I don't like telling you this story.
It certainly doesn't paint me in a serene-life-coach-y-spiritual-teacher-yogi kind-of-light. It's more of a neurotic-mom-meets-screaming-child-and-makes-stupid-choices sort of story.
This is the tale of a mom and a daughter.
And a bee.
And I'm going to tell you this story because the lesson is a good one.
My daughter can be pretty calm and collected. She can be sassy and funny. She's around adults all the time and has a wicked sense of humor.
But when she sees a bee - she flips the fuck out.
She screams. And runs around.
Which usually makes the bee go wild. Buzzing around her flailing limbs.
Which usually makes me go wild. Trying to swat the buzzing miscreant away without getting pummeled by my daughter's sting-defying thrashathon.
So, keep this picture in your mind. And now put me in the drivers seat of my Subaru. My daughter in the passenger seat.
We are slowly backing out of the driveway.
And now picture a bee. Just below my skirt line. Walking calmly across my bare-skinned thigh.
My daughter starts to panic.
And I immediately join her. (Mind you, I'm not afraid of bees. But, I'm apparently terrified of my daughter's panicking.)
The bee won't brush off. And I'm so afraid that I'm going to swat it right onto my full-freak-out kid that I instantly do the most intelligent thing anyone has ever done:
I jump out of the car.
And brush it off me.
To look back as my daughter, in legitimate terror, cries, "Mom, mom... Mommmmm! The car is rolling."
I did this.
I jumped out of a car.
While in reverse.
With my daughter in it.
To save her from a bee.
I ran back and luckily timed my car entry so as to avoid a broken leg, crushed skull or deadly collision and forced the car into park.
And thanked God that everything was ok.
And then I realize how often I do this.
How often we all do this.
We go after the bee because it seems like an emergency. While the greater danger is quietly in process.
Like hustling to pay the bills by Friday instead of looking at how to create sustainable income.
Or giving enormous energy to the client who's trying to talk you down on your prices instead of focusing on serving the rest of your happy clientele.
Like worrying about the one piece of criticism instead of taking in the 99 compliments that came with it.
Or working late to get that file finished while your marriage is slowly crumbling.
We put our time, effort, energy and resources into the small nagging thing that has our immediate attention. Rather than focusing on the big picture.
And this is dangerous.
The bee will always seem threatening.
It will always seem like an emergency.
And yah... bees do sting. And stings certainly don't feel good. But that type of pain is short-lived. And there's just no reason to flip out about it.
Instead. Think bigger picture. Think long-term. Think about what's really at stake.
And for God's sake.
Put the car in park before you jump.