Alligators and Attitudes

My own little swamp monster in his alligator outfit.

This morning, while getting Finlay dressed for his play group, I was struck by how much things have changed in a year and by where I was and what I was doing a year ago. It may have been the fact that I’d just washed out a diaper filled with poop (Yes, we’re using cloth diapers! I’ll blog about this at some point) or the fact that the outfit I’d chosen for him to wear had alligators on it (alligators are important later in the story). But I found myself thinking how many experiences a person can cram into a year and how it can be such a fundamental change that can take place in such a relatively short period of time. I believe strongly that having a healthy retrospective on life is just as important as having a good perspective. I like to look back over the past and examine myself.

"History teaches us everything including the future." -Lamartine

To quote the quotable, “History teaches us the future.” I also like to try to remember the things that were stressing me out a year ago and to examine whether or not they are still causing me any stress. I’m pretty sure that the following lesson comes from the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”  The author (who I can’t remember now) tells us that we should really only stress about things that will continue to cause us stress in a year’s time. That’s the ruler, if you will, by which to measure whether or not something is worth getting stressed out about. I actually think it’s a really valuable lesson, because if you think about it, there are very few things that are stressful today that in a year from now will still be causing you stress. So why all the talk about stress? I find myself stressing about finding a job, about returning to work after having a child, about childcare for Finlay, about what the future holds. So I have to go back to the lessons I previously mentioned. That history really does teach us about our future, and historically things have always found a way of working out for me for the better. So why would now be any different?  A year from now, will I still be stressed about this stuff? Unlikely.

A swamp walk in the Cypress Dome in Everglades National Park

So, that brings us back to the alligators. A year ago my biggest stress was not getting eaten by an alligator! At 5 1/2 months pregnant, and wanting to experience a great adventure (before the greatest adventure I’ve ever had- childbirth) my husband, brother, sister-in-law and myself were wading through swamps in the Florida Everglades looking for alligators. I figure it will be several years until I can embark on these kinds of activities (infants and alligators don’t mix, unless it’s on the logo of their onesie!). For now I’ll enjoy the adventure I’m on and try not to stress about the small stuff…. because in the end, it really is all small stuff!

This Momma Gator was only 2-3 meters from us!

Momma Gator's Babies