This weekend I attended the Keith Diesel and Dirt Derby in South Australia. Had a blast with some incredible friends and watched everything from lawnmower racers, tractor pulls, ute barrel racing, a tank running over perfectly good cars, and of course the grand finale…..the Header Derby. For the Americans in the room, a Header is a Combine or Harvester and a derby is a demolition derby. I was about to watch giant farm equipment destroyed. It was a hoot!!
I was in a fit of giggles as crashing metal tractors were spilling their guts onto the dry dust field. My favorite was a good ole John Deere like a green thunderbolt bulldozing into anything it could. At one point three tractors hit the hay bale in front of me and I feared I might be the newest harvest of the season. It was a hoot and a half. The grand prize of $20,000 went to the last tractor standing amongst the roaring crowd. I was covered in dirt, but my smile shown white in the setting Australian sun.
On the way home I realized that this event was a metaphor for my life. My life as a lil bit absent minded and klutzy, enthusiastic adventurer.
Have you ever had that one friend who was always the one to spill when going out to eat? How about a friend who was constantly bumping into and tripping over air? The one that always has a bruise on her hip from counters. The friend that seems to take the road less traveled by mistake. Well my friends can all agree they have that friend. Me.
Here is an example of being someone like me….
Went to make myself some ice tea…grabbed the container a bit off and spilled the entire 3 liter jug all over me, the counter, my sandwich, and of course the floor.
Cleaning up after class…. Tripped on an edge of desk, and tossed entire box of markers into air and all over floor. No problem, not until I reacted so fast I stepped on a new glue stick.
Stubbed my toe on carpet. Yep. That’s all. So, nothing. I tripped on nothing.
Dropped a push pin…. Had to get on hands and knees to find it, found it with my knee. Yep.
Had a delicious thermos of coffee. Gracefully drinking from it all day. Took me hours to realize it dripped all over my white sweater, all morning. I looked so lady like.
Stood on a ant hill while cleaning a BBQ from food bits. Didn’t realize what was really happening until they were crawling up my shorts. Gave me total understanding of the saying ‘ants in your pants’.
And this was just this weekend. No seriously. Two days. And I didn’t mention the mixup I did with my flights for the upcoming holiday that I miss booked TWICE because I can’t remember my time zones!
I know my parents have dozens of stories of my miss adventures. Including one of a poor cow, may he rest in peace. My poor netball team must be beside themselves as they watch me cluelessly run down court only to be tricked by the other team, I have never played a sport involving balls. My students, of all countries, just shake their head with every whiteboard maker dust smear on my face or latest chemical burn on my hand. Always covered in potting soil and glitter. I seem to do well in the department ‘bonehead’ competition with my ‘miss said’ comments in class. I’m a disaster with a smile.
I figure I am in a demolition derby of life. I was given this body to use and love. A few bumps and bruises are nothing. I might have butterfingers, but I have a heart for my students. I may say or type things off the wall, but I probably do so innocently. I may have traveled the back road and not the easy street but I will certainly earn that prize at the end. You see the most important parts of our lives are our experiences not our positions. People not stuff. Those of us that have a life tendency of ‘third times a charm’ learn and experience life to the fullest. I have stories of life that still make me giggle and cry.
Your challenge this week: Open your eyes to your life derby. See the amazing life you are living and begin to make a mental movie of the experiences that move you, change you, guide you, and push you forward. You may trip and get a bloody knee, but it will heal, and you have an experience that becomes part of your story.
My favorite Quote……
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!” -author unknown