May 30 3 Comments

Lessons learned from ducks

To take the time to learn from nature doesn't take a genius, but it takes vulnerability and a willingness to learn.

As I am writing this I am looking at the ocean. It has been a sunny afternoon and now the wind is picking up and the clouds are slowly covering the sun. Ducks are swimming, riding on the small waves, making the most of the wind. Not fighting it.

If I am going to sum up this year, as we are almost half way into it (really? Are you kidding me? Do years always pass this fast?), there is one word that sticks out like a pimple right in the middle of my face: VulNeraBility.

Since we kissed Happy New year and welcomed 2011 with lots of the neighbors’ expensive fire works, I have had to be vulnerable in almost every area of my life. I have had to ask for help in areas that I thought I could handle, I have have had to say that I am not able to do things I thought I could do, I have cried in front of people I wanted to impress, I have had to take naps!

And my blog is littered with little anecdotes about vulnerability. The reason for this is that it is what I am met with almost daily. And since my blog kind of is my own small world, then I will fill it with the stuff that fills my heart. Annoyingly, that is vulnerability. I wish it was: How I cut a whole minute off my best marathon time. I wish I could say I could even run a marathon, at any time. But, no. I am writing about sharing my weakest, most saddest, most inadequate, most ugly parts of myself with the world around me.

I am not able to be the success I wanted to be, I am not able to keep up with the speed of the world. I am not able to live without sleep in order to work, keep a clean house, cook, keep up with my kids school work, go to all their games and practices, bake cakes for the sales, stay in shape, read all the best sellers, have a nice garden and wear the designer outfits. I am barely able to keep the kitchen counter kind of clutter-free and make sure the kids have some food in their lunch boxes.

So I look at the ducks and think: There is something wise in learning to ride with the waves, not against them. That is how they conserve energy and keep it for the stuff that really matters.

And that is something I have learned in my vulnerable state: Save the energy for what really matters, and take advantage of the waves.


  • Linda Busklein says:

    Beautifully written! And all these weaknesses you mention make you sound like the rest of us. Only I haven’t figured out that part about keeping the clutter off the counter.

  • Rick Granger says:

    This is good stuff.

  • maureen says:

    I have been listening to the wind for 1 hour, nothing else. No thoughts, though they tried to come in. I almost fell asleep I got so relaxed. Then I panicked! I should be doing something. There’s a million emails, tons of dishes, weeds everywhere. And then the best thought of the day came to me. The emails, dishes and weeds will be here long after I leave the planet. I’m going to do nothing for another 60 minutes and enjoy the heck out of it. It’s a good thing the wind is still blowing! I think this time, I’ll just go ahead and fall asleep.