What I’ve Learned in the Lagoon…

Photo source: all-creatures.org

If you’ve ever driven past a lagoon (a holding area for piggy waste) your nose knows of what I speak.

I have finally been able to come up with a good analogy describing the last year and a half of my life:

It’s as though I stumbled across a secret lagoon hidden in my own backyard.  And now that I know it’s there, it can’t be ignored, or shoved under a rock.  The smell is just too overpowering.

No, I’ve got to deal with it.  And the teaspoon I’ve been handed to shovel with sure doesn’t help much.

Here are the lessons I’ve learned in the lagoon:

1.  The clean-up job sucks.  It reeks to high heaven.  Quit expecting your problems to smell good.  Or to be easy to remedy.

2. Due to the close proximity to the edge (given the nature of your teaspoon), it is absolutely inevitable that you will fall in once in a while.  Yeah, it’s gross – but you’ll get back out again.

3.  It’s asking a LOT to expect anyone else to dig with you.  Most people, even my hand-picked ‘team’, have run.  The smell is just too much for many people to deal with, so they’ll keep their distance and cheer at you (or throw out criticism) from the sidelines.  When and if someone actually grabs a teaspoon, they are your true forever friends! (You know who you are…)

4.  Don’t look at the whole pit at once.  Setting a goal of cleaning it all will suck you in every time.  If all you could do today was 1 teaspoonful, that is one less teaspoon to deal with tomorrow.

5.  Throw away your watch.  This isn’t a gaming challenge for bragging rights – it’s your life.  Thinking it must all be dealt with now will defeat you before you begin.  Make the word ‘PROCESS‘ your new mantra.

6.  It’s okay to put down the spoon when the smell gets to you.  Go for a walk.  Call a friend.  Laugh at a joke.  When you are ready to return, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to pick up where you left off.

7. Give yourself some slack!  The world didn’t show you mercy – but that’s no reason not to lend it to yourself.

8. Don’t judge your process.  Don’t compare your shovelling style or prowess to anyone else.  This is YOUR LAGOON; they have their own.

9. Learn to appreciate and celebrate your successes.  Make much of your own progress - you are best acquainted with the level of hard work it took just to get where you are!

10. Cultivate a new attitude.  Open your eyes – and your heart!  Unseen hands carry the brunt of your load.  If your eyes are truly open, you just might catch a glimpse of God working alongside you, right in the bottom of the pit…

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26 comments on “What I’ve Learned in the Lagoon…

  1. tonyberkman says:

    Great wisdom contained in your post. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Marcy says:

    I am so glad that you are “getting through” and, teaspoon by teaspoon, getting that lagoon dealt with. All that crap is good for the flowers…well, maybe not ALL the crap (LOL) but you know what I mean. I am blessed to call you friend. And touched by your testimony through the struggle.

  3. Melody, wonderful extended metaphor and great insights into your personal struggles and progress.

  4. petroneagu says:

    Excelently written post and very, very deep.
    I am sorry you have to handle with so much crap as a lagoon, a little pond would’ve been more than enough but with your wisdom you will outsmart it and eventually beat the crap out of it :)

  5. Janene says:

    Such wonderful advice delivered in such a great way. You’ve got a great perspective on life!

  6. kris landt says:

    A very clever analogy, Melody…have definitely shoveled some sh&t myself over the years, and I can truly empathize.

  7. Raymond says:

    You really shouldn’t need to clean a lagoon if it has been contructed properly. It is there to serve a purpose. While all lagoons do have some odour, perhaps you need an aeration system to quell the strench of yours. There are people who deal with lagoon contruction and maintainance, perhaps you could call one. Hopefully you have this problem rectified quickly.

    • melodylowes says:

      Sorry – it never occurred to me that I might step on some producers’ toes on this one – you’re right. When done properly, the odours are minimized dramatically. I was using this more metaphorically, and for the sake of the story, an image of a horrible smell works very well!

      • Raymond says:

        Sorry right back at you – I was writing metaphorically as well. Lagoon troubles are as odourous as one makes them. I trudged/swam through one for awhile. The ocean beach is a much better location.

      • melodylowes says:

        I agree – fruity drinks, sun and sand – much better!

  8. Yun Yi says:

    this is great, melody! i especially like the last one. :-)

    • melodylowes says:

      Thanks, Yun Yi. I think you may be able to relate well to this one, on several levels. When I have a bad day, I go and read my own advice…hopefully I will apply it for myself! :)

  9. I agree with Marcy. All that is fertilizer for the beautiful flowers. One spoonful at a time.

  10. Oh how I am always falling into those dreadful lagoons, thanks for the advice though, I will remember next time. Great post.

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