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After spending a couple of days soaking up wisdom on Sarah’s front porch, I returned home yesterday in time to walk Heathcliff, make dinner and drive to my evening writing class. For some reason, last night turned into a classic Eeyore v Tigger slugfest for me. It started with a Tigger moment: the first reading by a delightful, naturally talented young writer and a request for me to share my admitted novice-level knowledge of blogging. Tigger enjoys others’ accomplishments and loves to teach. The second reading by a veteran writer with so much to offer and so many directions to go somehow challenged me to listen calmly and offer encouragement. Eeyore crept in without bidding. Maybe it was the discomfiting topic: the complexities and intrigue surrounding downsizing however logical and job loss however predictable. I chose to leave my job last year, so what was my problem? Fortunately, Tigger returned for the third reading, a homecoming story about a father and his cars. Then the warmth of the hearth dissipated, and Tigger went to bed. Eeyore came back from break. Trying to stave off impending doom by volunteering to read aloud, I stumbled repeatedly and botched the author’s voice. How embarrassing to expose the fact that I am an uncomfortably poor reader in this genre. How frustrating to struggle with my own growth. How else are you going to learn? Keep practicing; you’ll improve. Tigger awoke but briefly.

Driving home, I concentrated on the road while the failed perfectionist held off self-punishment (aka, self-pity) with limited success. Heathcliff greeted me with his usual Tigger dog dance, but it took me a long time to settle down and fall asleep. This morning when my husband politely asked, “How’d it go last night? ” Eeyore automatically started to answer until Keith pulled me up short. “This is what creativity feels like, Sweetheart.” Yes, yes, I know, and so does everyone in my class. Tigger, Eeyore, Tigger, Eeyore…

After reading Sarah’s Noontime blog about the parable of the Sower, I wrote a comment about my calling as a teacher and how humility, patience and a positive attitude help me to listen and grow. Practice paves the way and eventually makes it so.

Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?

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