It was Tuesday morning and I stopped at Casey's to get gas. A car pulled up next to me while I was pumping my own, and we finished at the same time. I stopped to get a drink, so he was paying in front of me.
He put $4 worth of gas into his tank. And then he dumped all of the money out of his pockets onto the counter. The employee meticulously counted the pennies and nickels, and then determined that the kid was a quarter short.
The kid argued. "There was four dollars there when I left my house!"
The employee answered him patiently. "Well, there isn't four dollars here now."
I stepped forward, gave the employee the quarter, and the kid slammed out of the store.
Stop for a second and think of your morning starting like that. You literally are pulling together the change out of your couch to pay for gas. Pennies. Dimes. And you dump it on the counter. And you're short.
When the kid barreled out of there, the clerk looked at me and said, "At least he paid this time. Normally he just drives off."
"Sounds like a rough start to the morning." It was all I had. Because I don't ever know what to say. Ever.
And it stuck with me all day. That idea.
The idea of coming up short.
You know, I emailed and emailed and emailed this week ... I put on my no-more-yielding-face and got down to business. My friends were Heart Warriors and asked and asked and asked. Everyone I know - and people I don't really know at all - everyone got on the Team Thumann train. In less than 24 hours, over 214 new people liked my Facebook Author Page.
And suddenly, there's pressure to just ... not come up short.
I asked three people what to do next.
When it was crazy.
When Facebook likes were coming in faster than we could literally keep up with, my Dream Team (as I now call them in my head) sat in front of their computers or phones and counted the numbers. On Friday, Mary Mary Mary organized a "Celebrate Good Times" party - complete with party hats and music. We danced in my classroom before school started, because here it is: If you can't dance with your tribe, then what the heck are you doing?
The Train shoved on. Faster and faster. More and more people.
My THIRD GRADE TEACHER even. (Who is a saint and a champion and hi Mrs. Gerke!!!)
And I kept saying, "THIS IS CRAZY," over and over again.
So much that Mary Mary Mary sent me a screen shot of a thesaurus page for words to use OTHER than crazy.
And then I switched to, "THIS IS FRUITCAKE." (Which doesn't even make sense, but it was on the list, and who am I to question The List?)
My list for thank you notes grew so long that I ran out. I ran out of list room and had to use a new sheet. I ran out of thank yous and had to buy more.
I texted Dad and Shelley in big letters and said WHAT IS THIS LIFE EVEN!? And Shelley texted back, "Ask and ye shall receive," which is so true, but the receiving?
Oh sweet baby Jesus, the receiving was incredible.
Thursday night was madness. My poor phone almost blew up. For real. Like with fire. And I'm not lying. And I don't have the $9 a month phone insurance because who would ever think that my phone would actually COMBUST?
So many kind words.
So many people putting their arms around my shoulder and gently shoving me forward.
So many people coming out of nowhere and so many people whispering, "You can do this."
"You must feel so loved," one text message said.
And they were right.
And in the middle of the crazy? When I asked what the heck to do next?
The answer was the same across the board.
Do what you've "always done".
What I've "always done" would mean that I'm about to reference Dirty Dancing right now and then include a ridiculous picture of Becki Brown and I from our "Stuttering" video ...
Remember at the end of Dirty Dancing when Patrick Swayze is all, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner," and every woman across the entire world was like, "TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!!"? He also says a little bit later, "So tonight, we're going to do my kind of dancing ..."
And again - every woman - TAKE ME WITH YOU.
My point here is that what I've "always done"? When I do my kind of writing? With twice the readership that I had two days ago?
That just means that some days, I worry about coming up short. It's on those days that I lean back into my corner (where there is strength and courage and bravery and loyalty and love), wait for the receiving, and then get back on the train.
Thanks for riding with me.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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