Protocol

or, Wilma’s Rules for Facing Life

Dear Kim,

It’s been a rough few days and I haven’t written. Again.

Last Thursday’s prompt was protocol. A protocol is a list of rules to be followed in specific formal situations. My life these days is anything but formal.

One evening, when I was at a low point, Mary sent me this video of my granddaughter. Wilma has a good protocol for facing challenges.

I wish you could hear her little voice. She’s so cute. But here’s what she is saying during the video and what her words represent to me:

“Don’t fall.”

Rule #1 Be aware of the risks.

Life isn’t easy — and sometimes we expect to be.

It’s dangerous. We COULD fall — but that shouldn’t stop us from moving ahead.


“Good job.
Good job.
Good job.
Good job.”

Rule #2 Offer words of affirmation to yourself and others.

Wilma repeats “Good job” four times. Words of affirmation are so important and often in short supply.

Mary told me about when she worked as a supervisor at one of her jobs. This involved training new employees. “I would go around and tell them they were doing a great job all the time. It probably sounded stupid,” she said.

“No,” I told her. “It probably was really nice for them to hear those words. Not everyone takes the time to say that.”

My granddaughter tells herself that — probably because she DOES hear it from her parents.


“Okay, baby.
Go down slide.”

Rule #3 Take your time.

It’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come.

Then, we sometimes need to change gears.

We need to scooch around to get situated for the next thing. We need to take a few seconds instead of rushing headlong.


“Go down slide, Daddy.”
(Yep)
“Okay.”

Rule #4 Remember that you’ve got people that love you and are ready to help.

Between you and me, I’m lousy at this step. I hate feeling needy and insecure. I hate asking for help or support. Why is that? Why do we lose that ability to reach FOR help? I think I’m pretty good at offering help, just not so good at asking for myself.


Wilma: “Wheeeeeeee!”

Rule #5 Enjoy the moment.

In the midst of chaos, happy moments seem impossible. But in the midst of last week’s chaos, I had a group hug that made me laugh and cry and cry some more — in a good way. That moment will stick with me for a long time.

Next week will be better, right? I hope you’ve had a good week.

Love,

Sally

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