The kids were driving me crazy! I needed to get their energy expressed somehow but it was very windy and cold outside. I just couldn’t take their whining anymore and needed some air. So I took them for their first ever, “run” in a nearby park. By chance, I grabbed some bread on our way out, for the deer at the petting zoo which I thought we might visit on the way back from the run.
Off we went for our first official “run” together…my 4 and 7 year old girls by my side.
Breathing the crisp air while seeing the changing landscape of a fall day brought new life into my body.
As we proceeded to the petting zoo, we noticed that one of the deer was lying down in the make shift barn that was on the other side of the fence inside the petting zoo area. It was dead.
What Happened to the Deer?
My little one thought it might be sleeping but as its become a habit of a typical 7 year old, they speak the cold harsh truth. “No. It’s dead alright”, she said.
Just then one of the park attendees came with a big yellow truck and picked up the deer and threw it into the back of the truck. We were the only ones looking on so he came over and started talking with me. I asked him how this deer died. Looking at my kids, he hesitated but began to tell me when he realized that I was ok with having my kids listen in.
“Should I let my kids see ‘death’ behind the fence?”, I thought. What am I going to do, hide it from them by running away now? No way. It’s life. It’s reality. Not going to be able to hide the truth of life. Ohh..too late…he’s speaking…my wife’s going to have a fit if they get a nightmare tonight:)!!
The park attendant told us that the deer had died because there is a virus going around the area called the “Blue Tongue Virus”. It is carried by gnats and once a deer, goat, cow, sheep is bitten, they die within a week from internal bleeding. The virus had impacted 28 deer just in the petting zoo alone. The virus had killed 100 deer in the neighboring county.
At this point, I stepped back from the fence and squeamishly asked, “Ahh…is it spread to humans”…gulp? To which he replied, “No. No other animals in the petting zoo have been affected. Just the deer.”
My kids listened intently but couldn’t really understand the whole situation but got the point.
After showering them with the Purrell in the car, I started to answer the barrage of wonderful questions being thrown at me from two curious little minds. What’s a blue tongue virus? Did the deer feel pain? How do the other deer know that this one died? What happens when you die? How did the virus get inside the deer? How can I be a deer doctor?
One Thing Always Leads to Another
When I spontaneously forced myself to get out of the rut of feeling stuck in the house, I did not expect to end the evening with a conversation about life, virus, death, deer and how to be a veteranarian. It just happened. It’s life. You can’t predict what’s going to happen when you walk out the door. But it’s not such a bad thing because you might end up in a really cool place.
As I learn to deal with uncertainty of life, chaos at work, unpredictability of personal relationships and the complexity of it all, sometimes I hesitate moving forward in my own life because I think I know what’s going to happen next. I over analyze, try too hard to predict tomorrow leading to anxiety and stress. I defeat myself before I ever get started.
I believe that too often we restrict our own growth and development because we try too hard to predict what’s going to happen if we move forward and take action. And we end up feeling stuck, paralyzed by over thinking. We think we know what’s going to happen…because we are tied down to a previous reality. “I didn’t want to call him because I thought he’d be really busy”, a young out of college graduate said to me the other day. “CALL HIM”, I said…how can you be so sure?
The reality is: I HAVE NO IDEA where one thing will lead to. No one does. And sometimes, ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER…and you find yourself in a great place where you never expected. A place where you’re talking with your child about God, Life, Death, Deer, Virus, Science, Medicine, Biology and how to be a deer doctor…all because you went for a run in the park!
Some of our greatest thrills, experiences and moments of life come when you move forward and do something unexpected. And that one tiny, little thing leads to another and then another and so on. Whether it’s saying yes to a blind date (that’s how I met my wife) or when you keep calling a possible employer even after they’ve said no (that’s how I got my first job…they said no…but I kept calling…eventually they said yes to an interview).
Why not move forward in life and try something? Why not move forward and make a call, send an email or stop by and see someone? Why not go for it and give it a shot? You just never know where things will lead. Our actions have unanticipated consequences…and so many times, those consequences are JUST AWESOME! But you’ll never know just how awesome unless you move forward and ‘go for a run in the park’:)
Go ahead…Embrace the Chaos! | Bob Miglani