A funny thing happened on test day. I was perplexed as to how I should answer several of his questions. For you see, there were two correct answers. One, I was certain I had read in the book; however, there was another answer straight from the professors list of questions and answers. I went with the professor’s answers and received my first A. Hallelujah!
My quest to chase the lion was not yet over. I felt cheated. I thought what if every test I took that semester I actually scored higher. According to the book I was right. I was not about to let some arrogant professor fail me. So once again I marched into his office and explained to him my discovery. He was not happy to be told that he was wrong. The following week when the grades were posted I got an A in the class. “Once you face the lion, it will become a dandelion.”
I use the same mantra with my children everyday. The little guys can become frustrated with everyday tasks that we take for granted. Simple actions such as putting on a shirt can drive them into a tantrum. I do not accept can’t in my house. Yoda tells us, “there is only do or do not, there is no try”. If you cannot do it you can ask for help. Accepting defeat and whining about it is not an option. There will be many things we cannot do in life. As long as we can stand there and honestly say that we did our absolute best then we have nothing to whine over. If we never made the attempt, however; how will we know that the lion starring back at us is nothing but a dandelion?
This month’s resolution is to accomplish a difficult task. Think of things in your life that seem overwhelming or that you would like to change. Think of things you have been wanting to do but have not felt up to the task. Seek out help to overcome this burden or research ways to master the problem.
–If you are shy that could mean breaking out of your shell a little.
–Write down your biggest fears and come up with ways to overcome them. Make it your new goal for the New Year.
–Accomplish a task that you have been afraid to do or keep procrastinating.
–Learn that new hobby or trade.
–Take a risk as long as it does not hurt anyone or result in negative consequences.
–Learn to live within a budget to get out of debt.
—Host a dinner party.
–Simplify your life and home.
–Reconnect severed ties with family.
–Stand up to peer-pressure. If you do not feel good about something stop participating.
–Break off unhealthy relationships.
–Go back to school.
–Stand up to a bully.