notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Humbled

We human beings are so egocentric.

By this I mean that I am a human being. And egocentric.

But once in a while we get a strong dose of reality.

By this I mean that once in a while I realize that I’m not quite as magnificent as I usually believe myself to be.

Oh, sometimes I feel that down deep I am still quite magnificent. I can’t help myself.

But oh those other times. When I see how foolish and incompetent I am.

Like when I write an important email with three major typos. Like when I burn the oatmeal. Like when I can’t find the pen I just put down.

This week when I was distracted in Yoga class by the woman in front of me, who kept doing every movement and pose on the wrong side. It was really upsetting my rhythm and I was beginning to feel quite un-yoga-like-annoyed. Until I realized that I was the one who was doing everything on the wrong side.

I know that some human beings are very hard on themselves. They dwell on their shortcomings and never feel like they are good enough.

Not me though. I am very understanding of myself. No one is more forgiving of me than me. I am good at laughing off my blunders. Excusing my worst faults. After all – underneath it all I know I am quite magnificent.

Which is why I need someone to remind me once in a while that I am as stupid as the next human being. Sometimes stupider.

And lately, it’s been non-humans that have reminded me of my all-too-human failings.

April the Giraffe.

That girl had her baby on her OWN schedule. She let human beings stare at computer-nothingness for two months. And then with complete composure, walked around with hooves sticking out of her backside for a couple of hours.

And just when my admiration for April was at its zenith, then came the baby. Holy shit, that baby rocked his own birthing. He wasn’t in any more of a hurry than his mom. Just lettin’ those hooves groove – like you’d put your finger in the air to test the wind. And then finally, finally – with April so mellow I don’t even think she bothered to push – he drops SIX FEET. SIX FEET! SIX FEET with a slurpy kerplunk. Newborn. SIX FOOT FALL. Holy crap – I thought he’d killed himself for sure. But nope. Less than forty minutes later, that tough little bugger stood up and walked around.

Just how cool would it be if human beings walked around an hour after being born? And how annoying. I think the only way mothers survive the first few months without a mental collapse is because when they put the baby down, it pretty much stays put. Imagine if every time you went to the bathroom, you then had to search your house to find where you newborn has wandered off to.

And me?  Fifteen years of Yoga, and I can’t balance on one leg. Baby Giraffe: 40 minutes, strolling.

Horses.

My husband took up riding this year, and with this new passion, he received several nice books about horses for Christmas. There’s one I especially like, filled with interesting factoids. One section is all about maturity. When a horse is five years old, its physical maturity could be compared to a 23-year-old human. Its mental maturity is equivalent to a 25-year-old human. Let that sink in a minute. Physically 23 and mentally 25. Mental maturity beyond its physical years. When I was 23, I had the mental maturity of a 15-year-old. Truly. I wrote poetry while I ate peanut butter from the jar. And I walked around all winter with a nail in my boot, wondering why my foot hurt.

Cats.

My 16-year-old cat Stewart jumped three times his height to a counter to retrieve a catnip toy. I had hid it behind the clock radio to protect it from being eaten by the dog. Stewart the Cat did not see me hide it there. But he jumped up there and found it anyway. I cannot find my pen. I used it an hour ago.

Dogs.

And speaking of my dog, every human knows that dogs can hear much better than humans. They can hear frequencies we cannot. And they can hear at a distance that is four times the human capacity. When my dog Theo is out in the yard and it is time to come him, I call him. He doesn’t even lift an ear. So I yell louder. Yeah, that helps. I’m sure he couldn’t hear me the first time.

Bees.

When I was in college I took a course in Beekeeping. I took a course in pretty much everything  – because I liked school very much and didn’t really like the idea of graduating. I may be one of the only persons in the world who has college credits in Beekeeping AND Bookkeeping. I guess I am a Keeper. But back to bees. Did you know that when a scout bee finds a really good source of nectar, she goes back to the hive and does a complicated dance to tell her sisters all about it? A guy named Karl Von Frisch studied honeybees his whole life, and here I am, forty-six years after my Beekeeping course, with his fascinating research permanently etched into my head. (Which may be the only thing I remember from college – but that’s another story.) Anyway, the bee tells her sisters through an elaborate dance exactly where the treasure is, with directions and distance in the swing of her little bee hips. And the bees take ONLY as much fuel as they need to get there. Not in the meandering route that the original bee may have taken to find the food source, but in the EXACT amount to get there in a direct beeline – so to speak. Because they want to be exactly on empty when they reach the nectar – so they can bring home absolutely as much as possible, and are not weighed down by their own leftovers.

