Monday, December 7, 2015


Don't let success go to your head. Don't let failure go to your heart.
- Tim Keller

In some ways, I feel like I have been living in the Land of Can't for longer than I can remember. On bad days, I wonder if I have ever lived anywhere else. What is it that you want to do or think you need? Ummm, nope, can't do/have that.

Think you need some face time? Too bad - can't have it. Too busy. No time. Want to finish the upstairs bathroom? Can't. Nothing in the budget for household projects or repairs. Think maybe you should have the doctor check out that strange lump? Nope, can't afford the deductible. You want some consistent time in your day to sit down and write? Too bad. Can't.

The sad thing about hearing or experiencing "can't" so frequently is that I begin to think that "can't" is the only possible answer, ever, always. And so I quit asking, quit trying, quit entertaining any thoughts at all about what I think I want or need. I can't imagine any possibility except "can't." Too much "can't" for too long, and I completely forget there is such a thing as "can."

I was keeping one of the grandbabies recently. She was following me from my bedroom to the laundry room. As we walked through the bathroom, she pointed at the toilet. "No, no!" she said. Then she toddled over and rested her hand on the toilet tissue dispenser. Smiling up at me with her big blue eyes, she repeated, "No, no!"

When we reached the kitchen, she pointed at the tall kitchen trash can. "No, no," she piped.

Then she crossed the room to a cabinet containing plastic storage containers and proceeded to empty its contents onto the floor.

Helping Grandma in the kitchen!
My granddaughter understands that some things are off limits. She doesn't bother those things. She also knows that some things are okay for her to have, and she enjoys those things enthusiastically.

I have learned "No, no!" well. I've probably learned it too well.

Now, I need to learn "Yes." Now, I need to learn "Can."

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