In the depths of a long weekend, stuck smack dab in the middle of a spring break holiday, time feels like an old well with stone stairs that run along the edge, spiralling down to the waters edge. The fear of heights catches my breath in my chest and I emotionally ignore it to put one foot in front of the other. One courageous step down gets me closer to my goal of retrieving life sustaining water. I ignore the smell of the thick green moss, the larger than life spiders that scurry away from the corner of my vision….another step down. I man handle the thoughts of the cold dark water at the bottom of the steps, what would happen if I fell in, and I put them away to ponder later (in true Scarlett fashion). Another step down. The darkness closes around my head and I focus on my task…just one more step. The water ripples sending slivers of light everywhere with the promise of redemption and life. I sweep my bucket along the surface of the water causing the walls to ignite with life…like a fireworks celebration conquering the darkness and inspiring me to keep moving. I ignore the frigid water dripping from my hands down my arm and I swiftly, carefully ascend the stairs into the warm sun where I can breathe and feel whole again.
Like the spiders seeking dark spots to hide, I am not the sort of person who shines. I am not here to inspire. That was a hard lesson for me, and I will not go back there. The buzz words become overwhelming to a point where they mean nothing and simply create an infinite loop that spins your head into a twist and you end up wondering why you wasted your time listening. We all know time is precious.
Going about my regular chores last week, I had 3 children, 4 employees and a full kennel to wrap my mind around. I started the week with a staff breakfast from A&W…team building as the buzz word goes. Hiding away from the blowing snow in our small greeting room we lined the walls to organise our day and enjoy our greasy sausage and eggers. It felt like I was a part of something…until everyone looked at me to lead them in different directions. A quick outline of where we all fit and we were off and running! It was my job to keep everyone focused and put out fires so we could all work as efficiently as possible. Yup…I became the “gopher”. Don’t you love buzz words!!??
I felt I may have had a chance to inspire my teenager who quickly disappeared into his room like the spider I am. So much for inspiring! Quickly reminding myself that my mislead ideals of inspiration were no match for the Xbox, I went into parenting mode. I gave him a quick run down of his chores and consequences of not doing them. His glazed eyes, full belly and warm room were no challenge to my rules! Even without internet access he was not budging and with the solid knowledge that I had more to deal with than him, he settled back into his bed and hid all day. So much for parenting!
It occurred to me in my seething anger of his laziness that in fact, was it not my lazy parenting that was the core root of the issue? In my attempt to reach the water’s edge, I ignore the moss, the spiders, the sights, smells and feels all around me and simply focus on my goal, because to take in all of these things I could not physically complete the task of filling my bucket. My defense for my laziness is simply that I do not have time. This is an old thought and one that is important enough to me that I am literally changing the way I do business so I can be a parent. The problem with that is timing….there is no way in the middle of this holiday that was going to happen. In order to reach the water, I must prepare the bucket.
Preparing the bucket is to find the people who are worthy of my time in training them. Then I need to find the time. To find the time I must hire help so I can train the people who will stay. In hiring the people to help I must become the “parent”. The parent that explains how business works. Seriously?? Since when has it been the duty of a business to explain how things run at their core to entitled millennials who have never been parented. Ahhh…the infinite loop again. Lazy parenting = entitled people = lazy people = no help = overwhelmed business = lazy parenting…. In a desperate attempt to find the weak spot to break apart the loop, I’m watching my lazy child slip away. Soon he will become the entitled millennial that cannot be trained by business but must instead be parented. I sure hope he can find a business with the time to parent him (shaking my head in despair, I return to my “step down”).
I think inspiration should be enough, in my simple minded, buzz word filled world…why isn’t it enough? We try to inspire people we cannot train because it is our last ditch effort to “sell” them an ideal. You cannot sell an ideal to closed minded people. They must be ready and open to receive information for them to process it. You cannot do that for them. You must find them at the right time. It’s like the water in the well….the water sitting at the surface is ready to be gathered in and refocused to give life…the rest of the water is being forced through the rocks and soil to sit at the bottom and wait until it sees the sunlight. If the water represents the people of this world…I cannot imagine the degradation of your efforts to find that one person. I have no time for such things. Neither would my heart handle the endless rejection.
I do not find inspiration in people, but instead within myself. The inspiration of the light reflecting off the stone walls deep inside the dark well. My inspiration comes when a strange dog conquers their god given instinct and looks into my eyes, emotionally feeling their way in this world to creep forward with trust and open mindedness. I am inspired by my horse honoring his flight instincts to challenge me to approach in a way he is comfortable. I am inspired by the sparkle in a single snowflake, the water lapping over tiny stones, the light shining though the cloud in rays of grey, the way a flower opens it’s petals to the warmth of the day… The simplicity of inspiration cannot be dissected or complicated. It simply is. You choose to be open minded and inspired. I can’t wait to see what my inspiration will be today. I wonder if I can find inspiration in a warm tea, and marathon day of Outlander in my pajamas?