Gecko: What my daughters broken arm taught me

I tend to get worked up easily. It’s my strong suit. I’ve battled with what that means about me as a person.

Overemotional? Selfish? Devoted? Passionate?

Those things can blur together, especially after I come down from one of my tantrums. (Side note: My wife is the exact opposite. She’s calm, cool, and collected. We have that whole yin yang vibe. I learn a lot from her daily.)

My step-daughter, Leah, wanted to go outside yesterday. I told her to go put her shoes on and I would take her out to play while Rachael cooked dinner. Right now Leah has a brace on her arm. She fell off the couch 3 weeks ago and broke her wrist while pretending to be a gecko. Pretty awesome way to break your arm if you ask me. But sometimes she uses it as an excuse not to do things. And yesterday, she decided that she couldn’t put her shoes on because of her brace.

Keep in mind, she had already put her shoes on several times that SAME day. I reminded her she could do it. She insisted, “I can’t.”

“Then we aren’t going outside.”

*cue emotional outburst*

We waited for 20 minutes for her to calm down and put her shoes on. It sucked because I really wanted to go outside with her and I had to wait for her to realize she could do it.

I have similar outbursts far more often than I’d like to admit. Several times during the set-up of one of this blog I shut my computer off, swore a few dozen times, and said, “Nope, I can’t do it.” I don’t have the skill, knowledge, or the time to waste figuring this out.

We see how true all of that was, huh?

Going outside is a big deal to Leah. This blog is a big deal to me. The “big deals” can get us worked up more easily because where there is passion, there is fire. Fire can warm you on a cool summer night, but it can also burn your house to the ground. If I didn’t care about this blog I wouldn’t have turned my laptop back on, and Leah wouldn’t have put on her shoes.

So it’s okay to feel frustrated, angry, and discouraged; however, when we allow the emotion to waste valuable time that could be used enjoying what we love most, we become our own greatest enemy.

It takes a lot of balance to be passionate. I’m not saying we should stifle emotion, but we need to learn to channel it effectively. After all, it usually takes some sort of frustration to inspire us to excel. The emotion isn’t the issue.

It’s okay to feel like your song isn’t good enough, that you suck as a parent, or you’ll never figure out how to build an audience.

But remember, you don’t have to sit there. It’s just a brace. Don’t leave the rest of us waiting to go outside.

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