We had dinner for six this Easter Sunday. When my sister picked up the bowl of mashed potatoes she said:

“This is really heavy. How many potatoes did you cook?”

“Nineteen.”

mashedpotatoes

37 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on random thoughts.

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  2. We should all aspire to be more animalistic.

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    • They certainly have their advantages over us humans.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” <- one of my favorite quotes 🙂 and those mash potatoes look delicious!!

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    • Yeah, I guess I can’t be expected to jump three times my height.

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  4. We can always learn more, if we keep trying to do so.

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    • See what you learned about bees today – without even trying!

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      • Ray G

        Gotta remember about bees’ limitations next time I want to chat one up about how the hive is doing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My professor said that sometimes when you see a bee crawling along the ground it is because she ran out of fuel. Perhaps the wind picked up and she needed more energy than she had. He said it is nice if you can give her a little sugar or something. I guess he carried along some bee fuel when he went walking….

          Liked by 1 person

          • dogonaroot1

            My wife has often done this for bees although it was just her instinct to do so. I will let her know there is a good reason to continue.

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  5. Thanks for the laugh! This is so true. It always amazes me that my dogs greet me with such joy when I get home – even on days when I’ve yelled at them, or forgotten/skipped their walks. They never hold a t the door without a proper goodbye, or I am too tired to walk them…they don’t hold a grudge and they greet me with pure joy and happiness to see me. It makes me feel wonderful, so I try to apply that to my marriage. Always greeting Mr. Big with joy and happiness, even when I’m irritated with him, starts us off on the right foot every day, always improves both of our moods, and helps us to let go of the little things. 🙂

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    • I am always amazed at how easily my dog forgives me.

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    • dogonaroot1

      I tried to act like our dog one day when my wife came home. I ran up and down the stairs, jumping up on her and licking her face. I was hoping it would lead to sex. It probably would have but I was too exhausted after greeting her with the energy that our dog does to take it any farther.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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  7. There is no such thing as too much mashed potatoes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. You are definitely a keeper 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Sometimes I wonder.

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  9. Still smiling. This post reminds me of Garrison Keeler.

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    • Thank you so much. That’s a huge compliment, since he is such a great storyteller.

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  10. Ok am glad I came here today as this post made me smile

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    • Then my day is done. I love to make someone smile.

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  11. If humans were half as smart, resilient, and hard working as animals, the world wouldn’t be in the state its in! Great post.

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    • Thanks. The resourcefulness and openness of animals is something to aspire to.

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  12. I am always amazed at the useless (at least for my life) factoids I remember and the ones I really need to know that I forget…like that my glasses are on my head. I don’t see anything wrong with 19 potatoes for 6 people. There are some great recipes for leftover mashed potatoes!

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  13. Dogs can tell time. My alarm is set for 5:28. The dog licks my face at 5:27. There is no change in light at that hour, no change I can discern, other than those digits on the clock ticking over.

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    • I totally believe you. Dogs have an amazing sense of time. When I was a teenager we had a border collie and that dog would go to the door one minute before my father came home from work.

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      • dogonaroot1

        Pets seem to have a psychic connection with their owners. My wife’s dog always knew just moments before my wife was about to arrive home, even when my wife was off her usual schedule. My connection was with our finches. Every morning they wouldn’t even bother to start singing until AFTER I put my hearing aids in.

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  14. Lovely mashed potatoes!
    Sometimes I am error but I always have a good reason…..:-)

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  15. Laughed out loud. And don’t feel bad. I can’t find ANY pens in this house.

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  16. I think you’re too hard on yourself.

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  17. I have exactly the same moments you describe – where you’re going around feeling magnificent and then realise you’re an idiot! Loved reading about April the giraffe!

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    • We often forget how foolish we really are.

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  18. havesomecatharsis

    “Oh, sometimes I feel that down deep I am still quite magnificent. I can’t help myself”
    So refreshing to know that people are honest to themselves

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    • Oh, I know I have an inflated sense of my own wonderfulness!

      Like

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