As I was driving through my neighborhood today, I noticed a little blob ahead on the road. As I got closer I could see it was a turtle. I slowed down…because, yes, I am one of those people who would likely crash my car while trying to avoid a squirrel or raccoon. I know, I know. I was tempted to pull over and carry it to safety, but the one time we did that, well… Ok, real quick story:
When we were driving around with a realtor in Charleston, there was a smallish turtle smack dab in the middle of the road. Our realtor lady was concerned that “teenage boys will run right over it on purpose” and asked HJ if he would get out and move it. So being the gentlemen that he is, he hopped out of the car. He gently grabbed the sides of the shell and started walking…when all of the sudden it starts hissing and whipping it’s head. “What. is. that?!” “that would be a snapping turtle,” she told me, realizing what she just asked my husband to do. Pick up a freaking snapping turtle.
I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was crazy. And where most people would have dropped the possessed reptile the second it started going balistic, HJ continued his mission & carried to the side of the road. I don’t know if that was brave or stupid. Either way, I think it was a totally rude of the turtle to act like that when clearly his life was being saved. Whatever. When HJ got in the car, his hands smelled. Bad. Real bad. Apparently snapping turtles release a nasty odor when angry…or all the time. I don’t know. The whole thing was so weird. The end.
I doubt the turtle I saw today was a snapping one (do they have those in AL?) but I wasn’t going to chance it, so I just drove by slowly and watched the little guy.
I’ve never really seen a turtle walk. Weird, right? every time I’ve ever see one it’s usually hiding in his shell, on a log in a pond or takes one step to eat a piece of lettuce in his tiny display at the zoo.
But this guy…he was on the move, he was going places. Just trotting along, totally determined. It seriously was so cute.
And it got me thinking about these guys.
Well, here’s my epiphany for the day: I want to be the tortoise…or in this case, the turtle.
But I tend to be the hare. I get all excited and bust out of the gates full of energy and enthusiasm. I jump around from one thing to the next. I’ve got a ba-jillion ideas. Hippity hop. I’m moving…moving fast. But then, I stop. Unlike the rabbit in the story, I don’t stop & nap because I’m way ahead, I end up napping cause I called it quits.
But the turtle. Oh, the turtle.
Being a turtle ain’t so easy. He carries around a heavy load, literally. He can’t move faster than, say, 4 mph. But…. despite that, (here comes the inspirational part) he has determination and perseverance on his side. He does the work, even when it’s hard. He knows where he’s headed, he’s focused on the goal, he doesn’t lose hope.
The turtle never gives up. He keeps on going. Slow and steady my friends. Slow and steady.
Think about it, being a turtle affords you time to take in the sites, smell the roses, savor the moments. Something most rabbits forget to do.
So who wouldn’t want to be a turtle?! Or at least channel some inner tortoise to a couple life situations?
Let’s take parenting for instance. That is totally turtle work. It’s challenging and messy and you know how you want it to turn out, but aren’t sure how you’ll ever reach the end. Is there an end? Be the turtle…don’t lose hope.
The whole medical training fiasco takes some serious turtle mindset, perseverance touches just the surface ….that’s all I want to say about that. Which leads to…
Ahem…marriage. Yeah, that’s a biggie too. Turtle-intensity right there folks. When I said “I do” that was a promise not to quit. I’ll admit, I’ve taken my fair share of cat-naps during the marriage thing thus far, but never for too long.
Jobs, relationships, blogging, health, faith, pretty much…all of life. All of it needs turtle drive!
And a lot of that stuff is the kind of thing where your hard work won’t pay off until later – I’ve heard some call it delayed gratification ;) That’s a tough thing in this Insta-everything world we live in. Or it’s the stuff where your work may go unnoticed, unappreciated. And that’s no fun when we expect everything to be about me, me, me <— totally the rabbit right there.
Being a turtle probably isn’t the popular choice. But I like to think it’s a wise one. So, I’m gonna try to be a turtle (or a tortoise). Not because he wins in the end, but because he finished. He did the work. He stayed the course. Because when I cross my finish line I want to be able to say:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
And that my friends takes some serious turtle power!!!!
My favorite was always Donatello. Who was yours?