July 9, 2011


Yesterday would have been Jean de la Fontaine's 390th birthday. He was a French writer best known for his poetic versions of Aesop's Fables, so the Doodle on Google.fr was in honor of him and his work.

The text at the bottom is from his version of the story of the tortoise and the hare: Rien ne sert de courir; il faut partir à point. Slow and steady wins the race, though the French is much more literal ("There's no use in running; you have to leave on time").

I've been thinking about fables lately, the simple little stories with a clear message given at the end. I'm hoping to discover the morals or lessons hidden in my recent trying times - I firmly believe that nothing in life happens without a reason, and I'm certain that this summer and the challenges it has brought are serving a greater purpose. We have to know lean times in order to truly appreciate plenty; we have to stumble in order to learn what it is we need to avoid because it makes us fall.

Last Sunday, I woke up feeling incredibly positive about things to come, and as I laid in bed before breakfast, I said out loud, "I'm going to get good news this week." I hope that by declaring it, there was no way it couldn't come true, and over the next couple of days, I applied for five or six more jobs. I also found a potential new job for Matt - we had been talking last week about how unhappy he is working his overnight shifts doing a job completely unrelated to his studies, and so I thought it might be something he'd be interested in.

He applied on Wednesday, got an e-mail yesterday, and scheduled an interview for first thing on Monday morning.

I was unbelievably excited for him - though, following Aesop's suggestion, we're not counting chickens before they hatch. It's a great job at an incredible school, full-time with benefits, and a fantastic foot in the door for the career in higher ed that he thinks he might like to pursue. Not to mention he'd no longer be nocturnal - don't get me wrong, I love dates first thing in the morning, but daysleeping isn't working out well for him, so he wants the kind of schedule that comes with a normal grownup desk job.

At the same time, though, my heart sank when he told me ... because I applied for three nearly identical positions at the same university (same work, different departments - and a day earlier, too). And I heard nothing.

It's hard not to be like the fox who claimed that the grapes were likely sour simply because they were outside of his reach.
Well, I didn't want that job anyway - the commute would be an hour and a half each way, and I wouldn't be happy working at a university but not teaching there.
Because, let's face it - I would love that job. Or any job, at this point.

As I sat at my desk, I could feel my mouth salivating. I was stressing incredibly, and I needed something to chew on to distract me. So I opened the snack cabinet ... and pulled out my strategically placed binge canister:
Go for a run.
I did three miles around my neighborhood in 80 degree midday heat, then came home and showered. The binge canister bought me an hour of distraction, and that hour was the difference between staying within my calorie range for the day and a binge, between being in control and losing it. Just like the ant, I stocked up on resources I would need and then had them there when I needed them most.

So - this week the good news was likely Matt's and not mine. I didn't specify in my declaration that the good news I heard would be my own, so I'll just take it as a sign that there really is power in positive thinking, and I'll continue working towards my objectives, even if it feels like it's taking forever and my hard work will never get me where I want to be. Because I know that, in the end, slow and steady always wins the race.


Karen said...

That last one resonates with me a lot... slow and steady. I have not thought much of others in a long time but you remind me how much wisdom is woven in.

Joy said...

I love having that kind of feeling. I spent a lot of my life thinking about and expecting bad things to happen. I am so happy now to be thinking positive. Because it works!!

Hope you both get the jobs of your dreams!!

Keep focused!

Bluezy said...

Almost prophetically on time this message encrypted in French...For my dieting I want so much to be the Hare thinking I am going to get there fast, but before I get there, I will either go crazy or mad or be pooped out.

I just love how you can run. It is a great achievement. C'est une grande chose (without dictionary/translator help)! Probably masc. not feminine huh?

Have a great weekend!

Bonnie said...

Good Luck on both jobs. You have worked so hard for everything, and this isn't any different.
You will get what you are looking for, just keep believing.....

timothy said...

sending you positive energy sweetie, have you thought of just getting "any" job to pay the bills while waiting for that dream job to appear. sometimes the thing we don't want to do is the pathway to where we need to be. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo