"Age means nothing, attitude is everything. I live by that every day and I think that came through today."
- Colette Bourgonjie, Canadian, 2010 Vancouver Paralympic silver medalist in 10km cross country ski race
I've been loosely following the Paralympics currently taking place in Vancouver, BC. I admit that my enthusiasm towards these games is not as focused as the Olympics two weeks ago and for that, I feel ashamed.
I would argue that these athletes have even more of a challenge facing them than our previous ones. Overcoming a disability to compete internationally in grueling courses, games and competitions must be applauded -and in the very least - paid attention to.
As mentioned in the quotation, attitude really is everything. Attitude changes a viewpoint. It changes your demeanor. It changes how you deal with a tough situation.
After reading the story about Bourgonjie winning Canada's first Paralympic medal, I was reminded that it's not all about winning. She came in second place, but her attitude towards the opportunity she was given showed gratefulness and humility. She said this:
"I'm shocked and I can't believe it. I don't think it has sunk in yet. I am still racing because I wanted to compete at a Paralympics in Canada and I'm just so proud to have done this in front of Canadians. I share this medal with all of Canada."
It's people like Bourgonjie that make me believe in the goodness still residing in the hearts of men and women, even if it hides deep within us.
Wars come and go. Violence continues to persist. Despair, sadness, cruelty plague our world, but it can all change. It can change with you and me. We need to break our negative attitude into a thousand pieces and build it up in love, peace, grace and humility.
We are now slightly less than two months away from welcoming a baby girl to our family. The overall mood around the McMullen house is bristling with excitement, worry and curiousity. We are down to two names for her: Zoey Elizabeth McMullen or Ella Elizabeth McMullen. We are very fond of Zoey. The name came to Ruth a couple weeks ago out of the blue. No baby name books or internet lists. Something divine perhaps.
I love the name. It means 'life' in Greek. And it's a name I don't associate with anyone I know; always a bonus.
I can't wait to become a father. I have so many ideas in my head for how I'd like to raise her, what to teach her, what music to show her; the list goes on and on.
The love I hold in my heart for her overwhelms me daily.
I recently finished Donald Miller's latest book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and I am now reading through it again. Re-reading helps me remember key points I missed the first go around and also inspires me to pay attention to detail.
Miller talks an awful lot about something he calls an 'inciting incident', wherein the character (you and me) must enter a story because of an external means causing him or her to do so. So, my incident happened to me last Friday. I've received a call from a camera store, inviting me in for an interview. I had applied for this job over a month ago and was beginning to lose hope. It also came on a day where I felt trapped in my current posting.
Finally! I thought. I caught a break for once. The interview was the next day, so I trimmed my beard, had some hairs cut off my head and wore my nicest button-up shirt and dress pants. I was ready. I arrived early to the interview, considerably anxious and excited. I browsed around the petite outlet, not really paying attention to the product I was looking at.
Shortly thereafter, I was called into the back room for the interview. I answered the questions as honestly as possible. Hypothetical questions are very odd, as there is no way to accurately predict what you would do in a uncomfortable situation or how you would sell a camera.
I had the manager laughing throughout the interview. Not at me, but at the jokes. I left the store feeling good, like I nailed the interview. I had entered into a story.
That was four days ago. I still haven't received a phone call and the manager said she would give enough notice to whoever was selected to come again for another interview on Thursday. It is Tuesday now. This morning, after picking up some free coffee from the Golden Arch, I called the store and asked to speak with the manager. A girl named Rebekah took my number and said I would be called back shortly.
So now, I'm waiting. Patiently twiddling my thumbs and distracting my anxiety by writing this blog. I'm living a story today.
And despite my elevated heart beat and sweaty palms, I am glad to be in this state. It reminds me that I am alive.